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The biggest change that you can make to help you with overwhelm is your mindset. Your thoughts dictate your mood, which dictates your actions. There is no magic bullet.
But, I do want to share some practical advice that is beyond, stay positive. Because, that just isn’t helpful when you are in the midst of a whirlwind. These tips will help you through specific scenarios of overwhelm.
1. Micro Steps
When you are dreading a specific task, project, or to do, this is a great way to take your emotions out of the equation.
Start by writing down all the steps for the task. Get specific, and detail every phase. Then create a chart with three categories, or more, for the task. There will be To Do, In Progress, and Completed.
You may have other categories, depending on the project/ task and its needs. The list of todos you have created will start in the To Do category. As you start working on the To Dos they will make their way to each category till they are completed.
When you look at the map of tasks it is easy to see what needs to be done, what you are working on and what you have already accomplished. If the project isn’t moving along, you can easily spot what is stalling you. Do you need to start a new task in the To Do category or continue working on a task that is in the In Progress category.
This is a great way to get started with a some small simple tasks, to limit your overwhelm. I like using this for tasks that feel very overwhelm but have to be done.
Do you wake up and become overwhelmed before you have really done anything for the day. You know just getting ready will be time consuming because of the clutter, the mess, the laundry, and papers everywhere.
Our spaces impact how we feel. When we let things (from mail and dishes to laundry and old hobby supplies) build up we are constantly distracted.
Take the time to go through your closets, your hobby supplies, your kitchen and get rid of what you aren’t currently using. If you have clothes that don’t fit, get rid of them. If you want to lose weight you can always go and buy new clothes later.
Get rid of the stuff that you say you will use at some point. Like the scrapbooking supplies you bought one time, because you thought it looked cool to do. If you don’t use it now, or have signed up for a scrap booking class that starts in the next 3 months, it is time for it to go.
Most of us live with a lot of “stuff.” Stuff that we wouldn’t notice was missing if someone had taken it. Clean out your space and fill it with only items that make you feel good and that you use.
Physical clutter impacts the work your brain has to do. Visually, your brain is trying to process everything it sees, and you will think about how those pants are for work and should be hung up, that dish needs to go in the sink, that random bill on your nightstand needs to be paid, the running shoes you kick through haven’t been used in 2 weeks and now you feel bad because you haven’t run in 2 weeks.
I do not like cleaning. But I love a clean room that holds items that I love and use on a regular basis. The emptier space is freeing. Think about what you room you can start decluttering.
3. Establishing Work Boundaries
We all have different types of jobs, environments, demands, and work hours. But, we should know our jobs well enough to know how the ebbs and flows work.
Your work cannot be the only aspect of your life that defines you. You need family, hobbies, friends, alone time, exercise, and everything else that makes up life.
Establishing some hard boundaries for work will make conflicting priorities easy to decide.
This can be as simple as saying I arrive every day at 8am and leave every day by 6pm. When I make plans for the gym, a friend’s birthday party, or a night out, I keep those commitments, and notify work that I have plans.
Maybe you will commit to not check work email on Friday night and Saturday day. Maybe you make the boundary that during work hours you check your email only 3 times a day.
Within the scope of your job you can set healthy boundaries, that allows you to give 100% while you are at work, but also time and space for you when you have it planned.
Boundaries for work can be difficult to maintain because you want to succeed and move up. But, if you aren’t taking care of your needs and continually feel conflicted about choosing your priorities the stress will have an impact on your work.
Boundaries will benefit your work product as much as they benefit your whole being.
4. Figure Out How Big Your Plate Is
Some of us think we can take on the world. We continuously put more and more on our plate. It is great, we feel empowered and like rockstars. We get things done and keep moving forward.
Others of us feel that we get one more task, project, or to do beyond our daily maintenance of ourselves and work, and everything feel just like too much.
We all have different plate sizes. We all can take on different loads and that is okay. The important part of this is to realize just how much you can take on without being overwhelmed.
This can be challenging when you want to join a new group, or finally get to enter into a new project. You have to know whether there is room on your plate to do. Saying no now, will prevent overwhelm later.
Know what is already on your plate. Know how big your plate is and how much it can actually handle.
Seriously, do not compare. The constant overwhelm, stress and anxiety that you will feel doesn’t benefit your life. Being content and happy with what you have said yes to, being able to show up and give 100% to those projects only fuels your well-being and your character.
5. Plan and Prep For the Next Day
Giving one day a week or two days a month to prepping and planning will leave a lot of the tasks that always will need to be done, assigned to a specific day.
Preparing for the week would include doing laundry, making a shopping list, figuring out what meals you will be having, and preparing the food for next week.
Planning is making appointments, budgeting for the next 2 weeks, planning for future events, and researching vacation options.
When we know that every Friday evening is prepping time, then certain to do’s and stressors just fall away. You know that the groceries will be bought on the way home. Laundry will begin once you get home. Meals will be prepared for next week while laundry is going.
The fact that you needed more milk will be taken care of on Friday evening. You don’t have to worry about when you can cram in an extra trip to the store, it is planned and is happening. This also works for doing amazon purchases, Costco runs, mail drop offs, and anything else that usually has to go on repeat every month.
Plan for the days when these tasks always get done and there is no need to stress over when you will do them. Prepare for the coming week and you don’t have to worry about what to eat, what to wear, or how much extra spending money you have.
Planning and prepping can save a lot of time, money and worry. Your future self with thank you and be able to focus on work and relationships.
This was a lot to take in…but, some of this might feel too little to late. That is okay! Sign up now for a free 30 minute coaching session. I will help you walk through your overwhelm, come away feeling less stressed with a better perspective.
Gratitude. It is something that we should all continue to look for in our lives. It is now fall and going to be deep into holiday season where we are expected to be grateful for everything. Guess what, you don’t have to wait for the holidays to start showing your gratitude.
Today, is a great day to start. Looking at your life and seeing what you can be grateful for is an easy way to experience joy. It doesn’t mean that you ignore the bad things happening, the misfortune, or the wrongs of others. It means that through all that you can still see things to be grateful for.
Here are a few things I am grateful for this Fall.
There have been a lot of changes in my life just this year. My income has gone up and down multiple times. There have been health issues, grumpy times, joyous times, and challenges. Through it all I have maintained relationships that continue to support.
Those relationships with friends and family make my life better. Regardless of my income, my health issues, my joy or my challenges these people have remained here with me. It is easy to skip out on people when they are going through a lot, it can be draining to be around them. But, strong relationships means I haven’t been abandoned or forgotten.
Now, the amount of strong relationships any of us have will differ. But, it is the quality of the relationship that always will matter more. Think on your life and give thanks for the people who have remained firm in their love for you.
Sometimes their love for you may mean they disagreed with your choices, but they remained non the less a part of your life. Continue to build your strong relationships and see who can be there for.
After going through a few health issues early this year, I realized I have been taking my body for granted for some time now. I am blessed to have a body that works for me, and continues to meet my expectations. When it was not, it was a struggle to realize that my body was rebelling against me.
Our bodies are a treasure. We must love them and nurture them. Our bodies deserve hot baths, long runs, good clean food, massages, sleep, and love. I must take better care of my body. It deserves more movement and healthy food. It will get those things, because I realize that it can’t run for ever on half met needs.
If your body isn’t functioning to its highest potential remember that it needs love and kindness. It is your only one, treat it well.
I have suffered from depression and truly relish when my mind is functioning at its potential. I have focus, drive, a plan, and want to take action. When I have experienced depression I didn’t experience any of those things.
It is so important to me to love the good days I have. I have to give gratitude to my brain for firing enough dopamine and myself for not stressing over the small things.
Gratitude can be given at any time. Stop, take time to see what you should be thankful for in your life. It is important give thanks this fall. What are you grateful for.
There is the overwhelm from choices that have to be made and the overwhelm from the amount of tasks that there are to do. There is overwhelm from emergency events, or long-term effects from long forgotten choices. Overwhelm happens to all of us, in different ways, from different things. But, that sense of fear, dread, or not being able to make a choice is the same for everyone.
Overwhelm is being stuck in your head and unable to move forward. You think your burden is so great you couldn't possibly take another step.
It all starts with our mindset.
1. Negative Mindset/ Lack of Self-Care
Before we are even to the point of overwhelm our thoughts are in a negative place, which leads us to overwhelm easily. This is especially when you feel that one additional task on your to do list will send you over the edge.
