September 22, 2013

10 Simple Ways to Give Back this Autumn.

Summer has come to a close, school is back in full swing, football season has descended upon us (I’m a total NFL fan, by the way) and more clothes are making their way out of my closet.

This is my favorite time of year, bar none. Here are some thoughts to nosh on, make us smile, give us all that fuzzy feeling of wholeness, clear the mind of chaos and noise, bring you back to reality, show more laughter and love than we ever thought possible…and get you off the couch and start living a healthy, full, insanely wonderful life!

1. Go outside.

Autumn is here. Leaves are changing; the air is crisp and fresh. People are more energetic than ever.

Talk to your neighbors; help when and where needed. Just get outside and shed some calories with some good ol’ fashioned sweat and heart-pumping activities.

Have a blast playing in a pile of leaves—decorate in your yard with silly Halloween fashion.

2. Meet up with some good friends.

With technology and its speedy connections to all things here and there, I for one would rather talk to someone in person. Texting is cool, as is emailing. But nothing beats eye-to-eye conversations with someone dear to your heart.

Summer is over, but friends never go out of season. Take the time and care. It makes a humongous difference in our overall well-being.

Meet for tea or lunch—catch up real time.

3. Cook.

There is nothing more solid and comforting than home-cooked meals. This time of year the daylight wanes a bit earlier, so why not spend a little time preparing healthy meals with all the seasonal vegetables and whatever else you can think of to throw into the mix.

It’s the color, the smells, the sensation of toiling away in the garden and kitchen that suits this time of year best. The bonus is freezing your creations for a later date.

4. Adopt a pet.

This is pretty much a year-round need and good-feeling deed, but there are so many dogs and cats in search of quality forever homes. This will most definitely bring smiles to those searching, and those in need.

It takes a village to get me to a shelter, as I know I would want to free up every critter in a cage, but perhaps even volunteering to those needy animals will lift your spirits and give you some purpose. It’s quite cathartic.

5. Go for a long drive.

I may be super old-school, but going for long drives and seeing the leaves change color (depending on where you live), keeping the windows down to allow the fresh air to accumulate in your senses, this is what easy living is all about. I think we have forgotten this simple pleasure. Kind of like writing letters.

We must return to appreciating these finer qualities of life. Autumn is the perfect time to take a long drive with your sweetheart and soak in all the beauty and changing colors. Or, do it on a bike—even better.

6. Dance.

Okay, I admit, I will dance to my heart’s content in the privacy of my own space; and usually, with the help of some silly YouTube video. But seriously, dancing is a way to release some pent up energy from whatever has been bogging you down.

Even though I don’t have an amazing stereo with surround sound, I am still all over my living room floor with some crazy moves! Dancing is one of those activities that we might take for granted. Kind of like jumping rope. Both are fun, free-spirited—and a fantastic way to burn some calories.

7. Clean out some clutter.

Clearing space in your home doesn’t necessarily have to be during the typical spring cleaning months. Fall season is a prime time for getting rid of stuff you just don’t need or use any more. It is a nice letting go process that doesn’t need to drag you down.

If anything, it frees up some space in your closet and, your heart. Donating to the homeless or needy is such a win/win. Even just clearing the dust bunnies from the corners of each room of the house has some weird symbolic meaning.

All the indoor air-conditioning remnants that has accumulated over the summer months is now ready to be cleared out. There is a metaphor in here somewhere—I’ll leave it up to you to find it. Give your old stuff away. Have a garage sale.

8. Make some jam.

What a fabulous old-fashioned homemaker thing to do with all the leftover peaches, strawberries, blueberries and whatever else you have growing in your garden in need of a new nutritional twist. I have never made homemade jam, but when I see others doing so, it doesn’t look that difficult.

Only a few simple ingredients and a number of small apothecary jars—what great holiday gifts homemade jam would make! Did I say holiday already? Oops, wipe that smirk off my face. We all know that premature holiday rapture is happening sometime in October, and I don’t mean Halloween.

9. Create some artwork.

Painting, iron welding, chalk art on sidewalks, working with textiles, quilts, knitting, drawing stick figures, tattoos, hair styles—it’s all art. Who cares what it looks like, or where it came from! Inspire others through your message—this is giving back.

10. Sneak in some snuggle time.

The cooler night temperatures welcome bodies coming together under a cushy down-comforter. After all, this is what harmony and love is all about. Sleep in. Have romantic, intimate conversations in bed. Take a shower together. Quality over quantity time with your partner is sure to set the senses on fire!

There you have it; ten simple ways to give back during the Equinox season. The buzz words for this time of year: harmony, peace, diplomacy, gratitude, compassion, kindness, and love.

Throw in some adrenaline activities and balance is achieved.


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Ed: Bryonie Wise

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