Labor Day has come and gone, as has the autumnal equinox, so while the days might still feel a bit summery, our nights have cooled, and we are officially in fall!
I recently shared some stories with DNA.info on how to get an apartment in order as school starts. The reality is, we could all use a little help jumping back into life after summer, so here are five tips to help everyone find that grounded mindset as we embrace work lives once again, and transition fully into fall.
Tip #1: Process Your Summer Memories
Summer is a unique season as it is filled with travel and a range of outdoor activities. It can be hard to let go. One way to gently put summer away is to process your memories, mentally. If you haven’t already, try a conversation with a friend, with your family or kids, summing up the summer, what you learned, and how you grew. So many people are blogging these days, or posting on social media, so write that story or post that photo that sums up your vacation experience, as doing so helps us to process the relaxed times and bring some needed closure. And don’t worry that we’ve moved on to a new season, it’s never too late to bring closure to portions of our lives, even if just for ourselves.
Tip #2: "Slide" Your Brain Back On
Summer is about vacations and languid days, so for those who are used to working at a fast pace, losing access to our work brain can, even for a few days, feel unsettling as our vacation mindset comes to an end and our work brain kicks back in. It’s like our brains have an on-off switch, right? But rather than force your brain back on, treat it with kid gloves and turn it on gently, like sliding up a dimmer switch.
Have you ever taken time to drain your brain? This is my favorite way to slide my brain back on and get my mind fully back into the game. Write down all the things floating around your brain that feel urgent, like deadlines that need to be met or projects you meant to finish during summer but didn’t get to. Take a small notepad or make a list like this on your smart phone. The moment we get things things down on paper we begin to feel better, as the act of writing things down is the first step towards an action plan.
Tip #3: Root Your Day With a New Ritual
Thanks Sandy, for my new morning ritual!
The summer to fall transition is an ideal time to shed the old, and welcome in the new. I personally like to root a new, healthy ritual for my mind and body, and this year I chose a simple one. I spent my end of summer with a friend who begins each of her mornings with a cup of hot water, ginger, slice of lemon and honey. Drinking home-made tea each morning was a delight, so when I returned home to New York, I began this same ritual.
Another excellent choice is to make your bed daily, or to start or reinvigorate an exercise or meditation routine. If you’ve slid on your intentions with anything mind-body, now is the time to pick things back up again, or start anew. Perhaps make a note to stop by your gym, or try that new salsa or yoga class you’ve been thinking about, or perhaps some light stretching before bed. Take the time to do something each day (even if small) that has a pattern to it, as it will help you to ground and support your busy week.
Tip #4: Reconnect With Your Routines
A great way to reconnect with our fall routines is to remind ourselves of how we go about our days. Everything we normally do is sitting there in muscle memory. Like riding a bike, we don’t forget, but it doesn’t hurt to have a brief refresher.
Take a seat at your home desk, or wherever you keep your computer, the grand central, so to speak, of your home. Sit with your daybook, or your laptop, however you track your routines, and take a look at how you view your calendar, pay your bills, or get yourself or your family ready for the day. Are your routines good to go? Or are there tweaks you can make so things go more smoothly? Taking time to reconnect with your routines is important, as if your routines are scattered, it is difficult to serve yourself or your family.
Tip #5: Create a Drop Zone
This is my drop zone! My spot for keys, bags and everything else I bring into my home.
A drop zone is a small table or even a chair by your front door where you can “drop” the stuff of life that comes in, like your keys, wallet, bags, jacket, mail, and even (temporarily) your groceries. Once in and settled, you can return to the drop zone and put away anything that needs a more permanent home.
In addition to giving us a quick breather when we get in the door, drop zones also keep both small and large objects from trailing into the home. If you have kids, drop zones are essential. I’ve helped many families to create cubbies for kids by the front door, and it’s always a help with the daily routine. If you haven’t created your drop zone yet, what are you waiting for, give it a try!
What’s your favorite way to ground in fall? Share in the comments below!