It does not feel like Fall here in Michigan. At the time that I’m writing this, the high was 91 degrees. And it has been this way for a whole week now. But ya know, I’m sort of okay with it. I am a summer weather girl at heart, but I love the fashion and the scenery that fall brings.
This week is going to bring cooler temperatures to the Mitten, and I’m looking forward to going out and enjoying some of my favorite mindfulness activities for the fall. Transition seasons are amazing opportunities to practice mindfulness. You can learn a lot about your life and yourself during seasonal transitions, especially with mindfulness. For example, I tend to know myself pretty well, and I know that I don’t do well in the winter. I struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder, or seasonal depression. I don’t do well with the darkness (eh, light owl?) or the cold weather. And if you’re from Michigan or have been to Michigan in the winter, you know that the days are oftentimes grey and drizzly. I might like winter better if we got those beautiful big flakes of snow more than once or twice a year. But the sad reality is that winter in Michigan is just no good.
But we aren’t talking about winter. We’re talking about FALL today. This fall, I’m making a point to practice more self-awareness so I can be better prepared to take on the winter. When I’m more in check with my feelings and needs, I can be proactive and keep myself from slipping into that deep dark hole that sucks me in sometime around February.
Regardless of whether or not you struggle with any sort of mental health concerns, mindfulness is beneficial for everybody. It isn’t as difficult or complicated as it sounds, really. Mindfulness is all about bringing your attention to the present moment.Mindfulness is all about bringing your attention to the present moment. Click To Tweet
The thing about mindfulness is that your feelings and experiences are neither good nor bad. You can be angry and mindful at the same time, just like you can be peaceful and mindful at the same time. Mindfulness doesn’t judge whether something is right or wrong. It just tells you what is. Sound woo woo? It’s really not.
Related Reading: Mindful Mondays Series Part One: What is Mindfulness?
5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness This Fall
Practicing mindfulness helps you to pick up on how you’re feeling at any given time. If you’re the type of person that feels certain emotions and doesn’t understand why, mindfulness can help you to understand what you’re feeling and why. It can also help you to learn what works to feel better. Mindfulness helps you to live a more enjoyable life by helping you to notice the little things you may have missed. So fall is actually the perfect season to practice mindfulness!
Turn your commute into a mindful fall foliage drive
Your commute is a great opportunity to practice mindfulness for many reasons. But the early weeks of fall provide a unique opportunity to be mindful. You probably take the same route to and from work every day. On your commute, make note of the colors of the leaves changing each day. See if you can find subtle differences each day. There used to be a time where suddenly the leaves were all gone and I missed them change because I was so focused on everything else! For me, there is a patch of trees that I love. I keep my eye on those, waiting to watch them change.
Go to a coffee shop alone
Here’s a good lesson in tuning into your own emotions. Even as an introvert, I hate going places alone. It gives me anxiety. But going to a coffee shop alone is a great opportunity to practice some fall mindfulness. Go get that Pumpkin Spice Latte and forget what everyone else thinks. Keep your headphones out of your ears and stay in the moment. Savor your PSL as you listen to the conversations and the espresso machines. See how many flavors you can pick out. Notice your anxiety subsiding the longer you sit.
Related reading: How to Create and Evening Routine that Eases Anxiety
Turn the heat up and the windows down
Want to fast track your mindfulness practice? Add a little contrast. I love the feeling of the cool wind in my hair with my floor vents on full blast heat while I’m driving at night. I can’t even tell you why I enjoy it so much. But you know, that’s the beauty of mindfulness. It doesn’t require words. It just requires your attention.Want to fast track your mindfulness practice? Add a little contrast. Click To Tweet Mindfulness doesn't require words. It just requires your attention. Click To Tweet
Take a walk through the woods
This fall classic is a great mindfulness tool because there is so many opportunities to notice. I love the smell of freshly fallen leaves and the satisfying crisp and crunch they make when I step on them. Pay attention to all the sounds that fall brings: the animals scurrying through the trees, the leaves falling at your feet, and the wind blowing through the branches. But also pay attention to what you don’t hear. Are the birds singing, or have they flown south?
Have a cider tasting
All ciders are not created equal, my friend. We’ve already had a great batch of apple cider, and a horrible one. While you’re on that foliage drive we talked about, pick up a couple different ciders from different orchards and have yourself a tasting party. Or better yet– practice mindfulness with someone special! Make sure you mix up your cider selections– hot vs cold or spiced vs natural, for example. Start by smelling your cider. Take a sip and swish it around in your mouth a bit. Swallow and breathe out. Notice how each step tastes a little different than the next. Then pick your fave.
Related reading: 8 Creative Fall Date Night Ideas for Any Budget
How do you practice mindfulness with the changing seasons? Which mindful moment is your favorite? Let me know below!
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