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  • Writer's pictureHelena Smrcek

Five Ways to Enjoy Fall and Stress Less

by Helena Smrcek

As the days grow shorter, the temperatures colder, and nature tucks itself in for the winter, we crave light, warmth, and comfort.

Time to put on your favorite sweater and embrace the natural beauty outdoors. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, pull out a soft blanket, make a hot drink, or call a few friends and have them over for a fun fall evening. All it takes to enjoy these fabulous fall days is a bit of planning.

Here are five activities to add to your fall calendar.

1. Plan walks in the nature. May it be in a local park, on a public trail, or a nearby farm. Search for local events, pick-your-own orchards, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and country fairs. Participate in charity walks. Fall is a beautiful season.

We lose one minute of daylight every day, and the darkening skies can dim our mood. Being outside, catching the last rays of warm sun, and participating in fun activities, will surely improve your outlook on life.

Create blocks of time in your calendar for the full fall season, this will give you something to look forward to on those super busy days. Plan for weather changes. Fall can be unpredictable.

We wake up to a frosty morning, and by lunch, we are ready for shorts and T-shirts. But as soon as the sun drips towards the western horizon, we reach for a sweater and scarf. When out in nature, dress in layers. Think of comfortable waterproof footwear, to keep your toes warm.

And don’t forget to hydrate. We carry our water bottles everywhere during the summer but fall days can turn hot without a notice. To keep your energy up and your mood bright, take a healthy snack too. And why not invite a friend or two to join you, or make a fall hike a new family tradition?

And while you are out, take plenty of pictures. Use your phone to capture the beauty around you and don’t forget to share them. They will bring cheer to others, and perhaps inspire them to plan their own hike.

2. Fall weather can be unpredictable, but what could be more relaxing than a planned cozy evening? Light your scented candles, brew your favorite specialty beverage, and pull out a soft blanket.

Enjoy a fall evening with a purpose. Grab a book and set up your cozy corner. Add a soothing soundtrack and sink into the comfort of your own home.

Everyone needs a special fall mug dedicated only to such cozy moments. It will become a visual reminder to make these dates with yourself a regular thing.

A few minutes of quiet will help you let go of the daily stress and recharge. Use your calendar to set time for these dates with yourself. They are invaluable for your emotional and mental health.

3. Take a bath. The Romans made bathing a ritual part of their social life. We may not have a public bathhouse in every town but having a bath will add some luxury to your week.

Relaxation is the key to enjoying life, unfortunately, most of us are so busy, we often don’t even think of that lonely tub in our bathroom. Make a regular use of it. Warm up the stiff muscles. Who says we can’t reward ourselves for making it through yet another busy day?

Simple Epsom salt, or fancy bath bombs – you chose what makes you happy. Pour a drink, play your favorite soundtrack, and let the worries wash away. Marking this special occasion in your daytime will help you to push through the difficult moments in your day.

4. Fun with colors. As nature slowly prepares for winter rest and loses the fabulous color of fall, add them to your wardrobe. Why wear only gray and black? Splash with purples and oranges, greens, and yellows will bring a smile to your face.

Accessorise with knitted scarves of bright colors, pick up a few hats and switch them regularly, and add a colorful purse, maybe even a pair of funky shoes. Be a bright light among the grayness of a rainy day and brighten up the world around you.

5. When the weather turns, and walks are out of the question, think of your family and friends. They are most likely suffering from the same affliction of dark, wet evenings too.

Send out a few texts, make a call or two, and invite them for a small fall get-together. To make it more fun, add a fall theme. Plan a pumpkin party. Your guests are sure to enjoy pumpkin spice – in everything.

Be creative and invite them to participate. Cooking and backing bring people together. How about a craft or cosmetics-making party with your girlfriends? Latte competition? A knitting night? Or a simple fall movie and treats? Why not organize a potluck and have each participant prepare pumpkin treats, with recipe cards to share?

Share a group calendar and book those weekends. Time to enjoy the bounty of the harvest season.

Every day is a gift, even the rainy ones.

So take time to enjoy, make plans, and spread happiness around. The truth is, we all are so very busy that it is easy to forget that fun and relaxation play a vital role in our well-being. We do seem to find time for the necessities of life, like visits to the dentist, oil changes for our car, weekly grocery runs, laundry, and garbage pick up.

But what about ourselves? Our needs get often pushed aside and we end up tired and exhausted, struggling with depression and sadness, because we simply don’t take time to be kind to ourselves. But it is never too late to start.

Look around your house and find things that make you feel cozy and relaxed. Don’t save those bath bombs for some special day, that may never come. Plan to use them this week. Mark it in your planner and stick to the appointment, as if it were booked with your lawyer or accountant.

After all, if you do not take yourself seriously enough to care for your well-being, who will? You deserve it, so no excuses, no guilt, pamper yourself this fall, it will do you a world of good.

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