Maybe you’ve heard the expression “moving with the current.” The idea is trying not to fight the natural course of life. The shift from summer to fall is a good example of a transition period that is often difficult to embrace. We bemoan the loss of warm air, long days and sunshine. But the more you protest the change, the harder it might seem to bare. Fall is a time when many people are in transition, myself included. I’m finding that the best option is to purge to make way for growth. I think the visible, tangible change of our surroundings can impact our internal transition just the same. My summer routine cannot apply to my autumn self...I have no choice but to evolve. As much as I want to cling to my tank tops and long summer days, I know the sweaters will come out and hopefully along with it, some new perspective.
Here are five things to do to help you beat the fall transition blues.
1. SETTING THE NARRATIVE. One of the best ways to embrace the fall transition is to look back on the last few months. This is the perfect time to pull out that journal and document your experiences. Ask yourself some real questions.
Recap: What happened this summer that was exciting? What happened that was new? And what happened that was not so great?
Reflect: How do you feel about the past few months? What made those good times so great and what made the low points feel so low?
Review: How did you grow from these experiences? What did you learn for the future?
Documentation is how we perceive and acknowledge growth. Taking the time to reflect on your transitions will help you carry your best self into the fall season. After documenting your experiences over the past few months, acknowledge and celebrate those wins, both large and small.
2. EVERYTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN. A great new way to leap into the fall transition is to find a way to redefine yourself. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of routine or cling too hard to an identity that we believe defines all that we are and all that we can be. Finding ways to redefine yourself is a reminder that nothing is fixed, including your identity. That hobby you said you would NEVER do because it was “just not you”? Try it, just to be sure. That skill you say you’re “no good at”, check out a Youtube video and find out if it’s really as challenging as you think it is (spoiler alert, it’s probably not). Play around with reinventing yourself, even if it’s just for a day. You could fall in love with something new.
3. TIDYING UP...WITH YOURSELF. We’ve heard of Spring Cleaning, but Fall is as good a time as any to revamp, rethink and restock the wardrobe. A single episode of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo was all it took for me to go running to that closet I’d been meaning to clean out and really take a thoughtful look at my possessions. Was I ever gonna wear those jeans I bought three years ago and hadn't looked at since? And sure, I liked that top that I’ve had since high school, but I’ve had it since high school. The important part of transitioning is letting go of the old. I’m not that person anymore, I’m not this object. Say thank you, and let it go. Make Marie Kondo proud.
4. YES, FILTER. Speaking of purging things that don’t belong, when is the last time you looked over who you’re following on the socials? There are so many studies that It’s easy to get caught up in watching people who are at the point in their lives or careers that we want to be at. But you can’t emulate what someone at step 10 has when you’re at step three. That’s not a reasonable or attainable leap. Follow people who can educate you on how to get from step three to step four, rather than comparing yourself to someone who (you think!) is leaps and bounds ahead. That being said, don’t forget that no journey is straightforward and linear. You may experience a winding road. Follow people who will help you grow.
5. CELEBRATE THE REASON FOR THE SEASON. There’s a reason that many festive holidays reside in the fall. But that’s not the only reason to get excited. With the weather changing, the days getting dark, it’s easy to forgo leaving the house. The best option is to find ways to enjoy the season, either inside or outdoors. Those strictly summer activities. Replace them with strictly fall activities. Lean into the season specific events or traditions that will remind you why this season is so necessary.
Yes, the days are shorter and the nights are colder, but there doesn’t have to be a bitter end to the joy and excitement that summer brings. Celebrating the change can really flip your perspective or at the very least, make the season a little more bearable. If you move with the current and embrace the direction, the fall transition can turn into a reason to be thankful instead of a ghoulish nightmare.