I may not be beginning a new term or sending anyone else off to school, but September still evokes the sense of starting something new … or returning to something you took a break from. It was always a big moment growing up, as both my parents worked in a school (and we lived there too) so the whole family was swept up in preparations at the beginning of each new academic year.
“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”
So whatever stage you’re at, whether you’re in the midst of ‘back to school’ or not, here are ten feel-good things to do in September:
1. Buy yourself some new stationery
There’s nothing like finding just the right notebook or a pen that’s really satisfying to write with. Especially if you actually use them regularly and don’t just become a ‘nice pen’ hoarder.
2. Watch The Chair on Netflix
Anything starring Sandra Oh is okay in my book, and this series about the Chair of a struggling English department at an American university is well worth a watch.
3. Go for an evening walk
Time to relish those warm(ish) evenings and glorious sunsets before it starts getting dark too early.
4. Do a wardrobe clear out
‘Secondhand September’ or ‘Sustainable September’ may evoke thoughts of all the incredible things you could buy from vintage and charity shops, but it’s also about knowing what you have and making the most of it.
So while we brace ourselves for Autumn, it’s the ideal time to do a proper clear-out… you may discover things you didn’t even remember owning.
5. Go for a swim in the sea
Okay, so the sea in Ireland is always nippy, but at this time of year it has had a bit of time to warm up over the summer, yet it’s not too cold when you get out. Go, Go, Go!
6. Whip up an apple crumble
For the easiest topping, use half the amount of butter and sugar that you have of flour. For example, if you have 50g butter and 50g sugar, use 100g plain flour …it’s also nice to throw in some oats if you want a bit more texture; and a dash of cinnamon for some extra warmth.
If you’re using cooking apples you might also want to add a little extra sugar to them, but if you’re using eating apples this probably isn’t necessary. Whether to pre-cook the apples or whack them in raw is up to you, but it’s best to peel them and squeeze over a little lemon juice to stop the apples from going brown.
7. Visit an art gallery
There are lots of things we’ve missed out on in the last year, and many of us are prioritising catching up with friends and family. But why not take a moment for something a little quieter too?
Many art galleries are free, but the current pre-booking requirements many of them have, mean it’s easy to social distance without too much concentration. Plus it’s nice to do something cultural after overdosing on trashy television for so long!
Instead of roaming up and down, why not limit yourself to one or two rooms, or even one or two artworks, and really take the time to stop and look instead?
8. Buy a new face mask
We may be venturing out into the world again, but even as Covid restrictions relax it’s still vital to protect yourself and others. So why not do so in style with facemasks you really like? As we get out and about more, it’s more important than ever to have enough masks to wash and dry before you need to reuse them.
9. Read I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell
She may be best known for Women’s Prize for Fiction winning bestseller Hamnet, but Maggie O’Farrell’s memoir I Am, I Am, I Am is also a mesmerising read; telling the story of her life in near-death experiences.
Now I just need to work my way through the rest of her books!
10. Listen to music with headphones, while not doing anything else.
It’s too easy to use music only as background noise while working, cleaning, or going about your day. So when was the last time you stopped and really listened? Whether it’s one track or a whole album, take a moment this month.
Why not try this one: This Feeling – Alabama Shakes. You may recognise it from Fleabag.
Read Next: 10 Feel-Good Things To Do In October