While I was caged in the office with super-humid super-hot weather or more outside during the summer, I daydreamed about crisp air, the leaves changing colors and falling from the trees, and, of course, drinking as many Pumpkin Spice Lattes as humanly possible.
Now that autumn is finally here, however, it looks quite a bit different. The air is freezing, the dominant colors are not red and orange but rather grey and brownish, and a look into my wallet reveals that I simply can’t afford to indulge in PSL deliciousness every day. And while I really want to enjoy the season I wished for only a few months ago and that I was romanticizing all summer long, I find it pretty hard not to just stay hidden under my blankets and wait until it’s summer again. Or at least Christmas.
It’s obvious: my initial admiration for fall mixed with my autumn blues makes a pretty serious love-hate relationship. So all that’s left for me to do is try to find a way how to make the love part outweigh the hate part. Here’s how I deal
Making plans. A LOT of plans
When I come home after work, all I want to do is collapse into my bed and stay there. But after a while I find myself not only bored, but also even more depressed than before. So I sentenced myself to doing at least one after-work activity every day. Whether it be meeting friends for a drink or two, cleaning the bathroom, exercising (haha) or even just cooking dinner together with my roommates. As long as I don’t just stay in bed all evening, it’s fine. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, and stops me from getting down.
Hot drinks—not just the Starbucks kind
Be it coffee (just not the super strong one from work that still makes me shake four hours after I drank it), tea, cocoa or even hot wine, everything looks better after a nice warm drink. And for people who are really into Starbucks but don’t have a Starbucks budget, there are loads of recipes online that help you recreate your favorites.
Embracing seasonal fruits and veggies
Everyone tells you that healthy eating makes a difference, and all I can say is it’s true. I feel much more energized after a healthy meal. And it just so happens that autumn has a lot of really nice seasonal fruits and vegetables to offer. Clementines, oranges, beet root and all kinds of cabbage (to name but a few) are all delicious and can help you get through autumn and winter without resorting to an all-pasta diet. I buy a pumpkin or squash at least once a week. After all you have to enjoy pumpkin season while it lasts!
Making time for coziness
You spend more time with indoor activities like reading or watching movies than you did during summer. And in general I find it a lot less depressing and a lot more relaxing if my home is nice and cozy. While I am a complete mess when it comes to keeping a clean and tidy room, I admit that a certain amount of cleanliness does make life more agreeable. So I try to take at least one hour once a week to make sure I can still see my furniture beneath the piles of clothes and I don’t step into used dishes when I set foot out of my bed. Candles, blankets, cushions—all those little things really help.
Sussing out a cute sweater
Though working as an unpaid intern does not exactly make this my best way of treating autumn blues, it still helps, and is worth doing at least every once in a while. Buying a nice sweater, a warm scarf or cozy leggings makes autumn so much more endurable. And if you can’t buy one right now, shop your wardrobe or team up with a friend to do a swap.
Long walks in the crisp air
I know that nothing looks more tempting than the warm and comfortable car or train when you’re on your way to work in the morning. But skipping it or at least parking farther away from your workplace means you get a bit of exercise, much needed light (even if it might not be direct sunlight) and fresh air. This means you are less tired and in a better mood. I try to walk at least one way, either to work or back home, no matter how hard it may seem when I leave the house.
Counting the days
Lastly, if nothing else seems to cheer me up, I make a countdown. Because even the most sad and grey autumn will come to an end eventually.
Miram Lang is a student, cat lover and royal family enthusiast from Germany currently living in Prague. Her interests include traveling, learning new languages, obsessing about Christmas and correcting other people’s grammar. You can follow her on Instagram @miriam.la
[Image via Columbia Pictures]