Cooler days and pumpkin spice everything lining the store shelves can only mean one thing: Fall is in the air. But just because the seasons are changing doesn’t mean you have to let go of summer’s carefree spirit. Try these three transition tips for a festive and enjoyable fall.
As summer nears its end, it can be hard to adjust to fall’s shorter days, cooler weather and indoor activities. If you’re feeling a bit down lately about the change in seasons, or you’re daydreaming about the fun you had during the warmer months, don’t fret — we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you prepare and rejoice in all that fall has to offer.
Fall Festivities Inspire Joy
Summer isn’t the only time you can plan a party, get-together or outing. Weekend getaways to country vineyards, pumpkin patches and apple orchards are memorable ways to celebrate the new season and connect with love ones. An autumn-themed dinner party is a perfect time to embrace the flavors of the season by cooking with fall favorites such as fresh squash, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and apples.
It can also be easy to feel like everything is changing when one thing is coming to an end. Use this summer-to-fall transition to look forward to what you do enjoy about the upcoming season such as falling leaves, football, apple cider or putting away summer clothing and shopping for fall fashion.
One of the simplest ways to connect with the season is to get outside and go for a walk. Take in all the sights and sounds around you — notice the changing leaves, enjoy the crisp air and discover what houses in your neighborhood have begun displaying their fall decorations.
Align Your Schedule to the Season
If the idea of darkness greeting you as you leave work at the end of the day makes you cringe, it’s time to start preparing now. Don’t wait until the time change to start adjusting your routines — start going to bed and rising earlier now.
Not only will this help you prepare for the changes that fall brings, it will offer you quiet morning time for reflection and it provides some consistency when things around you are shifting. It will also offer you extra time to soak up some sunshine as the days grow shorter in the coming months.
Coping With Seasonal Blues
“Changing seasons requires changing routines,” says Elizabeth Harrison, Outpatient Therapist, Ed.S., MFT, Renown Behavioral Health. “Change your routines mindfully. What types of activities bring joy and can be done inside? Identify books that you would like to read during shorter days and longer nights or incorporate dancing, upbeat music, painting, sewing, beading or drumming, and during the daylight hours do activities outside.”
While it can be hard to transition from camping and road trips, ample family time, or a weeklong trip to Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert, Elizabeth says it’s normal to grieve the loss of experiences and what they meant to you, and don’t rush the process.
“Feeling blue after an event like Burning Man is normal. Embrace it as part of the adventure. A large part of the blues derives from the desire to change your ordinary or routine life. Post-Burning Man blues could be a wake-up call for how unhappy you really were before the event,” Elizabeth says. “Take time to look within and assess where the unhappiness is coming from. If it persists seek professional help where there are clinicians that understand and can help you feel better.”
She says it can be helpful to recognize the symptoms including:
- Tiredness or restlessness
- Lack of concentration
- Loss or increase in appetite
- Strong feelings of nostalgia
- Inability to settle down and do usual tasks
- Anger and irritability
- Desire to change your circumstances such as your job, relationships and housing
Elizabeth also offers some of the tips for Burners experiencing decompression blues:
- Create a photo album with captions
- Review gifts you were gifted
- Keep the memory alive through clothing, art, watching documentaries or reading books about Burning Man
- Connect with Burner friends in-person and online
- Attend decompression gatherings locally and regionally
- Write a story about your Burning Man experience
- Volunteer for the local Burning Man organization
- Decorate and ride your bike around town
- Unpack slowly
- Host Burners throughout the year
- Start planning to attend next year’s event i.e., design and sew costumes, build art, make signs, design your camp and plan your campmates
- Take gentle care of yourself by eating food prepared with love, exercising five days a week, use good sleep hygiene and don’t go back to the hectic grind
And finally, she says to remember and practice the following:
- Less is better so make fewer unnecessary purchases
- Practice radical self-reliance by finding creative ways to solve problems
- Leave no trace — pick up after yourself wherever you are
- Give gifts without expectation
- Get rid of stuff you no longer use or need
- Reduce your television time (or eliminate it completely!)
- Dance or move your body often
- Meet new people
- Don’t be afraid to say no