Aw yeah, it’s finally autumn!!! Or fall. Whatever you wanna call it. The three exclamation points shows how supremely excited I am for my favorite season. It hasn’t quite felt like autumn here and we had a cooler summer than the last couple years so who knows if that’s over. Sometimes hot weather can last well into October. So it’s all very confusing. Nonetheless, I’m determined to start embracing it immediately.
Last year, I introduced the concept of hygge and shared some ideas on how to incorporate it into your autumn. This year, I’m still loving the hygge and want to share with you how I’m personally embracing it.
Hygge is really about being in the present (Shoutout to my all time fav, mindfulness!) and getting back to the root of what makes life worth living. That rarely includes spending tons of time in a virtual, curated world. But sometimes we lose sight of this. So much is now done online and I’m realizing for myself how much that impacts my quality of life. While I don’t see how I can go completely electronic free at this point in time, I am limiting it. My latest thing is to not go on any electronic device one hour after waking and one hour before I call it a night. Definitely not nailing this habit yet, but I’m trying.
I also make it a priority to unplug when I’m spending time with friends or family (With a few exceptions for those who are directionally impaired. Or if there’s an urgent/emergent situation, which thankfully isn’t often.), eating, and doing other things I enjoy that don’t require a phone. My general rule of thumb is to leave it in another room unless I need it. And participate in the rest of these hygge experiences as often as possible so that I don’t feel the urge to be on my phone.
COOKING AND BAKING
To the chagrin of all Paleos, Ketos, and any other Os out there, I’ve really gotten into baking bread this year. I don’t buy into the “carbs are bad” mantra as much as “everything in moderation” and “least processed as possible.” So I’m going to enjoy my home baked bread with zero guilt. My favorite so far has been a roasted garlic and rosemary loaf. I haven’t had the courage to try my hand yet at sourdough, but I think that’s up next.
Also, this week, I’ve used some leftover bananas to bake healthy banana muffins and tried my hand for the first time at eggplant parmesan, which may never happen again as it took me 4 hours to complete entirely by scratch. I don’t know what it is about me, but I rarely come close to the estimated amount of time needed for a recipe. It was quite delicious, though, so perhaps for special occasions, I’ll set aside 4 hours.
SPENDING TIME WITH MY NEAREST AND DEAREST
The other night a good friend who’s moving out of state joined us to enjoy the eggplant parm, homemade garlic bread, and not homemade wine. The weekend before I joined some close friends for homemade flatbread and more wine on their outdoor patio. And helped another friend clean the new home she and her family are moving into. Since I have to be so present with others during my work day, sometimes it’s exhausting to think about socializing outside of that. But it’s these simple moments with my loved ones that truly make life worth living. Fresh, delicious food and drink, thoughtful conversation, and plenty of laughs are what make up a full life.
I couldn’t even wait for the official first day of fall to throw up some autumnal reminders around the house. Mainly decorations of the pumpkin variety, but I’m looking to expand my decorating horizons. There are also some fresh flowers. And I’ll most certainly be incorporating Halloween as soon as October rolls around.
COZYING UP ON THE COUCH
In addition to all the pumpkin decor, I also bought us some insanely soft, large, and fun print and colored pillows that I’m thoroughly enjoying laying upon on my couch. Whether it’s reading my book, smelling the candle, or watching a movie when I need some down time I’m most certainly sprawled out upon these suckers. And because I have no self-control, I’m probably also cuddled up with our dog.
PODCASTS, AUDIOBOOKS, AND REGULAR BOOKS
I’ve been consuming thoughts and words like Cookie Monster lately. They’ve gotten me through some seemingly unending tasks and been a treat to look forward to at the end of the night. My current recommendations: The Hidden Brain podcast, “The Other Americans,” a book by Laila Lalami, and “After the Ecstasy, the Laundry,” a book by Jack Kornfield.
INCORPORATING MORE APPLES
As in the food, not the electronic devices. I’m a big fan of eating these suckers straight from the tree so there’s always a lot of that going on. I’m also enjoying an apple cinnamon candle. I will definitely make hot apple cider once it cools down enough. And pie. There always needs to be at least one of those.
It hasn’t been cool enough to light up the fireplace in awhile, but first cool night that’s totally happening. For now we have frequent rendezvous at the fire pit in our backyard and it’s lovely.
Not unique for me any time of year, but now I’m on the lookout for any signs of autumn while I’m out and about. I’ve seen a few leaves falling here and there and some subtle color changes, which is enough to fuel my excitement. I’ve also researched some nearby-ish trips to take in the leaves changing colors because secretly I’m a senior citizen. Seriously, a lifetime trip goal of mine is to take one of those charter buses around the northeastern part of the United States for a leaf peeping trip.
What I love most about hygge is that it doesn’t require any major effort and most of it is free. It’s simply finding the things that make you feel all warm and cozy inside and surrounding yourself with them.
This post is for informational purposes and not meant to be a replacement for professional mental health treatment.