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Fall & Winter Rhythms for your Home+Life

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

Autumn is here, and I have been considering how I want to spend my time indoors, while also sprinkling in some outdoor activities whenever possible. There's something about fall that prepares the way for a slower pace of doing life at home. It's the time to enjoy the indoors a little more, to nest and gather beloved friends, and maybe even cozy up with a good book and your favorite fall drink.

It's a time for new rhythms and routines to set in after the warm summer months, and a time to turn inward on inner values and traditions that go into making the holidays ahead special and memorable. It can be so easy to look back on the short season and realize I had busied myself with a full schedule, home preparations, cooking meals, holiday gatherings and I just don't want to miss the opportunity to focus on the experiences rather than things. Memorable moments can happen spontaneously and unexpectedly, and they can also happen by intentionality through slowing down, whether you live in the city or the country. I still have my task lists that I need to get done daily, meals that need to be made, relationships that need to be tended to, but with some thoughtfulness and daily baby steps, desired rhythms will emerge. With two little ones at home, I need my daily rhythms to be simple, enjoyable and peaceful for everyone. Peace will always be the priority in my home, and although it may look different in the thick of changing diapers, cleaning toys, and wiping tears, I understand that my kids will remember how their home felt from day to day and that how we do home+life today that will impact how they do life in their own homes one day. This fall and winter, I want to take the time for more slow and thoughtful living, share some rhythms and experiences that you can create in your home for a more joy-filled and fulfilling home+life.

1. Rhythm of reading

There's something about reading or writing that causes me to slow down into thoughtfulness and thankfulness, and sets me up for a great day. Even if I don't have time to do both in the morning, I have been making it an effort to get up before the sun is up and get my cup filled before I give anything away. I get to be present with myself and become aligned mentally and emotionally. If you're looking for a good read about aligning your values with your living, I've been diving deep into 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It's full of practical and meaty content that is easily digestible and inspiring for effective change from the inside out.

2. Rhythm of planning & making meals

Pinterest has been my weekly go-to for planning and preparing meals. After my husband and I completed Whole 30 this last summer for the second time, we decided that we wanted to build a lifestyle on eating mostly whole foods that are not processed so that we can feel and function at our best. With Pinterest, I have been able to find numerous recipes with simple substitutions for eating whole foods that exclude gluten, dairy or refined sugars. We are currently following the Paleo diet (although it really doesn't feel like a diet since we are eating all kinds of food and desserts). With the holiday season ahead, it can be so easy to slip into eating all the sugary sweets and carbs. Just a little bit of planning and cooking, and you'll feel empowered by what you are feeding yourself and your loved ones. It is an easy way to set yourself up for success with those Christmas cookie cravings! When planning meals, I will find a dinner recipe for each day of the week, and it typically ends up being leftovers for the next day's lunch. Cooking dinners every day has been a rhythm of the day that my husband and I look forward to as we love to try new recipes and be creative with our substituted ingredients.

Because I've been loving this so much, I have even added a Recipes page to my website, that will contain all sorts of traditional yummy favorites made with whole and unprocessed ingredients.

3. Rhythm of resting

Each week I have to be sure to add "rest" in my schedule. This may look different to everyone but for me, resting while having two kids under two can look like taking small 15 minute breaks, or I might get some shut-eye while they nap. It may be difficult to put my never-ending list down, but this is one rhythm I never want to break so that I can be refreshed and present with myself and my loved ones. Also getting a full nights sleep can be really effective in maintaining energy during the day. Just like how "there was evening, and there was morning" (Gen. 1:13), I too, believe that rest needs to come before the day's tasks so that we can operate from rest, and not for rest. I also feel rested when I have my personal, quiet morning times. It may sound contradictory to wake up earlier to feel rested, but on days where I wake up hit-the-ground-running, I feel anything BUT rested. Rather, my morning time is a recharging time, where I get space to be, to think, to sit and absorb rather than give out.

4. Rhythm of enjoying nature

The cooler months make it easy to just stay in and hibernate, but the next few months I am urging myself (and you!) to step outside daily and breathe in the fresh air... I believe it is so so good for us and our overall health! The past couple years I have been experimenting with creating a little garden in our backyard, and I'm happy to say it's become a fun hobby of mine and a great excuse for me to get outside. I definitely love having live plants inside (if you are a plant lover too, then check out my last blog here!) There's something about experiencing nature at its best where it's all around you where you can see, hear and breathe it all in. Whether it's setting up a picnic in the sweater weather, going for a walk, or getting just 15 minutes of sunshine (or clouds), going outside always resets my mindset and perspective.

5. Rhythm of playing

For some this comes easy, and for others this can take more effort. With little ones in the house, play is a daily practice. I haven't always been great about stopping my current task to just sit and play with them, but I'm making it a priority to not just play with them, but be continuously play-full with them. To me, simply playing with them can come to a momentary stop, but being playful is an on-going character that I want to build more in myself as the years go by. I am naturally a very child-like person who has also gained more responsibility and maturity, but sometimes with more responsibility comes more seriousness over silliness. There's something natural about having children that brings out the silliness and fun, but it can also highlight where seriousness has overtaken the joy. So whether it's playing pillow fight with the kids, or going out to play mini-golf, make sure to feed that inner child in the rhythm of playing.

