As I sit writing this article, it is 90 degrees on a September day in Chicago, and I am ready for fall. Though I hold fast to my save-Christmas-until-December deadline, I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a fall girlie through and through and will 100% be the person putting up Halloween decorations long before it’s widely acceptable. I truly relish each and every day of the best season of the year. From the falling leaves to the chill in the air to the fashion, autumn is the perfect season in my mind. The only problem? The rest of the world (including my weather app) isn’t exactly on my same timeline in terms of enthusiasm for fall. This means that any chance I get, I seize the opportunity to get in the fall spirit.
Whether you’re suffering through sweltering September heat waves and yearning for fall, or you simply want to make the most of your favorite season moment-by-moment, getting in the fall spirit doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes. Here are 10 things to do to get yourself in the fall spirit in under 15 minutes—because we don’t always have time to drive to a pumpkin patch.
1. Grab a pumpkin or fall bouquet on your grocery run
Have you bought your mini pumpkin yet? You know, the one that you pick up on a random grocery run in September and forget to remove from your desk until well into December? If you haven’t yet, consider this your sign. Having a little bit of fall foliage in your home is a guaranteed way to promote those fall vibes. Whether you’re like me and prefer a cute lil pumpkin, or you’re an actual grown-up and want to select a variety of autumnal stems for your own DIY bouquet, picking up some nature is the best way to fall-ify your space.
2. Buy (or make!) a fall-themed beverage
You knew this was coming. If you haven’t taken 15 minutes out of your day to head to Starbucks to grab one of their fall-themed beverages this year, what on earth are you waiting for?! There’s no reason to delay joy when it comes to fall. If spending $8 on a PSL doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, fear not: There are so many fall-themed beverages you can make at home, from apple matcha to an autumnal cocktail. I personally love to add some cinnamon syrup to my everyday coffee throughout the fall months, just to make my autumn mornings that much sweeter.
3. Create an autumnal playlist
I’m not exaggerating when I say music can single-handedly put me in a cozy fall mood. Thanks to the inspo from The Everygirl’s Spotify playlists, I get deeply attached to my fall playlist every single year as an instant mood booster. I’m not the only editor who swears by this hack: Listeners of The Everygirl Podcast know that Josie, our Wellness Editor and Podcast Host, has a “Nora Ephron Fall” playlist that she revisits every year. If you’re struggling to get into the fall spirit, I highly recommend sitting down and compiling a playlist of songs that make you feel cozy and hopeful for the season ahead.
4. Try out a fall item from Trader Joe’s
Hot take incoming! I get even more excited for fall items from Trader Joe’s than I do for fall Starbucks drinks. The variety never fails to thrill me. I dream of the pumpkin spice-covered espresso beans all year, but Trader Joe’s always amazes me with their new additions to their fall ranks (I swear, the first year I tried their pumpkin spice hummus, my life was changed forever). If you’re having a hard time transitioning into fall, a trip to Trader Joe’s is well worth your time. At the very least, the smell of the cinnamon broomsticks will elevate your mood and remind you of a cozy fall day.
5. Cook a recipe with pumpkin or apple
I don’t care how hot it is wherever you are right now, you can still find a great recipe that includes some staple fall ingredients to put yourself in a cozier headspace. There are an abundance of pumpkin and apple recipes on the internet that can inspire you to cook or bake your way into a fall mood. Not exactly the cooking type? Grab a quick-to-make meal (like some pumpkin-shaped pasta from Trader Joe’s) and add some autumn to your diet the easy way. Even on this 90-degree day, you bet I’ll be heading home to pop a couple of Sweet Loren’s pumpkin spice cookies in the oven for an evening treat.
6. Light a cozy fall candle
Though cozy sweaters and delicious pumpkin coffees will always be my favorite parts of fall, these are closely followed by an amazing fall candle. The spiced pumpkin scent from P.F. Candle Co. has a special place in my heart, but regardless of your scent of choice, lighting a fall candle is a surefire way to boost your fall spirit. Personally, this is my favorite way to romanticize my fall evenings. I love to light a fall candle, turn on my playlist, and literally just sit there taking in the cozy vibes for a few minutes.
7. Turn on a football game
Ask anyone who has ever attempted to talk to me about sports and they will tell you, “That girl knows absolutely nothing about football.” In spite of the fact that it’s a hot dog in the stands of a baseball stadium or nothing for me, I can still appreciate the fact that autumn is the time for tailgates and the big game. Do I understand anything the ESPN announcers are saying when I put on football in the background as I cook dinner during the fall months? Nope. Do the sounds of football themselves still single-handedly put me in an autumnal mood? They sure do.
8. Put on some cozy loungewear
When all else fails, I am simply not ashamed to crank the AC and put on my favorite sweater. Sometimes, you really just need to physically cozy up in order to feel the fall energy, so why not do it in style? Whether it’s a sweatshirt from your alma mater à la Gilmore Girls or a matching sweater set, putting on some comfy loungewear is basically guaranteed to put you in a better, more autumnal mood. This is what I call manifesting fall weather, and let me tell you, I think it might be working—because the forecast for next week is in the 60s.
9. Start a spooky book, movie, or television show
In my mind, spooky season lasts the entirety of autumn, which is why I love to have a proper fall lineup of books to read, TV shows to binge, and movies to watch right away at the beginning of the season. Last year, reading Verity was the main thing keeping me in the fall mood. This year, I’m coming into fall prepared with an arsenal of spooky culture at my fingertips. From classic Halloween movies like Ghostbusters to thrilling shows like The Vampire Diaries, immersing yourself in the kind of content that makes your heart beat a little faster is a great way to instantly feel the fall vibes.
10. Write down a gratitude list
Aside from the week of Thanksgiving, people tend to forget that fall is the perfect season to practice gratitude. As we come up on the end of the year, what better time to reflect and be grateful for all of the amazing things that have come your way this year? Sitting down and journaling about the things you’re grateful for this fall takes less than five minutes, and it’s a great way to remind yourself about the important things in life at the beginning of a new season.