Fall is an incredible time of year - from the beauty of the harvest season and the increased connection we have with others at Thanksgiving gatherings to the simple joy of starting each morning with a hot cup of tea looking out at the frost covered garden. I hope you are encouraged today to experience the season with all five senses and to look for ways to intentionally slow down and savor the time. So often we are faced with increased pressure to spend the season in a rush, shopping for the best sales, hurrying to the next event - ultimately feeling frenzied and that we missed the parts that bring us the most joy. Let this year be different! One filled with what you value the most and a pace that leaves room for spontaneity, connection and peace.
Experience the Season Intentionally
Here are ideas to experience the autumn season through all of your senses - it can be easy to focus on just one or two so try exploring all five! Each can be incorporated into your everyday life through simple moments. Ultimately, these activities create a thread of intentionality meant to cherish the season.
See - Lift your eyes to the beauty of nature and take in the changing colors of the trees. Savor a meal by candlelight.
Taste - Cook a warm, fall inspired meal or enjoy a cup of spiced cider.
Hear - Play music with slower, cozier soundtracks. Listen as the wind rustles the fading leaves. Hear the laughter and conversation as loved ones gather.
Touch - Feel the soft texture of a blanket as you settle down for the evening a cozy moment. Take in the feel of sweaters and seasonal layers. Be present in the moment as you prepare your garden for winter, the feel of the earth between your fingers.
Smell - Put on a simmer pot filled with autumn spices and fresh citrus. Light a fall scented candle. Take a walk outside and smell the cool, crisp air.
Cultivate Seasonal Routines
Before the fall is fully upon us, you might find it helpful to take a look ahead at what you hope to enjoy during this time this fall. Here is a collection of ideas to intentionally live in the season. You can choose a few to incorporate into your day as a new habit or be inspired to come up with ones that best fit you and your family or lifestyle. Personally, I am choosing to start each day in silence, then reflection and to include time each week to celebrate, listen and love.
Look ahead. What experiences or memories are the most important? When you think of previous holiday seasons, what moments do you treasure? How might those translate to this year? *See the Questionnaire for more details!
Reflect. What are you grateful for? What can you savor about your experience so far?
Listen. How are your loved ones or children asking to connect with you? Do they have special memories or experiences to share? Spend time simply listening and being present in the moment for others.
Connect. Who do you routinely connect with? Consider the fall as a season of opportunity to reach out to people you don’t often communicate with. You could cultivate this connection through letters, phone calls, homemade gifts or thoughtful moments.
Silence. An easily under appreciated experience but so helpful in quieting the noise of the outside world and focusing on what is most important in life.
Nature. Spend time in nature as often as you can! Anything from a few moments outside watching the sun rise to hiking through autumn forests - an incredibly beautiful and peaceful way to experience the season. Looking for a fall read? I recommend the book, The Nature Fix, by Florence Williams - she describes the science behind why being in nature is so restorative and how it positively impacts our health, mood and creativity.
Serve. Look around the community for a need you can meet. Maybe a neighbor needs help on your street or you take your family to serve at a local shelter. Or serve family members at home, too!
Gather. Indoors, outdoors, around a campfire, via Zoom if necessary! Nurture the sense of community with others.
Express gratitude. Write a note, make a call, share a story. Tell others why you are grateful for them. Keep a gratitude jar - write down what you are grateful for each week and read them aloud at Thanksgiving or multiple times this fall!
Give. Time. Talents. Money. Skills. Food. Support. Encouragement. A listening ear.
Celebrate. Be joyful in experiencing the season - celebrate the little moments like jumping in piles of leaves or creating the first loaf of pumpkin bread. Celebrate the blessings of gathering together in person again for Thanksgiving and autumn meals. Create special moments to capture the magic of fall - a night spent stargazing and sipping hot cocoa or exploring a corn maze as a family.
Love. Intentionally, selflessly love others.
Cultivate contentment. Encourage one another in thanksgiving. Be countercultural - seek to give more rather than attain more. Develop a mindset of contentment through intentional practices like gratitude journaling.
Preparing Your Heart and Mind
This is a free, short questionnaire to help you intentionally reflect before entering into the holidays. This can be done individually or with your loved ones. It is designed to be printed and posted at home as a visual reminder of your seasonal intentions! Click this link to access your free copy today!
What is your favorite aspect of the holidays? Do you have any family traditions you want to reinvigorate this year? Comment below and let me know!
Looking for more resources on intentional living? Here is one on creating a gratitude practice.
Would you like another free printable?! Sign up for The List to receive this Autumn inspired one and our Seasonal Journals!