You have already been telling yourself that you are stretched to the max. You have told yourself that you cant possibly take on anymore without losing it. These thoughts do nothing but set you up to fall later on.
Another big part of this is not taking care of yourself. You are running low on gas and maybe have a decent dialogue going in your head. But, a few bumps in the road can make it super easy to be negative, when you haven’t been sleeping enough, getting your alone time, or working out like you need too.
So, take a look right now at what you are telling yourself. Are you setting yourself up to have overwhelm later this week? Today? Tonight?
2. You are Given One to Many Choice
Next thing that happens is that you are given one additional task to do, one more choice to make, one more emotional thunderstorm to deal with. There is a choice in there. When will you do that additional task? What you are supposed to make for dinner? Should Tina be invited to girl's night or is 5 enough?
All choices. On their own they would be easy. But, when we are doing a lot, and have been reaffirming that we have been doing too much, for too many, with too little for, too long, well we know where that leads.
Remember that this stage with a positive mindset, and self-care doesn't lead to the next stage.
3. Brain Freezes Up or Mind Confirms Negative Talk on Overwhelm
When the brain gets too many choices it will go on the fritz. When this happens it freaks out and causes fear, which leads you to believe you are overwhelmed. Remember that the brain will make us believe some very irrational fears, because thats what it does. It likes to point out everything we should be afraid of.
Since, we don’t have to worry about being attacked by wild animals, or a warring clan, the brain has to find other things to be afraid of, like one to many choices. Sounds a little funny now, doesn’t it.
The other overwhelm of too many tasks to do, comes from stage one where you now confirm that you couldn’t possibly take on any more. And since, you couldn't possibly take on anymore, time to freak out.
4. From These Circumstances Your Thoughts Become Negative
What you tell yourself now is that you can’t make the “right” choice. There is too much to weigh and decide. You tell yourself that you don’t have the ability to do it.
When there is just one too many tasks your thoughts go to, I knew I couldn’t handle all this. I knew I was going to fail, mess this up, or have to work late hours.
Isn't it fantastic when you predict the future and you are right?! Especially about the awful, overwhelming, negative stuff. Yeah, didn't think so. Makes you wonder, if I had some different thoughts, would this be any better. I can tell you right now, yes. But, that is for next week's newsletter, I will share tactics to help you back track out of each these stages in the overwhelm cycle.
5. Reaction to the Negative Feelings Is to Feel Fear, Overwhelm, Stress, Worry, Doubt, Dread
From those thoughts you begin to feel pretty awful. You are worried and stressed about making these decision. You fear that you will make the wrong one and that choice will ruin other choices and future opportunities.
You feel stuck, unsure of how to move forward. Do you keep working the 12 hours days, while it sucks the life out of you, or do you try and figure something else out?
Your feelings lead to actions.
6. Actions or Inaction
Often, overwhelm leads to inaction. You want to bury your head in the sand and ignore the amount of stress that is weighing on you. Often this looks like taking a nap or procrastinating.
It also means not making a choice. Not moving out of the bad situation, because it would involve trying to figure out what to do next, and there feels like too many choices or none at all.
So, you stay stuck in overwhelm, until something changes. It is as simple as and as hard as changing your thoughts.
Need extra help with your stress and overwhelm? Sign up for a free 30 minute coaching call to help you with your overwhelm today.
When you are stressed your overwhelm can pop up over and over again. Even after you work through it, you still may get stressed and overwhelmed all over again.
That sense of overwhelm will continue to come up as you are stressed, maintain negative thought patterns and don’t provide yourself with the proper self-care.
What you need is to make some choices about what your non-negotiable are.
What Are Non-Negotiables
Non-negotiables are the boundaries that you have set for yourself that happen regardless of what comes up. You have a few things that cannot and will not be sacrificed regardless fo the whirlwind at work that keeps happening every week.
You keep these even when fun opportunities occur, because you have set your priorities and nurturing your well-being is at the top. The boundaries you have set are there for your benefit, your well-being.
You keep them because they help you create more joy, be more productive, and keep your sanity. Non-negotiables can not be negotiated out of. Here are some non-negotiables we all need to have. The details will look different for everyone, but the idea is the same.
Make Self-Care a Priority and Non-Negotiable
The stress feels like it keeps coming. When this is the case, you have to prioritize your self-care over everything else. Plan it each week and make it a non-negotiable. It cannot be something that you give up or give away.
