Ah, fall! Growing up in Michigan, fall was always my favorite time of year. The air smelled different: often crisp, sometimes smoky. The leaves turned bright colors. We headed back to school (yes, I was one of those that loved school) and the cider orchard had juicy, flavorful apples and a seemingly endless supply of fresh cider.
Even now, living on California’s Central Coast, I love fall. Fall days are actually warmer here, with less fog rolling in from the ocean than in summer. I love surfing at sunset in the fall, just as the sun goes down on the horizon. The smell of the air changes here too – there’s more of a dry, herbal chaparral aroma on the wind. And apple season is still my favorite here.
In some ways, fall has always felt more like a new year to me than January. Everywhere, kids go back to school. I loved that academic year rhythm so much, I chose to work at universities for the past 10 years to keep that cyclical pattern of work and life. There’s something both nostalgic and comforting about starting a fresh school year – new outfit, new classroom, yet similar routines. It often feels like life comes back into balance with the return of the school year.
Fall is a time of resetting. Of preparing and returning to routines. We put the swimwear away and pack up the camping gear, reminiscing on the adventures of summer, as we settle down for the long nights of winter. We celebrate the harvest and pick and preserve the last bounty of summer to keep us nourished through the winter.
Fall is a season of balance. The length of daylight and darkness is evenly balanced on the autumn equinox and this helps us find our grounding after the enthusiasm of summer and prepare for the darker days of winter.
As we enter fall this year, here are a few simple ways you can find balance in your own life:
Let Go Of Clutter
Now is the time to clear out all of the things you no longer need. Not only is it a great time to get rid of clutter and clear out your closets, donating those things that are taking up space, but it is also time to look at your life and let go of what’s not working. Perhaps there are relationships that are more work than they are worth. Perhaps there are old habits that no longer feel good. See what you can let go of this fall to make room for improved ease and self care.
Establish New Intentions
Take some time to journal or think about what intentions or goals you have for fall. These will carry you through to the holiday season and new year. Remind yourself of them daily, by writing them down in your planner, on a post-it note on your bathroom mirror, or by creating an image that represents your intention that you can set as your desktop or phone wallpaper. These intentions should always be your top priority and can help you find clarity when day to day distractions come up.
Set A Schedule
Now that you’ve identified your goals and intentions, fall is a perfect time to put new habits into practice, or to return to those that you used to benefit from. Research shows that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. If you start now, that habit will be fully established by Halloween (perfect timing for those hoping to get a head start on healthy habits and have them in place for the holidays). Map out the next few weeks on your calendar and include priorities such as exercise, nutrition, and sleep.
Get The Best Sleep Of Your Life
Speaking of sleep, now is the perfect time to get your sleep on track. It’s easy to neglect sleep during the long summer days, where additional daylight adds energy and there’s always some fun activity going on. Yet sleep is an important foundation for everything else in our lives and we function best with a consistent bedtime and 7-9 hours of sleep.
Ask For Support
Fall is a perfect time to try out therapy. Many people use this time to reflect on past relationships and experiences and explore what changes might bring their lives more into balance. If this is something you are interested in, feel free to schedule a consultation with us today!