I don't know about you, but I am EXTRA ready for Fall this year. After the year we've had, I think many of us are longing for a new season--both physically and metaphorically. We need it to feel different--like a new beginning. Why not focus on making it extra special this year?

No matter how many Halloween decorations we see in stores nor how many Pumpkin Spice Lattes we imbibe, in East Texas, summer seems to last for an extra long time. However, while I continue to wipe the perspiration from my brow while I opt for Pumpkin-flavored COLD brews, I remind myself the Autumnal Equinox will be here on September 22.

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Nowadays we don't spend much time thinking about the equinoxes and solstices. Probably because, unlike our ancestors, our daily lives aren't quite as tied to the seasons and the land on which we live. I'm thankful for our modern conveniences. At the same time, there seems to be something knit into our humanness that we are benefited when we stop and acknowledge the seasons.

Obviously we have Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. Yet, these holidays have become so interwoven with retail and consumerism, sometimes the deeper meanings can be diminished.

Thus I propose we consider taking note of the Autumnal Equinox. It's an opportunity to celebrate with loved ones, and also mark the changing seasons--which I love. It makes me feel more grounded. Which I NEED. There are many ways you could choose to celebrate, here are just a few ideas. Feel free to add more in the comments below.

1. Focus on gratitude. Very often, we think of Thanksgiving, obviously, when we think of, well, giving thanks. However, being grateful year round is a good idea. Traditionally, the autumn equinox was a time of enjoying the bountiful harvest. Keep a gratitude journal or make a list and leave it somewhere you can see it everyday.

2. Spend time in nature. This time of year, for many of us, marks a time when the weather becomes more bearable. As temps drop and the leaves begin to change and there are less stinging insects hovering about when we step outside, it's a great time to camp or take walks in one of our lovely East Texas wooded areas. I don't know about you, but even just taking a fifteen minute walk on a crisp autumn morning can completely change my mindset.

3. Create a cozy indoor environment. As lovely as it will become outside, in just a couple of months we'll definitely be spending more time together inside. So, now is a good time to do a little extra cleaning and organizing. Bring in some of that beautiful outside nature inside. Now is the ideal time to prepare before the crazy holiday season descends upon us in full swing.  Why not start gathering gourds or twigs and plan to collect colorful autumn leaves when they finally arrive. Also, if you've been putting off and much need home repairs, knock those out now. You won't have to worry about once the weather becomes more prohibitive--and it'll make you feel all the cozier.

4. Have your kids help you gather canned goods to donate to a food drive. This is a helpful way to teach your kids about the beauty of giving. What's a better time than the harvest season to show them how we share our abundance with those in need?

What other ways do you like to welcome Autumn?

Get more ideas from Bustle.com here.

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