The brains behind this blog are all Gulf Coast residents, so we empathize if you’ve had more than enough of summer. In some places, summer is the most beautiful season: in the southeastern U.S., it’s mostly one long slog of hot-and-humid discomfort.
But whether you associate summer with outdoor time or with air conditioning, by September most people are ready for autumn. Fall colors, crisp evenings, and pumpkin lattes bring out something you just can’t get when the sun stays up late. There’s a mellow relaxation in the air that hints at cozier days to come.
If the seasons haven’t yet come that far for you, try some of these ideas for enjoying an early taste of autumn.
Besides searching for “autumn” and “fall season” media, look up general “travel,” focusing on places like New England which are famous for autumn colors. Try the Explore.org app or website for live video from anywhere in the world. (Anyone for vicarious fishing with Alaska’s brown bears?) For parents of schoolchildren, this is also a great way to combine fun and education, especially when explaining how seasons differ in different geographical regions.
Make It a Family Thing
While preparing for fall with your kids (and perhaps your pets and a service dog or two), plan a special “Autumn Day” for your household.
- Decorate the living room with hand-drawn autumn leaves, clay pumpkins, and other seasonal crafts. (Try the PictureThis Plant Identifier app for researching additional plant species suited to autumn—or for tips on raising autumn plants of your own.)
- Play games with autumn themes, or put an autumn twist on traditional year-round games. (For example, pin the leaf on the pumpkin instead of the tail on the donkey, or play Charades/Pictionary with a rule that every answer has to be related to autumn. Incidentally, the BridgingApps database has multiple recommendations for word-game apps.)
- Light candles or essential-oils diffusers with cinnamon, apple, and pumpkin aromas.
- Make fall-themed recipes, such as a salad of harvest vegetables with a pumpkin/maple/cranberry dessert.
- Include hot fall drinks on your menu—or, if the weather is still too warm, make a family calendar of September-through-November days for brewing your favorite flavors. (Note: Try not to buy more than your family can drink in one season.)
Finally, remember that autumn ushers in the season of coziness. End your day by sitting close together and reading a story or singing songs. Hang or project a fire-in-the-fireplace image to further enhance the cozy feeling.
When Autumn Isn’t Such a Happy Time
After focusing for 500 words on the positive aspects of autumn, it’s only fair to remember those who anticipate the season less than eagerly. Perhaps you dread seeing the days shorten, because someone in your household struggles with:
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or developing major depression whenever daily sunlight periods are limited
- Extreme sensitivity to loud noises, bright lights, gaudy colors, enthusiastic celebrations, and/or vivid displays
- Autism-connected distaste for any change
If that’s the case in your family, do think twice before deciding to avoid all “welcome to fall” activities. Kindling the mood in advance, plus emphasizing the positive side, may actually help everyone negotiate the change successfully. Consult your family doctor(s) or therapist(s), not to mention the family member(s) with the problem, for ideas on how to move forward. And if you don’t already have proven coping strategies (e.g., light therapy or mood-management apps for SAD), get professional advice there as well.
In any case, focus on the positive, and avoid making self-fulfilling “this is going to be a miserable time” prophecies. No season is perfect, but every season is wonderful in its own way.
See BridgingApps recommendations for additional tech tools related to: