Our lives are full of transitions. Some feel monumental in the moment (graduations, children, the start of new relationships) while others strike a significance days, weeks, or longer after the fact. And still, some transitions are cyclical, taking place with routine frequency year after year. While the shift from summer to fall is one of my favorites, I’m aware that not everyone loves the shorter days or the return to normal work schedules. But as a self-professed fall obsessive, I come armed with plenty of summer to fall transition tips to help you fall forward with ease.
Growing up in New England, I remember the clear, almost arresting delineation between the final days of August and the first week of September. Labor Day served as the backdrop for the environment’s clear signs of cooling—the air turned crisp and the rituals of summer hikes and lake days quickly turned to apple picking and weekend baking marathons.
The knowing anticipation of my favorite fall activities eased the long goodbye to the freedom of summer vacation. While my days began to fill with soccer practice and homework, balancing obligations with small, seasonal joys made the return to routine bearable, or dare I say it, a delight.
Summer might be a state of mind, but fall is a time to slow down and savor the season. From resetting your perspective to spending the weekend without work, here’s how you can move forward to fall with an easygoing but excited, warm embrace.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
9 Summer to Fall Transition Tips To Help You Find Joy in the Season to Come
Embrace Fall Food
At Camille Styles, we’re not just passionate about food—we’re obsessed with in-season ingredients that we’ve been without for a year (at least, at their freshest). The lovely thing about cooking is that, if you make it a point to shop seasonally, your local farmers’ market can serve as a natural calendar, offering a delicious way to keep track of the days. While summer might be the season to get outside and berry pick your heart out, there’s still a garden of earthly delights to devour come fall.
Thankfully, Camille’s done the good work of outlining all the fruit and veg that’s at its prime this time of year, and she’s sharing the recipes she has on repeat during the months to come. This is easily one of my favorite summer to fall transition tips because with a simple shift in your daily routine (we all have to eat, right?), you can romanticize your everyday.
Have Something to Look Forward To
As someone well-known for her love of delayed gratification—there’s nothing better than receiving a package you order the week prior—one of my favorite parts of making plans is exactly that: the planning process. By envisioning things, and taking the necessary steps to making them happen, in advance, you’re not only ensuring a smooth trip, event, or visit, but you’re also mentally gearing yourself up for all the fun and joy to come.
Know too, that this doesn’t always have to be large-scale. It’s a habit that can easily be practiced by making plans with a friend or solo in the days or weeks to come. Text a gal pal to meet up for lunch next Tuesday or book a ticket for that new movie you’ve been dying to see. While it can feel like summer is the only time for adventure, there are plenty of small, simple ways we can weave consistent novelty into your fall.
Set Aside Intentional Downtime
While I’ve already written at length about how fall is an ideal time to slow down, in our mile-a-minute world, it takes a little intentionality to ensure you’re not going full speed at all times. And sure, with the months-ahead preparations for the holidays already in place (I’m eying all the Christmas décor DIYs and am adamant about buying gifts early this year), fall can feel like one big ramp-up to the end-of-year craziness.
With this in mind, I’m carving out space in my calendar for hours and even weekend days when I can simply relax, perhaps do nothing, and breathe. So as you plan out all that you have to look forward to this fall, be sure you’re penciling in a few weeknights or weekends that you’re taking all for yourself. After all, those books won’t read themselves.
Rethink Your Morning and Evening Routine
We’re often sold the idea that a life of constant activity (lavish trips, parties every week, and a packed work schedule) would provide constant excitement and inspiration. But personally, I’d call that a recipe for burnout. Don’t get me wrong, spontaneity certainly has its time and place, but there’s nothing that helps me stay grounded more than a good routine (it’s the reason we’ve dedicated a whole series to the idea!).
While we might’ve been laxer about our bedtimes and wake-up calls during the summer months, fall is a great time to get back to practicing the habits that help us feel our best. Here’s the truth though: though transitions may repeat themselves, we never return to them as the same person or with the same perspective. Change is inevitable, and it’s important that we embrace and evolve alongside it.
To welcome and acknowledge the growth you’ve undergone since last fall, take a little to reflect upon how far you’ve come in the past 12 months. What has changed about your life that may impact your schedule? Have you had a child, started a new job, or welcomed a new partner into your home? Think about how the shifts in your life change your energy, and how you can structure your day to accommodate them. From there, introduce a few new habits to help you feel your best. I, for one, am prioritizing journaling this season (and I’m letting these prompts guide my way).
Take Back Your Weekend
As someone who’s wildly passionate about what she does for a living, I’ve been known to turn my 40 hours, five-day-a-week schedule into a 24/7 ordeal. And sure, I’ll chalk it up to the fact that I love writing, but if I’m being honest, there’s also a bit of imposter syndrome and perhaps perfectionism that creeps into the motivation. But, as I’ve grown further in my career, I’ve learned that I actually work smarter and feel more inspired when I take the time to step away and pour into the other areas of my life.
And sure, I get it, while we may not all have the luxury to engage in a little quiet quitting, the truth still stands that taking a break allows you to create space for the other activities and people that make you feel like you. So while summer vacations are in the past, this fall, embrace the built-in, two-day break of a blissful Saturday and Sunday well spent.
Switch Up Your Movement
With the good (if it’s not unbearably hot) weather, summer is the perfect time to take your workout outdoors. It’s when we say goodbye to our in-studio classes and swim, hike, and run with reckless abandon. Of course, with the temps starting to cool, we’re headed back inside, but I find too, that my energy during these months seeks a slower pace of movement. I naturally gravitate to lower-impact, mindfulness-based workouts—yoga, pilates, and daily walks are my autumn happy place.
So take stock of your energy and remember that you don’t need to overdo it! Any way you get your body moving that makes you feel empowered, strong, and centered is perfect.
Carve Out Moments for Creativity
Along with prioritizing downtime and taking the weekends off, it’s important to make space for the activities that fill you with a little childlike wonder and joy. While we often think of being creative as more of an attribute than a practice, cultivating creativity is a cumulative act—and it’s something you need to nourish a little every day. So even if you don’t think of yourself as an artist, if painting fills your cup, make sure it’s on your weekly schedule! Or, if writing poetry helps you understand your experiences a little better, carry a journal with you for easy jotting on the go.
Know too, that activating your creativity doesn’t have to mean taking on traditionally artistic practices. Creativity is a mindset and a way of looking at the world. So start seeing things with this perspective in mind, and open your eyes to all the possibilities each day holds.
If there’s a single consistency on this list of summer to fall transition tips, it’s that learning to look forward to a new season means shifting how we think. I love that the seasons call us to engage in new activities and nurture ourselves in different ways. While self-care during the summer meant submerging myself in a body of water, in the fall, self-love looks like turning to my knitting and spending time solo—comforted by the company of my thoughts.
Summer is a season of saying yes to plans and gathering with loved ones we may not have seen during other times of the year. But as we slow down in the fall (see tip #3), we have the opportunity to take stock of our lives, question our direction, and come into alignment with what we really want for ourselves for the rest of the year. And that, I have to say, makes the transition all the more gratifying.