Look at your calendar and give yourself chunks of time that are for you. What you do during that hour or three hour time slot is up to you. But, make it fun. Make that time worth it. Do what you need to do for yourself.
This may mean you color for an hour. Then you read for another thirty minutes and then go to bed early. Maybe this means you get in a intense, blood pumping amazing workout. Maybe this is just a time for you to meditate and journal. Whatever it is, enjoy your self-care.
Make Boundaries That Are Non-Negotiable
We set boundaries so we know how we will react and what we will do when we face certain situations. If you know what choice you will make regardless of the circumstances, it is a lot less stress when those situations arise.
Your boundaries may be no social media until 10am or no email after 8pm. That time is sacred and for you. Maybe the boundary is that you don’t even work on Sunday, or when you make plans you keep those commitments regardless of work.
These boundaries are for your benefit, to maintain your sanity. The purpose behind them can be as simple as getting a few extra minutes to sleep or keeping stress low in the evening. Create boundaries that nurture your well-being and align with your values.
Make Positive Thoughts a Non-Negotiable
Often it is our negative thoughts that lead to the overwhelm. We keep saying how stressed we are, how over overwhelmed, and spread too thin we are. It might be true, but telling yourself that over and over again, doesn’t help anyone.
No one is helped by telling yourself you can’t do any more or that you can’t get any time for yourself. Really those thoughts help you get to overwhelm more quickly.
When your mind has gone down that path, make an effort to stop it immediately. Tell yourself you have to be kind to yourself. Then start saying encouraging kind words to yourself. What we tell ourselves becomes our reality.
You continually tell yourself you can make it through this stressful season. You will make it through. You tell yourself that you can’t make it, you are overwhelmed and stressed and have no time for yourself. Then you will experience the overwhelm, the meltdowns, and feel that the stressful season never ends.
Our words have power. Make them count. What you tell yourself makes an impact on your mood and how you act. Take the time to give yourself some good feedback, compliments, encouragement and love.
Overwhelm can be hard during anytime of life. If you are struggling with a stressful season and looking for guidance through it, sign up for a free coaching call with me, Overcome Your Overwhelm.
Sometimes what we need more than anything is a coach, a mentor, someone who can see the big picture and know when we are going down a rabbit hole. I provide this help for free, right now.
When you experience overwhelm it can be challenging to know what the “right” choice is, if there is even one. The gravity of the choices can feel too heavy too keep walking around with.
Take action, stop stressing, stop the overwhelm, coaching can help you. Sign up, to start a conversation today.
The goal of these free coaching calls is to give you one tool to walk away to help you move forward, with less stress and less overwhelm. Everything won’t be solved, but you will feel better.
This is an action that you don’t have to debate. You need help with your stress and overwhelm! I am here to help you with just that. Sign up today!
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Look we have all been there. One bad thing after another keeps happening. First you break up with your significant other, so your girlfriends take you out for drinks. You stay out too late and get to work late the next morning. You loose your job and think you may have to move back home, to a small town in Arkansas (nothing wrong with Arkansas, by the way).
The bad things just keep happening and mix in the heart ache of your newly ended relationship and wow, you think to yourself this all started when you made that comment to your, now, ex. Now, look at where you are. You feel horrible, like the universe is just taking everything out on you!
Trust me when I say I have been there! Boy, and there are times that I have been there so frequently that people have made comments like “doesn’t this happen to you a lot.” Yes, my friend, it does. I have been unemployed, with zero prospects, and my side hustle some how doing worse than anytime before. I need money to complete a licensing and have none. I have felt overwhelmed with all the bad that just kept happening.
How I ended up in those awful conditions is for another post, but know that you can stop that endless “ everything awful happening” cycle.
Right now, I want to help you understand how to pull your head out of the tornado of bad and help you experience some peace. I know you could make a long list of everything bad going on and why you have every right to want to bury your head in the sand. Look, bad things happen. I can’t tell you that what you are going through will end in a day or just smile and it will be better.
But, I can tell you that the overwhelm that you experience you can change. The fact that you only see bad, or negative everywhere you look in your life can change, without your circumstances changing. Yes, I’m mindset shift. Here are steps to pull yourself out of the funk and move forward.
