Near the end of August (or later, if you live in southern states), you may start to notice the change in the weather. It's subtle at first. The morning breeze gets cooler, or the leaves on the trees start to shift colors. Before you know it, fall and everything that comes with it will be here.
Regardless of how people feel about the end of summer and the beginning of autumn, the transition can still throw them for a loop. Seasonal changes can be challenging, even when they are welcome. Here are some tips for making it go more smoothly for your family.
Throw Summer a Goodbye Party
No one likes to see a good friend leave town, but a farewell party is a good way to provide closure for everyone involved. An end-of-the-season bash can work the same way. Invite some friends over for one last celebration of all your favorite parts of summer. Have a cookout, play games and eat the best treats that the season has to offer.
After the party is over, you may want to talk about what you liked most about summer as a family. This is particularly useful if you have kids. They get to tell stories and solidify the memories behind them. If you have mementos from your experiences, consider making a family scrapbook or shadow box as a keepsake. Choose a ritual for closing the season that is meaningful for your family.
List the Things You're Excited To Do in the Fall
The next step is getting excited about fall. Are there traditions you enjoy together? Are your kids ready for school? What is the next holiday that is special to you? Transitioning to the new season can be as simple as having these conversations.
If some members of the family are not happy about the new season, encourage them to find one thing they're really looking forward to. Some of the best motivations for getting excited about fall may come from changes they're initially not pleased to consider. For example, your children may not be happy about school starting, but perhaps they can't wait to see their friends who have been away for the summer. Maybe a new project at work will be an opportunity for you or your partner to advance. With some gentle prodding, everyone can usually find something they like about the new season.
Update Your Meal Plan
Cooking seasonally has many benefits. The fresh food tastes better, and you leave a smaller carbon footprint when your food doesn't have to be shipped in from other areas of the world. A new time of the year is an opportunity to update your meal plan and introduce new dishes into the rotation.
Fall is a great time for warm, cozy comfort food. You may be surprised at how much produce is readily available in your area. Once you find out what is in season, you can use those ingredients to build a new meal plan:
- Hearty stews
- Healthy casseroles
- Rich sauces
- Baked goods
Adapt Your Schedule
One of the reasons that a transition to a new season can be so jarring is that your body registers the change even if your schedule doesn't. You will have an easier time if you can adapt your schedule as the days get shorter and cooler. Save outdoor outings for earlier in the evening or the weekends to make room for more cozy family gatherings at home.
The end of summer doesn't have to mean the end of fun. There are a lot of ways for your family to enjoy the fall season, and making an effort to shift smoothly into it is helpful for everyone.