The southwest is a beautiful place to spend fall and the upcoming holidays. There is something profound in watching the cycle of life, the hundred-year-old twisted bark trees along the river turning gold, and seeing geese and cranes fly over the farmlands and wineries that we have here.

I am loving the sweet smell of the earth as I walk in the morning, the slightly damp scent rising, leaves crunching beneath my feet. There are pumpkins and scarecrows placed on wagons and tractors here, a symbol of deep harvest and autumn.

Horses run along the fences of the properties, their breath a puff in the air on the chilly mornings, some will come over to sniff my hand, knowing that they will get a gentle pat. I park far down the hill so that I get to stop on my way back from my morning walk; it is a treat that I give to myself before the whir of coffee makers and life in the city begins each day.

We get so caught up in the here and now, the deadlines, the meetings that must happen, the Monday morning woes, that often we forget the importance of being able to refresh our mind with a little downtime or in other words, time to play. When was the last time you made room for an impromptu game of football in the park or a walk or doing something solely for yourself? It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, maybe a glass of wine, a great homecooked meal, extra time playing with a beloved pet, yes, even a sponge ball game of fetch with the cat counts.

I often have to remind myself that It’s time to move, I get so wrapped up in sitting in my office that I soon find myself slumping and getting stiff from sitting so long. Fall is the perfect time to get up, and stretch a bit, enjoy some fresh air, inhale deeply and take five to just remind yourself that there’s a world outside of your at-home office window. It does a soul good. It soothes whatever may be bothering you, and a bit of good old vitamin D is also good for our health.

Rediscovering the child within and giving into him or her by going for a drive (maybe to get an ice cream cone) helps us to reorganize our priorities. Perhaps that to-do list is a bit too long, how about a brisk walk to clear the chaos? You’ll come back with a new perspective as well as a glow in your cheeks.