6. Rhythm of self-care

This goes along with the rhythm of playing, but I thought one important rhythm to also establish is self-care. Self-care can appear in many different forms, but I'm talking about caring for your body, mind and emotions on a regular basis. What helps me think of self-care is considering what makes me feel more connected to myself in all five of the senses. For me, my morning routines of self-care involve either journalling, reading, stretching or soaking up some declarations over myself. I first turn on the kettle to make a hot cup of tea, turn on my essential oils diffuser, and then begin my 15 min of stretching, read my book and if I still have time, I journal and listen to my thoughts and my heart. Self-care can also look like taking a hot bath with some candles, or stepping away to pursue a hobby. It's something that takes care of you. Whatever it may look like for you, setting up a rhythm of caring for oneself is crucial to being more present, thankful, patient, and whole-hearted in everything we do. It can vary from day to day based on what you're needing, and can also be fluid where it fits best in your day, but let it motivate you and be something you look forward to.

7. Rhythm of tidying

I like to think there's 2 types of tidying... surface area tidying and storage tidying. Both are important to me but one is more regular than the other. I'm not going to organize my cupboards everyday, but I am decluttering my floors and counters daily. This is a rhythm that can be unbalanced if it's something I'm stressed or obsessive over. I truly believe stress-cleaning is a way of coping with internal stresses, but I have learned over time that while it may fix what's external, it will never fix what's internal. I like to make sure I'm tidying from a place of caring for my home, rather than from a place of trying to gain control. One way I have learned to do this is by creating rhythms of tidying throughout my day. After any meal, or before nap/bed times are our cleanup times. In short, we don't like to let anything linger but we rather like to cleanup as we go. It may take longer in the moment (especially with little ones), but in the long run, it reduces the amount of time it would take to cleanup a giant mess if little messes are tidied along the way. It's a predictable rhythm where the whole family gets to contribute and learn that it's important to care for our home and help each other.

For the deeper storage cleaning, fall is the perfect time to take inventory before the Christmas gifts come in. Anytime is a good time to purge, but I personally like to use the off seasons like spring and fall to go through the cupboards, the closets, garage, etc. to declutter and embrace minimalism, being ok with fewer options and more white space. If you are looking for ways to organize and declutter, then this blog is for you!

8. Rhythm of home-making

What is home-making? It is the creation and management of a home, especially as a pleasant place in which to live. In other words, it's about making your house a home. It may be the candles, the plants, the cozy pillows and rugs, the family portraits, or whatever it is that you do to make your home more inviting, warm, and fitted to your personal style and way of living. I might move a candle from here to there, but home-making is more than decorating for me, it's creating function for daily living and is a way of story telling in my home. When you walk into my home, you can tell how I have creative little ones who love trucks, puzzles, painting and reading, and how we love to create zones for each activity. You can also probably tell that we value quality, excellence, beauty, order, play, peace, well-roundedness, and generosity. I love to set up my home in ways that create opportunities for moments of connection and fun for the whole family. I love to create an atmosphere and an experience in my kitchen while I'm cooking meals, and I love that my husband has his little coffee corner. My brain is constantly thinking of new ways to arrange and create opportunities for enjoyment in our home. Home-making is a joyful rhythm for me that I get to share with others when they step into the home environment that I thoughtfully created for peace and play.

9. Rhythm of Giving & Gathering

The holidays are naturally a time to give and gather. I'm so thankful for holidays that celebrate giving and community. I grew up in a home where giving and gathering were a regular occurrence, and it is a value I want to carry and create room for. It's never to late to get into the habit of giving and this is the perfect time to get in the rhythm at home! Sometimes we will set up a consistent get-together with friends, or make a card for someone, or we will have a financial bucket specifically for giving to someone in need that month. Although this may not be a daily rhythm, it's definitely at least monthly. It can be so easy to stay at home and never leave the house when it's cold outside, but this is a way to extend and connect to your inner circle as well as the outside world. In turn, I'm positive that it will bring joy and connection in return. It doesn't have to be extravagant, but can rather be simple and thoughtful with what you currently have. You may not have extra money lying around but maybe you have some extra ingredients in your cupboards to bake a loaf of bread for someone, or maybe you are gifted in calligraphy and you know how to make beautiful cards, whatever it is that you have and are gifted in, others will surely be blessed by it.

10. Rhythm of Reflecting

Last but certainly not least, getting into a daily rhythm of reflecting can bring more joy and gratitude into anyones life. This may look like thinking about all the wonderful things about your day when you're lying in bed... how someone made you feel loved; how someone made you a meal or helped you with a task. Or maybe there are some painful things to reflect on, and those are important to acknowledge too, for the purpose of gaining a deeper understanding on your pain, or maybe somebody else's. There is room for everything to be reflected on, especially when it leads to growth and gratitude. Practicing gratitude goes deeper than just looking for what to be thankful for, because sometimes it takes a journey of reflecting on all the good as well as the hard things. I like to think through all the human emotions... joy, sadness, anger, fear, shame, guilt, loneliness and hurt that I had experienced that day, and I acknowledge how it was either painful, hard or life-giving. Once I'm able to acknowledge and reflect, I'm able to have a peace of mind and a better nights sleep! I may need to work through it some more down the road, but at least my mind can relax and my heart can be seen and known by me. When I am able to process and reflect, I often feel more peace-filled, grateful, and connected to myself.

Whether your daily home+life feels smooth or uneasy in the current season, it's never too late to choose just one or two routines you can try. Rhythms are ever changing with seasons and the ebbs and flows of life. Which ones do you want to begin implementing this holiday season? Which one speaks to you the most? Which ones are you currently doing and would like to continue? Which ones work for you that you would like to share? My hope for you is that your home+life is filled with enjoyable rhythms throughout your day that leave you feeling refreshed and ready for more, and that this holiday season is more fulfilling than any other because of the life you are creating in your home that shared with others.

If you enjoyed this blog or found it valuable, I would love it if you shared it with your friends, family, or even social media! I am so grateful for the continued support as I love sharing all things home+life with you! May this season be filled with peace, hope and more love than you ever imagined!

Much love, Kristina

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