1. It is time to stop the negative thinking.
When you feel overwhelmed by the negative and you feel that you have brought it on yourself, you will probably only find more awful things in your life that you can blame your self for. So, you have to stop.
Stop thinking all the bad things. Seriously, you are only adding the overwhelming burden you feel. You focus on the negative and I am sure you will see more negative. Start finding positives in your life to focus on and you will see more positives.
2. Find the Positives To Focus On
No, I don’t know everything that is on your plate or what will happen if you drop the ball. But, I guarantee you that there are positives. For one, you are looking for answers and help, since you are reading this. That is a really good thing! You want change and are looking in the right place!
Somethings that we forget we have and often take for granted are our health, our mind’s capabilities, our own ambition and drive, and our tender hearts. You may be experiencing trials that leave you hungry and worried about rent money. I have been there. But, I worked through those situations because I realized I am healthy enough to do so. I have drive and a mind that will help me accomplish whatever I want.
Your tender heart allows you to experience all that life has to offer. Laughing till your stomach hurts, crying till your eyes are raw, anger that make you loose your wits, and forgiveness that heals the most tender of wounds.
Life isn’t about the stuff. It is about the mind, body, and heart’s experiences. When you focus on those things you can put into perspective the experience of life you have had and the experiences you will have.
3. Take Action On Those Good Thoughts
Lastly, focus on the good thoughts you cultivate and take action on those. If you are saying I am going to find a job that I love, you will start networking with the people who inspire you. If your positive thought is I am going eat delicious healthy food tonight. Invite a friend over, Pinterest some recipes and have a cooking frenzy.
Take action to prove those positive thoughts right and continue to prove them right. It is easy to stop and say its hard or taking to long. You are driven and strong willed, you can do it.
Overwhelm in the midst of a lot of negative situations and experiences can be difficult to overcome. Our minds are our most precious weapons in combat. Remember that overwhelm is a state mind. You capable of great things, like overcoming your overwhelm.
If you are interested in a free 15 min coaching call on Overcoming Your Overwhelm, click here to schedule a time to chat!
When you wake up and already feel the burden of the day on your shoulders, your go to response could be to just roll over and push snooze. Trust me, you are not alone. Many of use will try to avoid that feeling with sleep.
Some may actually get up. I think getting up is your best choice. You need to get up and flush your mind and body out from the stress that it just went through and is still going through. Use these steps to slowly start taking on your day.
1. Get Out of Bed
Don’t stay in bed and try todo these exercises. You will probably fall back asleep or never actually make it out of bed. The point of getting out bed, is to start the process of you regaining control of your thoughts. Remember, overwhelm is a state of mind.
2. Focus On Your Breathe
You probably woke up stressing out. Your body was sent into flight or fight mode and you are on the defensive. Calm you body down with taking deep breathes. Focus on taking deep slow breathes for 3 minutes.
Inhale for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, and exhale for 5 seconds. As this becomes easier your body will become more relaxed.
3. Change Your Thoughts
Once you physical body is no longer experiencing flight or fight, your brain should also be in a better place. But, it is up to you to change your thoughts to make a difference in overcoming overwhelm.
Start with some simple thoughts that “you are safe” and “you are loved.” Continue telling yourself this. Then, when you are able to acknowledge that this is true, move on to gaining perspective.
Change Your Perspective
You need to have a good perspective of what is possible for today. What are you capable of doing, while you take care of yourself through out the day. We all have tasks that are due tomorrow, Friday, next Thursday, three weeks from now, next month, 2 months from now, and maybe even next year.
Slow down. Realize that you should focus on today. Not tomorrow or 3 weeks from now. You work on doing the best you can for the next 10 hours or so at work, nothing more. That is what you are responsible for.
Figure Out Your Priorities
What will be your priorities for the day. Have no more than 3. Taking care of yourself should definitely be one of them! When you figure out your priorities, then you know what has to be done today.
When you do gain perspective, what immediate tasks, projects, people, or events, can be cut because they do not correlate to your priorities for today? Cut them, and carry on.
Overwhelm is a sucky place to be. You aren’t the first to be trapped by it early in the morning. But, you can take steps to gain control of your thoughts and start the day head on, without having a breakdown. Let me know if these tips help you, in the comments below. What do you do when overwhelm hits, right when you wake up?
