The famous early 2oth century poet John Keats called autumn the season on mists and mellow fruitfulness. Today, however, it’s probably better known as the season of pumpkin spice, Halloween decorations and walking down mist enshrouded high streets on a carpet of crunch rust-colored leaves. Every season, mother nature brings us a very different set of gifts, and the fall is no exception. Sure, the fall doesn’t have the zest and optimism of spring, the glitz and glamor of summer or the melancholy beauty of winter. But it’s certainly not without its own idiosyncratic charm.
Who among us doesn’t love getting up on a brisk, chilly yet clear and sunny fall morning to the faintly smoky aroma that hangs in the air? Who among us doesn’t relish the opportunity to invest in a super cute yet comfy and cosy fall wardrobe? The humble pleasures of the season are not to be overlooked… but like every season, there’s a dark side to the autumnal bliss we enjoy at this time of year. From pesky inconveniences to potentially serious health risks, there are also things that we dread about the onset of the fall season.
With that in mind, join us as we take a look through the very best and the very worst of the coming season…
Best: Being able to layer up
The fashion-conscious among us will relish the opportunity to see what the new season has to offer when designs transition from the catwalk to the highstreet. And while we can expect knee high boots, cosy Argyle knits, metallic sheens and patchwork themes to dominate the fashion scene before winter is upon us, one of the most gratifying things about the fall is that it gives us a chance to layer up in ways that we haven’t really been able to over summer. It’s a chance for those of us who love clothes to experiment with new combinations of colors, hues and textures to create the perfect seasonal ensemble.
Plus, let’s be honest, we could all do with a little less of the sense of exposure that many of us feel in summer. Especially those of us who are feeling a little less than confident about our bodies. With the chance to add more layers comes a chance to play to our bodies’ strengths and distract the eye from areas we’re less happy about.
Worst: Seasonal allergies
The fall is a beautiful season to be sure. Looking at all those beautiful hues of red, orange, gold, brown and everything in between on the trees and on the ground is integral to the charm of the season. However, for those of us who suffer from allergies, it can be an absolute nightmare that eclipses even what the spring has to throw at us.
Different plants release pollen at different times in the year, and while those prone to hayfever may assume that the worst is behind them when summer draws to a close. Unfortunately, that’s not always true. What’s more, if you’ve moved home since last fall, you may find that you’re exposed to allergens that you didn’t even know were allergens. Which is why it behoves you to learn about seasonal allergies on Thermo Fisher. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you can’t come intercontact with new allergens in adult life. Changes of scenery and lifestyle can often trigger reactions to new allergens that we may not previously have known about. One of the biggest allergenic triggers around this time of year is ragweed, which begins releasing pollen towards the latter end of August and keep going throughout September and October. What’s more, the increasing levels of humidity can cause mold to crop up throughout the home, and this too can trigger allergies.
Best: The kids go back to school
This is a particular blessing in the current climate, where many of us have had to transform the home into the workplace. And no workplace is conducive to productivity when it’s shared with bored, frustrated and under-stimulated kids.
Since spring, parents have had to content with a paradigm shift that has threatened to send their work / life balances into disarray. Working parents have had to not only grapple with the logistics of working from home, but staying productive in an environment that’s laden with distractions from the allure of the TV and sofa, to the immediacy of washing, tidying and laundry. All that can be exacerbated when kids who are understimulated from having spent months away from their friends are added into the mix.
While many of us are still grappling with many of the same issues, the fact that the kids are heading back to school removes one complication from our working lives. While the potential risks and rewards of schools reopening right now is worthy of a blog post all of its own, those of us who are still working from home may find that focus and productivity come to us a little kore readily when we have the place to ourselves.
Worst: Seasonal Affective Disorder
This year has been a real challenge to virtually everyone’s mental health. Many of us have had to contend with money worries, fundamental changes to our working lives, and perceived danger lurking around every corner on the breath of avery stranger. It’s a recipe for anxiety and its inevitable cousin, depression. What’s more, those of us who are predisposed to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may find the coming months particularly challenging as the days start to grow shorter, colder and gloomier and the nights grow darker and colder.
SAD can make us feel depressed, lethargic, low in energy and mood, and as though something as simple as getting out of bed is a herculean effort. It can make the beautiful and charming things about the season seem much harder to perceive and cause us to focus only on the negative. However, there are ways to mitigate this seasonal form of depression. Staying active, eating well and making time for the people who bring you joy can all provide a lifeline when SAD hits. So make sure that there’s always someone in your support bubble you can hug.
Best: Pumpkin Spice
It’s something that we all look forward to every year, and 2020 will be no exception. The coming of the ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte at your favorite coffee shops. While it may not be the most nutritious treat, there’s no denying that it’s the taste of fall. Warming, satisfying and oh-so-comforting, the combination of sweetness, cloves, ginger, and of course cinnamon is the hug in a mug that we all need right now. Even if there’s never actually anything remotely pumpkin related in these foaming beverages.
Our love of pumpkin spice isn’t just because we’re easily suckered by coffee franchise marketing. There’s a scientific reason why we love it so much. The combination of sugar and warming spices lights up the pleasure centers in our brain. What’s more, the perfectly engineered combination of taste and scent has a way of triggering treasured seasonal memories that often go right back to our childhood. Memories of pumpkin pie shared in front of a roaring fire on a chilly autumnal evening. Of lattes and laughter shared with friends in our carefree younger years. And of baking delicious pumpkin spice treats for our own kids. This tasty tradition provides comfort and a wistful sense of nostalgia.
Worst: Pumpkin Spice
Okay, so as much as we all love pumpkin spice, like any seasonal tradition that turns a profit, it can get really old, really fast. In their zeal to capitalize on the seasonal craze, manufacturers dutifully begin making everything the human mind can imagine in some kind of pumpkin spice variant from ice cream to (trust me this absolutely exists) condoms. By the time winter tolls around, you’ll likely be done with pumpkin spice anything for another year, aptly proving that you really can have too much of a good thing.
Worst: Climbing energy bills
Yes, we have two “worst”s together. But you wouldn’t want to end the post on a sour note, now would you? With the colder weather and darker days, there inevitably comes a rise in our energy bills. Still, that doesn’t mean that we need to spend over the odds to keep ourselves warm and comfortable. The Department of Energy has some useful advice on conserving energy around this time of year.
Best: the wonderful holidays
While many of us start to feel down around this time of year, we can take solace in the fact that there’s always something to look forward to! The season brings wonderful opportunities for togetherness and spending time in the company of the people who mean the most to us (something that we’re all sorely needing right now). We get Labor Day, providing us with a welcome break from the daily grind. We get the excitement and theatricality of Halloween that helps to bring out the kid in all of us. And finally, of course, we get the opportunity for togetherness and gluttony that is thanks giving.
And when all that’s done with, we know that Christmas is just around the corner!