Autumn is upon us! Let’s embrace it

August 1, 2023

For so many, the fall calls to mind a back-to-school mentality – especially for those with children who’ve been home or at camp all summer. But even for those without kids, it’s difficult to deny the wave of back-to-school-type vibes that still permeates our being. There is just something about this time of year that’s been ingrained in us – a time of new beginnings, fresh starts, turning over a new leaf (to borrow a slightly-too-on-the-nose phrase). 

There is an almost primal urge to begin prepping for what September brings, regardless of whether you have children. Back-to-school means heavier traffic, employees with kids requiring time to adjust to new schedules and new routines – and still, for some, the sight of that first leaf that’s *just* starting to change, can also signal some lowkey dread.

So, here are some things you can do in advance for your employees and yourself to make the most of the incoming autumn, to help mentally, financially and physically prepare, so that it feels less like the glorious green grass is being pulled out from beneath us, and more like a cozy, comforting hug.

Putting in place and informing employees of their personal spending account (PSA)

Personal Spending Accounts can be a great addition to your benefit plan if you are looking for a variety of ways to support your employees. Common eligible expenses include well-being expenses, child care as well as education, tuition, and books and much more. PSAs can help your employees better financially navigate the changes of Summer to Fall.  The best part of the PSA is that employees love them, and it helps create that culture of health we are all looking to implement.

Stock your office with healthy snacks and cozy drinks. 

Perhaps you already have a coffee machine. Maybe you could lean into the season and look into some pumpkin spice flavors, hot chocolate or apple cider, even just some fresh fruit or granola for people to munch on when they feel like they might need a little boost.

Provide employees with fresh notebooks and pens.

There really is something about that fresh, blank page of new stationery. Maybe it’s the promise of a clean slate, maybe it’s the whole back-to-school thing. Doesn’t matter, really. Either way, providing a place for employees to jot things down as needed, regardless of whether it’s work related, can go a long way for everyone’s overall sense of wellbeing. 

Consider a SAD lamp.

SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, affects up to 3% of people in the general population, 10-20% of those with preexisting depressive disorders, and a whopping 25% of the bipolar population. One thing you can do to support those who may be more sensitive to SAD at this time includes making a SAD lamp (a lamp that replicates sunlight exposure) accessible. Additionally – why not hang some twinkle lights for a little extra warmth?

Strategically place some plants around your space.

You may already have some greenery, but adding new blooms or switching in some new plants just for the change can be helpful in creating a more comfortable, welcoming space for you and the new season. Plus, plants actually help purify the air – something we could all use around now, along with, perhaps, a few more tissue boxes. 

Be extra gentle and patient. 

With yourself, with others, with the universe. Transitions affect everyone differently, and some will take a little longer to adjust. Affording people a little extra support and leeway around this time of year will go a long way to helping everyone embrace the fall with a more open frame of mind.  

What does the change of seasons mean to you? Are there any rituals you like to engage in?