The last few weeks of warmer weather are fading, and my routine has shifted from summer ease to fall structure. Change is really hard for me to manage gracefully. I find that I need something to anchor me and remind me that it’s all going to be OK. This fall, these are three things that are doing that for me.

Fire Nights

What are “fire nights,” you ask? It’s our version of the at-home date night. Typically, when my husband and I have tried at-home date nights to save money on babysitting, we haven’t felt like the nights were “date-y” enough.

Instead, we would look around our home at all the things that didn’t get done during the day. Either that, or we’d resort to Netflix, and that didn’t provide the right environment for conversation. Our solution?

We have at-home date night outside. We light up the firepit, pour glasses of inexpensive wine, and talk. It separates us from the day-to-day distractions just enough, and as the light slowly dims and the fire crackles, we feel transported.

Don’t have a firepit? Sit on your front porch with a glass of wine or a mug of cider, and watch as your neighborhood winds down for the night. Stretch out under a pile of blankets and look up at the stars together. Do you like to dance? Set up a speaker with some music and dance in the dark. Get creative!

A Natural Hand Sanitizer

It’s natural, alcohol-free, and safe for kids. Plus, it smells pleasant but not strong. I like the orange vanilla scent. With the school year underway—and all the extra activities and events that go with it—I like to have sanitizer handy during cold and flu season. I throw one in my bag and keep one in the car.

An Atmospheric Novel

I like to start off a new season with a book that embodies the essence of the time of year, especially in the fall. For me that always means something reflective and a little bit moody. It helps me settle in and grounds me in the new season.

Last fall I read Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner, and it fits the bill perfectly, especially if you’re like me and love anything character-driven. I also enjoy reading Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery in the fall.

This year I’m kicking off the crisper temps with Home by Marilynne Robinson. It’s part three in the Gilead series, but if it’s like the other two books (they were wonderful, by the way), it can stand alone.

These are just three things I do to help wade into fall when I’m feeling a little vulnerable and reluctant to embrace the changing weather. What’s saving your life this fall?

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