Shifting into Fall
Annie Newman and Joelle Prevost

With Thanksgiving and Halloween already gone (what?), and Costco making the holiday season something that started in August, it’s hard to know how we got here already!  We’re not trying to set the alarm system off for anyone, but this year has been weirdly fast, and yet, slow.  

Fall can be a beautiful time of year, where routines are being re-established, the leaves are changing and absolutely stunning; and yet fall can be a hard time as well, when the inevitable sets in: days getting shorter and wondering where the warmth of summer has gone. When it’s dark at 4 pm in the afternoon, it can be a harsh reality, even for the seasoned Vancouverite who knows to brace themselves for the rain and dark November days ahead. Again, we’re not writing this to add any dread to the coming days, but we are wanting to shed some light on what might be a hard time of year, especially under this year's uncertain circumstances. Activities that helped soothe the fall woes in years past, may need to be revamped for this year’s season.  

As we get more into the fall season, we do think it would be good to reflect on what was helpful last year and what has been challenging for this season in years past, and to see if there are some areas that need tweaking. This might be the best place to start; from there, it might be helpful to look at some of the adjustments that need to be put in place, to ensure optimal health and safety. We understand that things do look different than they did last year, and we also understand that making mental health a priority will be key in creating a balance.  

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, find routines and things that fit for you and your loved ones to make November and the dark shorter days a lot more manageable. Instead of just making a list of possible things that you could do, why not add a little fun to the list and make a fall bucket list! This could serve as a way to switch things up with a fun and exciting twist!    

One last thing: we know that you may be quite tired at this point in the year, and that you’re ready to just curl up and watch Netflix for hours after you’re done with your day; however, finding activities that can engage the brain or can get you outside in nature (even if it’s only for 20 minutes), will help to lighten the seemingly heavy feeling that we think people might be experiencing at the moment. This is not to add more stress to your life, but to decrease it in practical ways that help and not hinder. Again, find something that works best for you.  

Below are some fall bucket list ideas that will hopefully spark some creativity, competition, and satisfy some cravings! 

  • Find your favourite fall themed movies (old or new) and have a movie night(s)
  • Write a letter to a friend/ family member and send it via snail-mail (or email) 
  • Make candy apples 
  • Bake a cake just because
  • Get out the old board games and make friendly family competition out of it 
  • Collect and roast chestnuts 
  • Read for fun 
  • Go for a blustery beach walk and bring along a cup of hot chocolate 
  • Explore: go for a nice fall nature walk, or if you prefer more of a challenge, find a place to hike 
  • Roast marshmallows
  • Jump in a pile of leaves 
  • Make apple cider from scratch 

Contributed by Annie Newman and Joelle Prevost, Senior School Counsellors