If you are interested in a free 15 min coaching call on Overcoming Your Overwhelm, click here to schedule a time to chat!
There are some activities that can only be done in the fall and that are the most enjoyable to do in the fall. Make yourself a fall bucket list to make sure you are enjoying all that fall has to offer. Let’s dive in to some of my favorite activities to do in the fall! These are great for couples or friends!
Oktoberfest is a German festival that usually occurs in October, but could start in September as well. There is a lots of beer, food, music, dancing, and games that are all celebrating German heritage.
I have gone to an Oktoberfest in upstate New York. I had a blast, got my face painted, a hat with a feather and a beer stein. This year I plan on going again.
The fall is a great time to test some wines at a winery and experience the outdoors. If you sit outside, wear a jacket and take it all in. I love sipping on some wine and being outdoors.
The winery experience doesn’t have to be expensive and with some allowing you to bring your own food. Check out ones in your area.
See the Foliage
Dying leaves! Okay, so it might seem a little weird or morbid, but I love it! Back home in North Carolina driving through the mountains during this time of year is the best! The leaves are changing and the colors are just awe inspiring. I can sit back and just look at all the different colors.
You don’t have to live near a forest, or mountain range to take in the foliage. I plan on visiting a park in Brooklyn that has a lot of trees, and take a walk, with a hot drink and see the changes that fall has brought.
Hiking when its too cold or too hot can be miserable. The fall and spring can be the best times for a nice hike. In the fall you get to experience the changing leaves and the crisp clean air. Bring some delicious snacks and enjoy a day of hiking.
Fall brings Halloween. So, of course I had to have pumpkin carving on the list. Pumpkin carving can be messy and hard, but oh so much fun. Laugh hard as you try to outdo your friends in a pumpkin carving competition.
In the city there are a quite a few fall festivals occurring, just because of the season. Enjoy food, games, and shopping at a fall festival happening in your city. It can be lots of fun and requires very little effort on your part.
Visit a Brewery
Just like the winery experience, there is visiting a brewery. Fall brings around some great flavors from brewers. See if you can get a tour and tasting from a local brewer do it! Enjoy the flavors of fall, and your favorite beers.
I love smore’s. Seriously, I tried to make them over a candle one time because I love them so much. Smore’s are a fun, delicious food and can be made at home without a fire. If you don’t have easy access to a fire there are recipes for smore’s at home. Here is a simple recipes to help you get started.
This experience can lead to more fun experiences. While apple picking, get yourself some apple cider and donuts. Enjoy the outdoors and the pounds of apples you pick. Maybe pick up a pumpkin if they are available.
When you get home and have pounds upon pounds of apples don’t just eat them or give them away! Have a baking get together or cooking session with friends. Everyone brings their own baking dish and a bowl, maybe a few extra ingredients they need. You provide the apples and everyone bakes apples dishes, that everyone takes home, gives to friends, or brings to work. Quality time with friends along with some delicious baking!
In the fall the nights can be a crisper and cloudless and it starts to get darker sooner. Enjoy that night sky while it is just chilly. Bring a blanket and a hot beverage to a park and layout to look at the stars.
Halloween, again. Haunted House are only available during this time of year. Get your scare on with friends and family. You will have a night that will make you laugh, cry, scream, and maybe pee your pants (from the laughing and screaming) if you are unlucky. This will be me a memory packed experience.
Pot Luck/ Friendsgiving
Food and friends is a big part of the fall. Bring your people together over food this season. Plan a pot luck or Friendsgiving. It doesn’t have to be fancy or that well coordinated. We get together to experience each other, not experience fancy meals.
I love a cracking fire place. At my parents place in North Carolina, we use the fire place as often as we can, even though it doesn’t get cold enough as frequently as we would like. But there are bon fires at restaurants and outdoor fireplaces that are nice to enjoy. Find one and cosy up.
It is coming near the end of the season for farmers. Go and get the vegetables and fruits that are harvested during this time of the year. The end of the season doesn’t mean they are the last picked fruits and vegetables, these are the fall harvested goods. Enjoy the delicious offerings of fall.
I hope these ideas help you to experience fall with joy and love. Have fun with loved ones in the outdoors and in. Enjoy amazing foods, experiences and company. Happy Fall. Let me know in the comments below what are the best parts of fall that you like to experience.