I’m not a fan of cold or grey weather, so the arrival of fall is always bittersweet for me. What makes those chilly days worth it, aside from all the wonderful activities and colors we love about fall, is the fresh start that comes with it. The slowdown of our fast-paced summer weekends, the ramping up of work, a new school year, unearthing old bundles of warm clothes…this time of year provides a tangible shift to the senses that New Year’s itself can’t come close to.
It’s the perfect opportunity to hit the “refresh” button and create new paths in life that you’re excited about. The beauty of the changing seasons is that they’re a reminder that now matter how confusing or tough things get, life will keep moving forward. We can always count on new beginnings coming our way each time a new season arrives. How amazing is that? If you’re looking to make some big changes this fall, start from the inside out with these quick tips for a spiritual reset.
- Be honest. If I had to guess, I’d bet that each and every one of you (myself included) have something that you’re not being honest about, either to yourself or someone else — and that you don’t even realize it! Sometimes you don’t even notice you’ve been withholding the truth until you say it aloud. The problem with keeping our truth to ourselves that it forces us all to operate on assumptions, and that’s when major problems blossom both in our own inner lives and in relationships with others. Everyone assumes differently based on their own personal experiences, so when assumptions are all we have to go on, we can carry on in friendships and relationships with entirely opposite views of what exists between us, never realizing the other is on a different page. Being honest is scary, so start small: tell one person one very tiny truth, even you think it’s something they already know about you. See how good that feels?
- Reconnect with your feelings. Take stock of where you’re at emotionally. Does anything feel inexplicably off? Does one particular nagging thought show up at the exact same time every morning? There may be something going on that needs more exploring, so if anything comes up, pay extra attention to when and why those feelings come up over the next few weeks. They may be trying to tell you something and guide you toward course-correcting something on your path.
- Rearrange your home. No need to full-on renovate — just consider rearranging the furniture in your living room or switching out the bathroom rugs to create a change of scenery and re-stimulate your mind.
- Switch up your signature scent. Try on new perfumes, start buying a different type of flowers for your kitchen table, or even change up soap. Scent is heavily tied to nostalgia, so a new one means space for making lots of new memories.
- Incorporate a new workout into your routine. Try taking a whacky new workout class or even just a new move you’ve always wanted to attempt. Try it just a few times, even if you don’t like it at first, then only keep going with it if you love it.
- Set an intention for the rest of the year. This can be something very tangible, like “build up my savings” or “see my girlfriends at least once a week”; or it can be something only you can see, like being more present in the moment or cutting out negative self-talk. The important thing is that you choose only one. This doesn’t mean you won’t improve anything else for the rest of this year, but overwhelming yourself is the easiest way to give up on your ambitions altogether. Just choose one attainable intention to think of each day. No need to be perfect at sticking to it — just keeping it in mind frequently will cause your priorities to shift for the better.
- Make a game plan for the holidays. They’re coming up faster than you think, and the massive stress surrounding them (hi toxic family members, financial anxiety, bad memories, and disruption of regular routine) can easily hinder any holiday cheer you might wish you had. In fact, I’d imagine that somewhere deep down, that stress is weighing on you already. Decide how you’re going to get through it and what you can do right now to make that time of year easier before it creeps up. That might mean readjusting your budget for all that gift shopping. It might mean deciding how you’ll handle a family member who always stresses you out at Thanksgiving dinner. Whatever it is, think about it now so that you won’t feel caught off-guard come winter, and so that your mind is as unburdened as possible to enjoy all those pretty lights and snowy skies when it gets here.
- Make a new friend. This may sound like I’m treading into children’s book territory, but bringing someone new into your life can both widen your perspective and strengthen your sense of social support, which is one of the biggest factors in our ability to handle stress. If anything, make a new acquaintance. Invite someone out for drinks that you don’t normally spend time with, or talk to a (friendly) stranger. If anything, get back in touch with a long-lost cousin or childhood friend you haven’t spoken to in a while.
- Assess your current schedule. Take a look at your commitments, and if there’s any way you’re able, drop any activities that drain you or don’t add to your life.
- Plan a favorite fall activity. Pick a random date next month, and plan a trip to a pumpkin patch, an autumn hike, or whatever activity you love most about this season. Now that it’s scheduled, no other obligations can get in the way of you making the most of this time of year. Relax and enjoy fall!