Cutting Through Fall Fog

There’s something about fall that always ushers in a wave of melancholy. As long as I can remember I have always felt like winter was magical and ethereal, but autumn has always brought me sadness. I love fall, I love the way the leaves crunch under my boots, the way the pines smells when their needles start to drop. I love the way the whole town lights up orange and red, and strings of dim yellow lights start to pop up everywhere. I love the nip of the wind. I love running around with my scarf billowing in the wind and my hair flowing free. Despite all this, every fall season I end up in bed, sleepless and restless. I don’t know what it is about fall that makes me feel this way, like I’m surrounded by fog.

This year I’m trying to combat all those gloomy thoughts not by focusing on feel-good activities, but on stuff that pulls me through the thick of it. Avoiding this behavior hasn’t helped so now I channel it. Obviously these are heavily subjective coping mechanisms but I just want to share what’s been working for me. Change what you wish.

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Almost Famous (2000), courtesy of cine-estilo.

1.) Going for a ride.

Now, I don’t drive. For me this means getting into my boyfriend’s car and him driving on long stretches of empty road through fields and fields of corn. I didn’t know my state grew this much corn before this. Sometimes we talk but mostly I just play disc jockey and flip through songs on Spotify. It offers a good time to reflect on how I’m feeling, as well as the possibility of discovering parts of the city we’d never seen before. Something about the vast sky and quite purr of the car that just puts me at ease. I love driving at dusk, with the tie-dye sky and bright city lights.

My freshman year I went to a university and I lived on campus. I had my favorite spots and when I couldn’t take being trapped in my dorm anymore, I’d hop on the bus and ride around the university a couple times until I finally felt like getting off at my stop. Sometimes I’d loop around once, twice, thrice with my headphones on, watching century old buildings pass by, my breath fogging up the window pane. There’s just something so freeing about getting on a bus and losing time.

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Practical Magic (1998), courtesy of cine-estilo

2.) Journal, journal, journal.

I religiously journaled my way through middle school and then switched to treating my tumblr blog as an online diary in high school. While I wish I had taken the time to hand write all those angsty high school posts into diaries full of movie stubs and photo booth pics, I love being able to go back and easily see what I was feeling. I organized everything nice and neat on my blog, tagging every post under a collective thoughts tag.

I think everyone needs some way to express themselves and I think writing is a good outlet for those who maybe aren’t so artistically talented. You don’t have to be a good writer to write about your feelings, you’re not being graded on what you write. Just write your heart out and you’ll be alright. ❤︎

3.) Downtime in a comfy spot.

I love to find a place and make it my cushy haven. At home I choose my bed and surround myself with a multitude of pillows and blankets, and a stuffed animal or two. Get yourself a plush blanket or two, some squishy pillows, and curl up on sofa or make a fort.

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Courtesy of enchiladaplate.

Hide away in your comfy spot and only emerge when you’re ready to face the world again, whether that be 30 minutes or a few hours. Taking time to unwind is essential to unloading some of the day’s stress, or use this time to do something productive while surrounded in comfort. Be wary of using this time to mope about, as it just feeds into that fall doom and gloom.

These are just my favorite ways of trudging through the season, I think in the future I’ll be making a post about indulging in sadness. Do any of these things work for you? Share any techniques that do the trick for you in the comments below!

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