Gourd-flavored beverages, crisp breezes, and (if you’re me) spending superfluous amounts of money on light jackets and sweaters--it must be fall.
Though in the oppressive heat of summer I yearn for the comfortable climate of autumn, I wish for it in the way one wishes for a stomachache brought on by too many gummy bears. The notion of fall is much more romantic than the oft times shivering and the feeble reality of a season before earth’s mopey death phase. Everything is great until you get what you want. I just wanted snuggly sweater weather, to be able to wear boots again, and to never know the feeling of armpit chafe or back sweat for a long time. And then comes the free add-ons of eczema flare-ups, waking up with a bloody nose from dry air, and general lethargy and susceptibility to illness. Cool.
Personally, I prefer to fill the void of summer bummer with carbs. What I will not stand for, however, is the cold dry air that somehow makes my sensitive nostrils so cracked as to bleed in the night. Gross. Once the heater comes on, forget it. I’m dabbing A+D Ointment inside my nostrils every other night.
Also, the eczema and dandruff that I thought was a memory of my so very flaky adolescence rages once more like a metal band on a comeback tour. I don’t know about you guys, but I get the flakes bad. I don’t leave the house without a face balm with me.
Showering at night (in warm-not-hot water) helps me when the weather cools down. I find that applying heavier moisturizers and sleeping in them makes my skin soft without the sticky greasiness of applying lotion and then getting on with my day. In the summer, I’d apply a light oil in the shower once I switched the water off and before toweling off. I still do this, but I just top a lotion over it post-toweling off during the initial weather transition. Sugar scrubs are great because lots of them leave a silky oil behind after scrubbing away your shedding epidermis. But you already knew that, didn’t you?
The real kicker that just makes autumn bittersweet for most people is that it seems like EVERYONE gets sick during a cold snap. There’s actually a totally logical reason this happens, the crux of which is that humans are living bags full of germs and bacteria. Cold weather makes people stay inside--all together, just mouth-breathing in closed-off rooms with poor circulation. It's a perfect cocktail party for germs to hang out and “network.”
Human bodies are always in a delicate functioning balance. Changing of climates and air pressure do have a much greater affect on you than you’d imagine. You know how when it’s an overcast or rainy day and you feel all lazy and sleepy? The slight drop in atmospheric pressure psyches your body out from the condition it’s accustomed to working in, so it’s like, “Whoa, hold your horses, I’ve got to drive us through this fog!” quite literally. You might find yourself getting migraines more easily, or just feel lethargic even though you’ve gotten enough sleep. It’s like a way milder version of altitude or decompression sickness. You're confused and reconfiguring immune system, coupled with an office of mouth-breathers, equals you taking the sick days you meant to use to play hooky on a nice day.
Of course all of this can be held at bay with preventative measures. Boost your vitamin C and zinc intake and keep active. Exercising keeps your stress levels low; stress can make you vulnerable to illness. (Also, I hear that exercise is good for you in general. Have you heard that?) Once people around me start vehemently sneezing and coughing, I up my hygiene from kindergarten teacher to surgeon levels of frequency and thoroughness.
There’s no guarantee you’ll avoid viruses going around this time of year, but these preventative measures certainly won't hurt. Also, ease up on the pumpkin spice lattes--they’re alarmingly high in calories and, in my opinion, a pumpkin not made into a pie is wasted pumpkin.
What are you NOT looking forward to this fall?