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“September; you are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul.” – Peggy Toney Horton

Quotes like these never fail to ignite the seemingly unending well of autumn love that exists inside of me. After sixteen years of residing in Florida, however, the idea of fallen leaves, cool weather and everything else typically associated with the season have become mere ideas rather than realized realities; dreams that will, most likely, never come true (especially with the increasingly pressing issue of climate change). And so, cultivating an autumn-themed spirit has always been extra work. Because of the undeniable disaster that 2020 has been, creating a faux-Autumn environment isn’t just an issue for the South; it seems that the entire nation (and maybe even the world) has been anxious for the year to come to a close. So, when Taylor Swift decided to release an autumn-themed album in July and Starbucks started serving Pumpkin Spice in early August, nobody objected.

It takes a bit more than a playlist and a coffee to truly Autumn-ify a life, though; here are a few easy ways to embrace the vibes of, truly, the most wonderful time of the year.

1) Open up Spotify.

Because of the unique way that Taylor Swift released Folklore (unexpectedly dropping it approximately twenty-four hours after she announced its existence) and the current lack of social events, we have an extended period of time before any of her newest songs are considered overplayed or awkward, cringey clichés. A few of the numbers, including “Cardigan” and “The Lakes”, capture the essence of Autumn absolutely impeccably. My recommendation? Listen, listen, listen and let Spotify find those recommended tracks for you.

The current True Crime podcast trend will also help you slip into the spooky mood. I recommend Crime Junkie and Over My Dead Body to start off with.

2) Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice

After months of existing almost exclusively at home, individuals everywhere picked up new hobbies; baking was one of the most obviously popular quarantine activities that people (including myself) chose to engage in. It was incredibly fun and deeply satisfying – for both my stomach and my creative side. A few recipes that I recommend trying are these Pumpkin Spice Pancakes (vegan!) and these pumpkin cookies (also vegan!).

3) Set Your Screens 

When first released, the Instagram algorithm that creates a feed based strictly on user activity wasn’t insanely popular. Now, however, it can be incredibly useful. Scroll through #autumnaesthetic or #autumnal (maybe even follow the hashtags) and find gorgeous autumn themed accounts to fill your feed with. Using autumnally themed photos as laptop or phone backgrounds can also provide a sense of seasonal aesthetic.

4) Unplug

Even though this is in direct opposition to the previous suggestion, unplugging will give you the opportunity to rest and reset – which is what Autumn is all about. Take time to step away from the screens and invest in self-care; put on a face mask, read a book, or take a bath – whatever is necessary for you to relax and reset.

5) Decorate

Because of remote learning, working and organizing, we’re all spending more time in our home spaces than usual. Creating an area that screams Autumn is an incredibly easy (and fun!) way to embrace the season. Target is currently selling adorable décor in their dollar department and it most likely won’t be long before other stores follow suit.

Even though it’ll be a while (if ever) before Florida residents can relate to quotes like Sarah Addison Allen’s, “it looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon,” that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, or even difficult, to create (and enthusiastically embrace) the beautiful vibes of Autumn today.

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Passionate about plant-based eating, distance running, and Pilates. Lover of dessert, coffee shops and picnics. Probably drinking chai, listening to Taylor Swift and thinking about living in London (or maybe just scrolling through Pinterest).
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