I recently moved from Florida where the markers of fall consist of pumpkin spice lattes from starbucks and the 13 days of halloween on ABC Family. I'm not sure what to expect from fall in Tennessee, but with the first day of autumn came cool mornings and view of a constant confetti of leaves through my kitchen window. I instantly wanted to cuddle on the couch with a cup of tea and watch you've got mail and put chili on the meal plan for the week (both of which I did, and loved every second :).
Autumn is bittersweet, in that it symbolizes the death of the bounty of summer and the entrance into a barren time of winter. Isn't it amazing, though, how beautiful it is? The oranges, the reds, the foggy mornings, and the golden sunshine (in Tennessee, anyways). Do you feel more contemplative? I always do, and honestly the cycle of death and rebirth through the seasons was a major reason for our relocation. Our bodies crave change, but love consistency and the seasons offer both.
While the leaves are falling off the trees, energy is surging away from the greens on the branches and down to the roots in the ground. We function in a similar way! Autumn is a time of settling in and re-energizing, recharging ourselves after a season of busy trips, late nights, fireworks, sunburns, and ice cream. It is a time of abundance, thankfulness, and celebration, but it is also a time of restoration, thoughtfulness, and strengthening. The landscape is changing from bright green to soft golds, why should we not change our colors :)
Here are the changes that I'm excited to make this season:
1 //MOVE YOUR BODY// i will be focusing on restorative movement, such as yoga, pilates, foam rolling, and stretching. i won't give up on my other favorite forms of movement, but i want to facilitate healing in my tired muscles!
2//EAT THE HARVEST// there are still so many luscious summer crops available, but you will find yourself craving them in different preparations. rather than a tomato salad, whip up a roasted tomato soup. use a bumper crop of zucchini to make zucchini bread. roast your hard squashes and mix them with a bevy of fresh herbs that should still be thriving. follow your cravings and don't forget to find a you pick farm or farmer's market and take part in the harvest!
3//CLEAN YOUR HEARTH// obviously i'm a big fan of the idea of the modern day hearth; i love the image of a family gathering to share their lives and nourish their bodies. nowadays, the hearth is not limited to the kitchen, but has extended to the living room, the office, and the bed room. be sure to cleanse these areas and make them as comfortable as possible. make your home a place that you love to be, you will likely be spending more time there in the cold weather! keep your decor simple, but meaningful.
4//SPEND COZY TIME WITH LOVED ONES// if you are like me, you spent your summer moving from one adventure to the next. these adventures feed your soul, but can wear out your body! take time to slow down and focus on spending down time with those that you love the most. remove a few social commitments from your list and leave margins to be filled with snuggle time on the couch or unexpected discoveries nearby. one of my biggest pet peeves of our generation is the tendency to look to the next thing and overlook right where we are. spend an afternoon walking your neighborhood or talking with your spouse/best friend. often, the most fulfilling moments are the ones found in the midst of the familiar.
5//CULTIVATE INDOOR HOBBIES// don't mistake this point for a call to stay inside all season! please, take daily walks, go for hikes on the weekends, and sip your coffee on the porch while you still can. fall weather is beautiful and the changing foliage is breathtaking, but it will begin to get dark much earlier than your bedtime which means a lot more indoor time. listen, i love dvr as much as the next girl and there are some killer shows starting up this fall, but take the time to explore new hobbies now so that you are no longer a beginner during the dark days of winter. SAD is a real thing, and people, we must create our own sunshine in winter! finding a hobby that you are passionate about is one way to do that. take a skillshare class on whatever strikes your fancy, take a visit to the library to find a new book that you just can't put down, rediscover an old hobby that you let fall by the wayside during the summer. do whatever makes your heart sing!
I hope these small changes help you enjoy your fall even more than normal and begin to acclimate you to the entrance into winter. there are a million and one more ways to do this, but these are such a lovely way to start. oh, and don't forget to stock up on your favorite tea and break out the dutch oven for lots and lots of chili :) you'll want them, trust me...