THE AUTUMN RESET
By Hannah Beery
When I first started writing my introductory piece for The Sunday Issue (hi, everyone!), I had my heart set on an exceptionally upbeat prose. I wanted to take you all in, captivating you with every word. So, it seemed natural to propose a topic I love the most: Autumn. Once I began to pen, it became particularly difficult to convince you all in a cheerful tone that the changing of the seasons from summer to autumn is all great all the time, because right now the “fall blues” have taken full effect on this Manhattanite. For me, autumn anxiety is real, or as our medical friends refer to it, Seasonal Depression, and it can hit like a brick wall as I breeze through the month of September.
Autumn has always been a season of possibilities. I grew up as a girl who loved school and counted down the days during summer vacation until I would be back in the school hallways with a new class schedule, blank notebooks and club sign-up sheets posted on the bulletin board that I knew could not wait to be filled out. Sound familiar? While that girl is long grown up now and no longer in her pigtails at cheerleading practice, the mindset has stuck by and grown up with her, not dwindling away, but instead extending throughout new phases of her life.
This past week my boyfriend was reminiscing on another summer that came and went, as I am sure you have done, as well. While it does ring true that Labor Day is the unofficial end to beach days and Summer Fridays, the disparaging tone evident in babe’s voice was enough to depress even the largest lover of the cooler months. Two things he voiced stuck with me. 1.) He wasted the summer (wrong) and 2.) cooler days mean unavoidable autumn depression. As I have already mentioned to you, I too was sensing the doldrums creeping in. I couldn't help but laugh it off and disagree with him, as fall hues and spiced candles carved their way into my heart many years ago. Every year, without fail, I patiently wait for the moment when summer waves goodbye with the falling leaves.
I don’t pretend to have it all figured out. In fact, I pride myself on being the ultimate work-in-progress. So, in high hopes of staying on the positive side of things this Autumn season, I am sticking to three key items to keep my blues in check: relationships, possibilities and #selfcare.
DAMN IT - YOUR GRASS IS GREEN TOO!
Recently, I found myself indulged in my newest literary addiction, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, a book by therapist and author, Lori Gottlieb. Lori covers, among many others, the topic of the grass is always greener on the other side with her patients. As humans, we are naturally inclined to make comparisons between other people and ourselves. It is in our nature. During the summer months, I know the feeling all too well of watching from the outside looking in the summer travels of friends and colleagues, having that sense of being “left behind”. However, just as physics tells us that every action has an equal or opposite reaction, the reaction to this action is completely up to you. Seeing how others spend the summer months can take a toll on the bystander, but tell me, when was the last time you took a moment to evaluate your own grass? My boyfriend felt inadequate when he mentioned his summer wastefulness, and from my shoes I can tell you he is nothing of the sort. However, if you feel like you’ve had a summer full of time wasted, you’re in luck. Come September, gone are the days all our acquaintances head out east and send, max, 4 word texts (and that is only because it was your birthday). September through November means your friendships are back in tact, everyone’s grass is equally watered, and this comes solely from a result of people who live in Manhattan will likely stay in Manhattan for these months. Your grass is about to get a lot greener with new and old friendships, and a reason to be out and about. It is no longer too hot to explore the streets of New York, and autumn strolls can now commence. Grab a friend and a coffee: the two things that can cure anything on your brisk fall afternoon.
NEW SEASON, NEW RESOLUTIONS
Just like that girl grinning with the commencement of a new school year, the changing of the seasons holds a sense of optimism in my “grown up” life as well, like that of a new job or cracking open the spine of a new book. The great literary genius who penned the likes of The Beautiful and Damned, and The Great Gatsby, also had his way with words in shorter sentiments. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s words have stuck with me since I was young - “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” You can roll your eyes at the quote, which I am sure you’ve seen attached to a thousand and one instagram photos. Or you can read the truth in the idea and light a fire in the days to come. I love to utilize the fall season to set my heart on a task I have been putting off since making my resolution list almost 10 months ago (oops). I am sure it’s way past time to start training for that marathon or meal prepping as you’ve been planning to do every Sunday since last August. Everyday we have a choice to change the way we are walking, talking and moving. However, sometimes a little motivation never hurts, just like the changing of the seasons.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
This brings us to my last, and most important, point. Can I get an “amen” for some #SelfCare? I will not lie to you, there are some days I do not leave my apartment. I love a good netflix binge when I am lonely, and luckily my kitchen is in very close proximity to my bedroom for maximum screen binging and salty snack capabilities. These days are identified as my best self-care moments and while from the outside looking in, they might be seen as a negative, in fact, the outcome can be more positive than ever imagined. As the days begin to shorten and the temperature begins to drop, self care is going to be as important as ever for my routine. We won’t deny you that with gloomy days comes some minor depression. It’s normal. It happens. But it does not have to own you. When the shorter days start to take their effect on you, it is the perfect time to light a candle, put on your comfiest sweater, make a cup of coffee and watch She’s All That for the 175th time. Do the things that make you love life a little bit more, that never fail you.
Hannah is a Sunshine State transplant, living her dreams in NYC. If she's not at the office, she is probably at DryBar - hands down her biggest guilty pleasure. In true Millennial fashion she loves the 'Gram so follow her @hannahbeery.