Right around this time of year, there is always a day where it hits.
When all of a sudden, overnight: the mornings are chiller, and a little darker and quieter. The sun sets earlier. Sunny days still happen, but with less warmth to your bones. Don’t get me wrong, Fall is such a beautiful season, most places in the country (Seattle included). But it just means Summer is over, which for me personally— is just always the season I feel my best energy wise, and the one that holds all my favorite foods and favorite kinds of activities.
It’s funny– I’m always such a fan of being present in the moment and finding joy no matter where you’re at, and other seasons I can make the switch pretty seamlessly. But there’s something about the transition from Summer to Fall that always feels a little more intense for me- full of lots of feelings, mixed emotions and even physical body feels.
It usually lasts a week or two, and by now I know to just let it BE. To be totally ok with it. To expect it, even. And respect it. And to not try and hide from it or distract myself. To try and FEEL all the feelings- that they’re all ok. And that soon, within a few days, I know I’ll have shifted into all the things to be excited about the months ahead. I always do. And when I’m IN in, I love it.
This is true for me for most life changes and transitions and growth: the anticipation is harder than the actual change sometimes. So just in case any of you ever feel the same. There’s something comforting about identifying even that.
So, for now: I’m leaning even heavier to my routines and daily rituals to help ground and calm me, and remind me to be kind to myself and just stay in tune with what my body and mind needs right now.
Lately, that’s been: doing my 10 minutes of yoga/stretching for September (seriously, this has been game-changing right now), my treasured morning matcha time, writing time at least once a week in my journal or posts like this for the blog, afternoon stroller walks with my sweet little guy, and making sure to eat well, even if it’s quick and on-the-go or a 5 minute dinner (usually from the Easiest Dinner Meal Plan, because I told you guys… those are the recipes we actually use every week around here with two parents working full time, and a little guy who’s ramping up in his own food. It’s gotta be healthy and EASY and done in 10 minutes most nights. :).
Soon, I’ll sit also down and do another round of my version of intention setting again too, which is always such a lifting and inspiring process, no matter the time of year. And other things, that I usually always do, to help myself settle in and get excited and joy-filled about all the great things ahead.
And when I posted this above ^^ on instagram last week, I was overwhelmed by the amount of responses. And requests to please share some of the other things I do, too.
So this past week, I started making a list of all the things I do naturally at this point.
The point of all of them are the same: to just be always intentional of where your time and energy are going. To stay focused on the things that truly matter to you, and those that inspire and light you up, no matter the weather or other life things outside of your control going on around you.
That you are in charge of your experience of life, your attitude, and how you perceive things. So why not create more good, and momentum behind the things that bring you joy?
For me, changes in season are always a great time to just REFOCUS on the big pictures…..but also find ways to just stop and delight in daily life. Each season brings little nuances and special things about it to treasure, be it different types of food or routines or weather or whatever else.
It’s a natural time to just check in with myself too. To remind myself of my big values in life, my intentions and goals, how I want to feels and show up daily in my life, and what I want to create and do in my short time here on this earth.
So these are the things that help me settle in when I don’t feel settled, and get excited for what’s coming. I hope it inspires you to try some of these things, or come up with your own!
And just know that whatever shift or change or transition you may be feeling right now—- it’s all normal. It’s all part of the human experience, and it’s a good sign you’re tuned in enough to feel things.
So don’t forget to feel em. To breathe and be kind to yourself. And to do the things that make you feel good down to your core. And take care of your sweet self, always. ?
Here are the things that always help me:
1. Journaling: in order to figure out even what my intentions are and what I want to create in the season ahead (and also to to identify any weird fears/anxieties I may have in the back of my head), journaling is always my first place to go, so I can get all my emotions, thoughts, and ALL THE FEELS out on paper first, without editing or organizing. Then, I can re-read it and identify both things I’m craving more of, and also ways to be proactive about anything else I may be worried and/or thinking about. So, for example: If I write down something like “I’m afraid the cold and wet weather will keep me from going on walks, which will make me feel less energized, make me feel cooped up in the house all day, and that I won’t be as active, which is how I know I feel my best”……. then I know that staying active and getting outside is something I want to intentionally make sure I do this season. So then I’ll find ways to make it enjoyable. I hope that makes sense.
2. Intention setting: see my rituals around this here. I do this at least once a season, sometimes twice if I feel like I need it. Then, after I make them, I review them as often as I can, and definately when I need a mental boost. Ideally that would mean daily, but lately it’s been more like a few times a week. Just something to remind me to now get lost in the weeds or things that aren’t essential. This helps keep me focused and excited about what I’m creating and calling in, and gives me a great starting point on days I feel lost or unsure of the next steps.
