Welcome to October everyone, did you get a chance to think about my question from last week? If you haven’t taken a look at it, you can do a quick jump back in time here.
Today, I want to shift gears a little bit because October is the beginning of the end of the year. For my readers in the US, China, and Europe, this means it’s also Fall. Whether the season is just beginning or on its way out, we all know that the holidays are going to look a little different this year.
Different doesn’t have to mean less fun though.
Work, politics, and even stress are a whole lot harder to escape from these days, so it seems like we need to build our own spaces for relaxing or breaks. Between work and my own personal goals, I’ve been looking for ways to build an escape from it all– to shake things up a little bit. Without being around school friends or having the usual outlets/opportunities to celebrate the season, it’s hard not to feel a little bit bummed out sometimes. I know I’m not the only one. But as I’ve been reminded, like 2020, this season is not to be cancelled.
So, what can we do to make the most of what we’ve got, have a little fun, and take care of ourselves in the process?
I’ve got a few ideas, each of which can be tweaked to fit different lifestyles and celebrations. Hear me out: 5 ways to appreciate the season without burning yourself out, pandemic style.
Make a DIY Fall advent calendar
I’m used to seeing these calendars around Christmas, but I think it work well here too. Whether it’s daily, weekly, or even biweekly, plan something on a regular basis that’s meant to both accommodate the changing season and your changing energy levels. Different cultures celebrate this time of year in a myriad of ways, from many Mid-Autumn Festivals to the Día de los Muertos at the end of the month. All of these can still be appreciated from home and incorporated into our routines; depending on what you want, make your calendar of activities work for you. When in doubt, you could always try a themed paint night, baking, karaoke, scary movies, a nature walk, and so many other opportunities to stay safe while making an effort to relax too.
Do it for the costumes
If you’re around anyone who is deeply devoted to the Halloween spirit of dressing up, that whole thing can still happen. Some people have taken to Zoom for happy hours or game nights with friends, so why not a happy hour… and a costume party to boot? For the children who were truly looking forward to dressing up or going around for candy, this is a time to get creative around the house—the best you can do is work with what you’ve got. Homemade costumes can be a good way to find some bonding time and have unforgettable results no matter what happens. As for the trick or treating… if you can manage, that might look more like a scavenger hunt this year. I say that’s okay. Do what you can. Don’t forget to grab your costume too, maybe stash some of that candy for yourself and save it for later?
All things food related
People go wild for the pumpkin spice lattes, but really I enjoy this season for warm drinks in general and the idea of spending more time in the kitchen. Does it actually happen? I never quite remember, but according to my Pinterest boards filled with fall foods, it should. As people spending a time at home and the weather hopefully cools down soon enough, it’s a good chance to try out seasonal recipes. So go ahead, break out the pumpkin, ginger, apples, squash, and any foods that come to mind when you think of Fall. From the quick and easy recipes to the long tended to dishes, this can be a good form of self-care and a time to bond with others that maybe you haven’t gotten to be around in a while.
This one is straightforward, but I don’t think we all do it enough. We are almost always on the move and when we’re not, it seems like there’s usually something else to be done and little time for rest. Either that, or naps are accidentally taken by way of “resting our eyes” for a minute… or an hour. We’ve all been there. One thing people tend to love about Fall, however, is the way the world changes around us. It’s hard to notice that change unless you actually get out to, well, notice it. So, without any intention of running errands, trying to get somewhere, or rushing yourself, try going for a walk or just standing outside and taking a look around. Fresh air can be good for you—though some of us may be in unhealthy air quality right now, so be mindful of where the air is not so fresh—and it’s a moment to step back. Give yourself an intentional break, even if it’s a short one.
Play it by ear
Last but not least, this one might feel vague for a reason. This year has been unpredictable, and it’s required a lot of adjustment for most people. Sometimes we’ve had things in our plans that simply did not work out, so we made new plans and worked hard to fit ourselves around them the next time they came around. This time, I ask you to plan for nothing; plan to keep your plans open. When you get there, choose your own adventure. Without having anything planned or any rules you have to stick to, you’re fully allowed to say you’d rather huddle up for a movie night or even go for a long bike ride. The idea is to allow yourself the freedom to choose something, but also the option to be in control of even just one thing you do with one part of a day– any day, that’s your choice. Whatever you want to do, as long as it’s circumstantially possible, then the night is all yours. Make it a good one.
Depending on where you are in the world and what your circumstances look like, this month of celebrations might look different. But just as 2020 hasn’t been cancelled, Fall isn’t either and I hope that there are some decent ways you can think of appreciating the season while still practicing safety. After all, Autumn is representative of change and things have changed a whole lot for many people this year.
Maybe your perspective has been a part of that change.
As we head into these next few weeks, I hope that whatever you do can be of your own accord and you find some small moments that add a little fun to your regular routine. If you can think of anything that might be a good addition to this list, feel free to shout it out in the comments. Otherwise I will see you all next week, I hope you have a good weekend. Happy Friday.