Labor Day traditionally marks the end of summer–which traditionally marks the beginning of autumnal depression. A conditioned response resulting from years of heartbreaking back-to-school displays and the end of all things fun, it’s pretty natural to see the return from your last long weekend of summer as a dirge into crummy weather, muddy shoes, and a desire to dive into the many seasonally-mandated meals that fall brings.
But being that you are now a grown-up, this change of weather can actually be pretty exciting. Here are a few things to get you feeling OK about the beginning of fall:
New wardrobe opportunities. All summer, you’ve been sweating it out in the least amount of clothing that’s still decent, in a gym that may or may not have all of the modern conveniences (read: air conditioning). With the onset of autumn, you’ll be granted a new reason to peruse cute zip-ups, ballerina-style cardigans, and loads of flattering leggings.
Empty gyms. When the leaves start to drop, the excuses aren’t far behind, and less dedicated folks than yourself begin to fall off the wagon. Look forward to always being able to snag your favorite treadmill, truly stretch out in yoga classes, and rarely have to bump backsides in the locker room.
Seasonal produce. Summer may boast berries, but fall’s farm-fresh haul is nothing to sniff at. Think nutrient-dense root veggies like carrots, beets, leeks and turnips, as well as versatile, inexpensive, and oh-so-good-for-you squash. And if you’re unsure how to put all of these knobby veggies to use, don’t worry–we’ve had a few good recipes in the past. And as a bonus, many farmers’ markets stay open well into October, so you can keep topping your morning meal with dried plums and roasted chestnuts long after the haze of summer has come and gone.
Skin relief. There’s been plenty of debate over whether or not sunscreen is a toxic killer, or a life saving necessity, but whichever way you fall on the conversation, the end of summer means a distinct deficit in your need for burn-proofing and wrinkle-preventing. Fall gives you the opportunity to stay in a little, giving your pores a break. And of course, there are plenty of good options for when you do venture out into sneaky autumnal sunlight that do no harm, and are mild enough for regular winter wear–which is still recommended.
New reading material. By the start of September, just about every women’s magazine has run out of “ways to get your fiercest bikini bod” and “fabulous diet tips for summer,” freeing up cover space for fall recipes, cute accessories, and other, less body-shaming topics. Even if you’d never be caught picking up a copy of Cosmo, the relief of no longer seeing Zoe Saldana’s weirdly airbrushed “body” on a beach is enough to make the check-out line a less hateful place.
Photo: Kei Noguchi