It’s a beautiful time of year– the leaves are changing, the air is somewhat cooler, and autumn-flavored drinks are plentiful.
But there is something about this seasonal change that can make us feel like we’re in a funk.
Maybe you’re getting over the initial seasonal cold. Maybe you’re still salty about fall break not being long enough…maybe you feel like there is WAY too much going on between now and the holidays for you to truly enjoy life.
Well I’m here to say: You are not alone.
I am very aware of the fall funk–lately I have had professors ask me if I was okay simply because I wasn’t as bubbly or engaged as normal. Friends have told me that I look sick or tired, which is incredibly rude, but I like to assume that they are coming from a place of concern.
Tbh, they’re right. When considering the real issue, I just don’t have a specific answer. I find myself anxious, overwhelmed, bored, confused, stressed or all of the above. BUT:
I am determined to enjoy this time of year even if it means changing how I approach things. If you see where I’m coming from and want to take this journey with me, read on to explore some ways to get out of the fall funk!
1. Go for a walk ASAP.
Don’t spend too much time admiring the world from the inside of your window.
You KNOW that this weather is just beautiful! We live in a place where summers are so hot that you could ring out the humidity like a towel. FOR THE FIRST TIME it isn’t 5,000 degrees (like normal) and yet it isn’t freezing. There is a slight bitterness in the fall air that makes it comfortable and refreshing. Nice (sometimes tacky) fall decorations can be found around every corner.
That being said, do whatever it takes to get outside and enjoy the season. If you typically walk outside, pay special attention to the changing colors of leaves and their crunching underneath your feet. Smell the smoke from someone’s chimney and the cinnamon brooms in the lobby of the grocery store. Most importantly, notice the simplicity of nature changing with time and it will make a difference in your daily life.
2. Make something.
Actually, bake something.
This is the time to start bringing out the fall recipes that only work for this time of the year. Below is a comprehensive list of things to make and share with yours truly:
FOOD: Pumpkin pie, apple pie, apple crisp, pumpkin bread, pumpkin rolls, snicker doodle cookies, any flavor of cookie, pecan pie…okay I can’t do this anymore.
DRINKS: apple cider, hot chocolate, caramel anything, pumpkin flavored whatever, pecan anything, you see how this is problematic.
On top of baking, reach out to that person you are CRAVING some quality time with and bake with them. Before you know it, you’ll have all the treats and you will have only done half the work!
3. Talk to someone.
Whether it be a parent, grandparent, cousin, friend, or a Walmart greeter, pick up the phone or get out and talk to someone.
This is a season where everyone likes to snuggle up in their jammies indoors. There is nothing wrong with that–trust me–but humans are meant to interact with other humans. Don’t ask why, it’s science.
Go visit a public place. Give someone you miss a phone call. Taking time for someone else doesn’t mean you aren’t taking time for yourself. Encourage someone and be encouraged.
4. Say “no.”
This is the worst, ya’ll. I know.
My guess is that a lot of us are feeling overwhelmed right now. We started out the beginning of the year with a BANG and now we feel a little bogged down. We have many responsibilities and at this point we’re just crossing things off of lists and watching the weeks flip by in our planners.
It’s easy to just go through the motions of life, but then you aren’t living your best life.
If you find that you often say, “if only I had one more day in the weekend” or “if only I could have a quick break from classes,” then you are not fully taking care of yourself.
It won’t hurt to allow yourself to say “no” and to take a day for yourself. It will hurt if you rush through life without enjoying it only to find that you could have been doing everything differently all along.
5. Find joy in the spirit of change.
Lastly, the spirit of change is literally in the air. Whether you like it or not, fall brings about change. The season is changing. The weather (ish) is changing. Our wardrobes are changing. The semester is about to change. There’s a lot of change going on right in front of our eyes. It may not be totally comfortable, but remind yourself often to embrace this time as a new beginning.