Fall is far and above my favorite season, even as many are
mourning the end of summer. There's the beautiful leaves, the cool,
crisp air, pumpkin everything, and, of course, the greatest holiday
of all: Halloween! (Okay, I'm a bit biased; it's my birthday, too.)
But one of the things I love about fall is that there are so many
opportunities to be a kid again, and it's socially sanctioned!
Besides having fun and being outside in the gorgeous weather,
acting like a kid again can be good for your mental health. First
playing around can make us better problem solvers and open our
minds to creative solutions. But more than that, the fun
activities typical to fall help us better live in the moment.
Let's take two of my favorite things as examples: pumpkin
carving and dressing up for Halloween.
Pumpkin carving, depending on how thorough you are, has numerous
positive qualities about it. If you choose to get a pumpkin at a
pumpkin patch, that involves some exercise and lots of fresh air!
Even if you just pick one up at the store, it gets your blood
moving a bit to lug that thing home and up the stairs. Then comes
the act of carving! It is a perfect way to
channel creative energies, whether you opt for a more
traditional jack-o-lantern or
something extravagant. Lastly, if you save the seeds to toast,
an easy and healthy fall snack!
Now for the Halloween costume: time to get creative and have
some (more) fun! I am one of those people who start to get anxious
if I don't have a costume idea by August. But whether you go big or
small scale on your costume, the point is to have fun and get
outside of yourself for a little while. A costume literally lets
you be someone or something that you are not. I'm going to be a dragon this year.
But the act of both conceptualizing a costume and pulling all the
pieces together is part of the process-it serves as a creative
outlet for you to express yourself. Don't worry about what other
people think of your costume; this isn't supposed to be stressful,
being a kid again!
A few other fun things to do in the fall:
- Go apple picking and make fall treats like fresh picked apple
pie or cider
- Collect leaves (bonus: make a craft project with them), or
play in them!
- Go for a hike or bike ride to see the beautiful fall
- Decorate your home (inside and out) for an additional creative
- Go for a hayride with your family
- See if you can master your local corn maze
- Brave a haunted house or go on a local ghost tour
Many of these activities center around Halloween, but a lot of
them are simply just fun to do in the fall. I suppose I could write
a similar post for every season (what kid doesn't love snow?!), but
for me, fall takes the pumpkin spice cake. Just don't indulge too
heavily in the Halloween candy; it may
make you happy for a moment, but not long term! That's what
playing is for.