5 Rituals to Welcome Fall
Does it feel like time is slipping through your fingers, and you can’t figure out where the days went? I don’t know if it’s advancing age or a sign of the times, but lately I feel like I blink and another month has passed. The problem becomes especially pronounced when I get so wrapped up in work and to-do lists that I forget to stop, breathe, and look around me once in a while.
That’s where ritual can be so life-giving. Having meaningful activities that we repeat seasonally can help remind us to slow down, appreciate the seasons, and reconnect with loved ones. Having been routine- and ritual-averse for many years, I came to understand their value over the past 18 months, when it was sometimes hard to summon the motivation to face another day of sameness.
Since then, I’ve found new appreciation for old family rituals that I used to take for granted (making pickles with my parents, brother, and his family is a favourite), and found connection and solace in new ones (Sunday French toast with my husband, Monday me-time).
With that in mind, here are five rituals to inspire you to pause and appreciate the approach of a new season.
Watch the Colours Change
Here in Ontario, we’re fortunate to live in one of the best places in the world to enjoy the colours of fall. The vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows of our autumn foliage are renowned for their beauty and attract visitors from around the globe. While the colours don’t typically peak until October, we can spend September planning our ritual, whether it’s a local outing or an epic road trip. Use the Fall Colour Report to track down the best views.
Choose a Signature Fall Beverage
Whether you’re a fan or not, you can’t deny the power of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Every year at this time, the obsession takes over and suddenly there’s pumpkin spice everything, everywhere, and our thoughts turn to fall. If the ubiquitous PSL is not your thing, choose your own signature beverage that you enjoy only September through November. It might be a tea with a bit of spice, an autumn-inspired mocktail, or a decadent apple pie smoothie. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you’ll look forward to year after year.
If you grew up in Essex County, chances are apple picking was a frequent family outing. Apple season peaks around mid-September, making it a perfect ritual to celebrate the arrival of fall. Plan what you’re going to do with your apple haul, and then choose from one of several pick-your-own orchards in the area to gather what you need. Apples are so versatile, you can fit them into any course of any meal of the day, from breakfast, to dinner, to dessert.
Fall is the season of Thanksgiving, and regardless of whether you celebrate it, gratitude is a theme everyone can get on board with. You could choose an activity that you only practice once a year, like writing cards to each of your loved ones telling them what about them you’re grateful for, or use the opportunity to start a new ritual that you continue year-round, such as saying out loud one thing you’re grateful for every day.
A Danish word that the Oxford English Dictionary defines as, “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or wellbeing,” hygge is another fall and winter phenomenon that has exploded in popularity in recent years. While you can hygge any time of year, it can be of particular comfort in fall and winter as the weather cools and we start to spend more time indoors. Hot drinks, board games, cozy blankets and scarves, and, of course, candles can all lend themselves to a cozy atmosphere when gathering with loved ones, but ultimately, hygge is a feeling and not a thing. Create a way to capture it that’s meaningful to you.
This week, establish a brand new fall ritual, or put a new twist on one you already enjoy. You can choose just one of the above activities, or combine two or more for the ultimate fall extravaganza. I’d love to hear what you have planned - please share in the comments below!
Take care of yourself,
Debra Purdy is the owner of ShopEco, a beauty and self care boutique located in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Her mission is to help you thrive through self care you can feel good about. For more self care tips delivered to your inbox and a special birthday treat, click here to subscribe.