3. Find some new (seasonal) recipes: This one one of my oldest rituals, that I now do without thinking. But it’s a good one! Each change in season I pull out all my fav cookbooks (yup, as weird as it is to say, I look at my own first. It’s truly the only one I cook out of, so it will be so nice to have 2 books to pick from come November. Who’s excited!? Everyone who orders via presale will have new book in their hands on November 19th!). And then, I look at all my other random food notes and files and articles (life of a food blogger, ha), and flag and collect the ones I want to try that are perfect for that time of year. This process gets me excited about the new kinds of foods in season– just for that season, and gets my own creative brain going on different combos, tweaks, etc. Fall and winter is when I cook the most, because it’s an activity that feels so productive and rewarding, and without summer sunshine, this feels like the next best way to creatively re-charge. When I feel inspired and excited about things, I’m more motivated to do it, and enjoy it. If cooking and meal planning aren’t your things, check out the Easiest Dinner Meal Plan: it’s 3 dinner meals a week that are all coordinated for you for efficient shopping & cooking and less waste. It’s flexible to use however you want throughout your week, or to have as a resource to pull out in busy weeks.
4. Plan fun social things. There is no better time that fall and winter to cozy up with your favorite people. But the hardest part? Coordinating everyone’s schedules without a million emails or texts. Send a doodle calendar poll to your friends and get some dinners on the books for the next few months. I plan out all my girls nights for the next few months. And think of some fun date ideas too– all totally seasonal ones that create things to look forward to.
5. Make a seasonal bucket list because as basic as it is, who doesn’t love a good pumpkin patch visit, or tailgate, chili cookoff or a (real) pumpkin spice latte? Duh. Do it and have fun crossing it off.
6. Clear out your closets. And desk. And old papers. And anything you haven’t used in a year— to goodwill it goes. It’s energetic as much as it is physical; use the start of each season to make room for new energy, new ideas and new perspectives.
7. Clean out your pantry. And freezer. And fridge. Like wipe it down while you’re at it too— changes in season is the perfect time to do things like this that are never urgent, but SO nice when they’re done. Make room for the new and fresh here too: with food, energy and your creativity. And then restock whatever items and staples you’ll want to have on hand to make cooking super easy on yourself (like for soup season let’s say: good quality organic broth, dried beans or lentils, frozen sausages or chicken, the spices you use the most, etc).
9. Get the right gear so you can enjoy all the activities you love. Maybe this is especially so a Seattle thing, but I find that having a super warm coat (a waterproof one for rain and a few puffy ones I love for no rain, cute rainboots, cute waterproof hiking style/snow boots, umbrellas that work, and now things like a rain stroller cover) really helps me get outside, get fresh air and ultimately say YES to a lot more things that help my overall outlook, energy, mood and take some time for myself. It took me a long time to be OK investing in these pieces because I could technically get by without them, but now it’s so very worth it to me because I use them daily and they change so much for me. I’ll do a Fall Favorites post soon with all of mine!
10. Plan a trip or two- to somewhere sunny is always my vote, but truly anywhere that breaks up your routine and that brings you a sense of peace and rejuvenation can be so great to look forward to, and a good change of pace.
11. Check in and tweak your self-care routine (or make a new list): hot epsom salt baths are only nice when it’s colder out, so add fun seasonal things like that to your list (maybe book a infared sauna visit or two just to feel that warmth and get all the detox boost while you’re at it too. If you’re in Seattle I love this place. If you go mention Simply Real Health for a little bonus). I look at things like my supplement routine as well (adding in liquid vitamin d, and more vitamin c to boost my immune season). Or switching up my natural skincare products: adding in some more rich face serums, body butters (I’m obsessed with this one), and moisturizers (this is my newest favorite for my face, it’s unreal). Ditto on my essential oils: I like to find a fun seasonal scent for my office diffuser or nightly routine. I just got this one this week and am loving the woodsy calming scent before bed.
12. Switch up your workouts or try a new one. It’s good for your brain (and body) to get a little uncomfortable sometimes. Plus there is no better use of your time than spending it IN your body, getting stronger, more flexible or just more in tune. It’s always worth it. Check in with your own body and what it needs a little more of lately… then book a few things to try them out.
Love this post? You’d love the cookbook then too. And be sure to check out the seasonal meal plans (or the new easiest DINNER ONLY plan)! Wanna know more about this real-food lifestyle made simple I always talk about? Be sure to check out this little podcast workshop I created for you, called: Simply Real FOOD: Real food, finally explained. Check it out here!