The fall is always a bittersweet season for me. As soon as September rolls around, it layers fresh morning dew on our gardens and brings some long anticipated relief from the heat of summer. The leaves start turning all shades of brown, yellow and red and – finally – jeans season is back.
But with the fall also comes sadness; the cold is about to set in for real and keep me shivering for months. I am no winter girl. I never feel ready for it. So I do my best to embrace the last few nice days of the year before winter comes. So in times like this, when the fall just cannot come late enough, I have a few ideas to make the transition just a little easier for myself.
1. Embrace the rain.
I don’t live in California. I live in the Netherlands, where the fall brings about a whole set of rain, cold and overall dreadful weather. I usually wouldn’t mind the rain – but having to cycle everywhere, there is no way around it. It becomes a part of my (daily) routine.
So I try very hard to get myself into a different mindset. As soon as I open the curtains and see gray, low-hanging clouds, I try to conjure up an inner smile.
After all, my getting grumpy and resentful towards the weather will result in nothing but making myself even more miserable. So instead, I think of the big picture.
“Wow, no sweating today!”
“Yay, the grass will be extra green and mellow thanks to this!”
“Look at this gray sky, isn’t it fabulous?”
2. Incorporate actual magic into your life.
Yes, actual magic.
You might have heard of paganism or wicca; religions that are extremely nature-oriented and that celebrate the passing of time by honoring each turning point of the year. (Also, they practice witchcraft, how cool is that).
Eight sacred holidays (called sabbats) are observed every year. In this fall season, there are two: Mabon on September 22 and Samhain on October 31.
Mabon celebrates the autumn equinox and the harvest season. It is a time of balance between light and dark, and a time of thanks for what the Earth provides us.
- How does one celebrate Mabon?
Simple. Draw up a list of all the things and people you are thankful for; these elements are what keep you in balance in the world.
Honor the darkness; without it, there would be no light. Mabon is a time for recognizing the power and beauty of the parts of yourself you aren’t fond of; your fears, your insecurities, your jealousy, your failures. These darker parts of you drive you to appreciate the moments of light and accomplishment in your life.
Reconnect with nature; sabbats celebrate its beauty and sacredness. If to you, that means spending five minutes in a park, baking an apple pie or carving a pumpkin, great! As long as you are mindful during this special day, you are doing it right.
Also – eat apples (apparently they are very magically charged, plus they’re in season).
This view of the wheel of the year, while helping me to accept what is here and ground me in the present, also helps remind me that better times will always come around. Although I don’t practice pagan rituals myself, I really like this mindset of appreciation towards nature and time passing.
3. Cozy up with hot chocolate + good music.
I am always – and I mean always – in need of chocolate. Nutella is probably the food I consume the most of (and it gets embarrassing when 50% of the glass jars my roommates and I throw away are my old Nutella jars).
Forget about burgers and pasta; chocolate is my comfort food.
Therefore, I am always super excited when the time of year finally allows for me to drink hot chocolate (almost) every day.
You know the drill: warm milk, chocolate powder and sugar, and you’re done. I won’t pretend like I do anything fancier than that, so if you want some more elaborate hot chocolate recipes, I suggest you have a look on Pinterest.
The best thing about the fall is that you get to snuggle up under a blanket with your hot chocolate and watch your favorite series. Or, you know, if you’re a student, read your textbooks. Meh.
One thing that always helps me do what I need to do is music. It helps me get up and running in the morning, it helps me focus, and it also helps me wind down.
Since I got Spotify Premium, I have been listening to way more music – and discovering way more artists than before. I follow pre-made playlists for specific moods or needs of mine, and I create my own, tailored to my taste.
It has made a huge difference in my life. I now have unlimited access to music wherever I am, with no ads and a much more diverse playlist than ever before.
So this is how I deal with the fall. It’s not a perfect plan, but it helps.
Christmas is coming.