By Elva Carri
For as long as I can remember, I’ve gotten the heebie-jeebies at the first smell of autumn. I smell it before I can see it, and that first whiff catapults me from the wonderfulness of summer to the cold, dark and difficult associations I have with autumn in Ireland.
To me, autumn means going back to school, carrying a heavy bag and wearing an uncomfortable amount of clothes. The dark mornings and evenings aren’t the worst – they actually feel like a relief from the greyness of the daytime. Black skies are far superior to murky, stagnant daylight. Over the years though, I’ve found some ways to cope. I still don’t quite look forward to it, but I know I can survive it.
If I could give you one piece of advice for coping with autumn, sunscreen would be it. We all know it’s good for our skin to wear it all year round now anyway, but my reasoning is a little different. Just like the smell of autumn affects me, so too do the smells of summer. I took to sniffing creamy, coconutty suncream as a teenager, and it’s got me through many a dark day. If smells aren’t your thing, try putting on your bikini/mankini and some old summer chart hits, indoors, with a cocktail umbrella in a hot chocolate, and give autumn the finger. It cannot defeat your colourful imagination – hard as it may try.
Nurture in Nature
After realising that the suncream and bikini combo is only a temporary, denial-style alleviation, it’s time to go outside and embrace it. I recommend going as far into the west of Ireland as is possible. Once I’m up close and personal with the reasons autumn needs to happen, I feel somewhat consoled. Autumn has a role to play in our landscape, our flora and fauna. Being amongst it all helps me shake off my selfish desire for summer to never end. A blast of cold wind and a downpour can also help you uncling yourself from summer memories and focus on the more immediate need to get dry and warm. Before you know it, you might find yourself laughing, playing a board game and drinking tea by a fire.
Dormancy & Germination
Just like seeds need to be in colder temperatures, in dark and damp, to eventually begin to sprout, maybe we do too. The time in nature reminds me of that. I take the pressure off myself to be presenting things to the world when the annual darkness rolls on in, and instead, I focus on brewing away like a nice pot of tea on a stove. Mulling over ideas, trying things out in secret, before I pop up through the soil with something new to show off in spring. Decide on some idea or project or inner world to cultivate and relish the generous amount of indoor time you’re about to have to do that.
Have you got any tips of your own? I’d love to hear them. Tweet how you embrace autumn to @positivelifemag.
Elva Carri is the founder of GirlCrew. GirlCrew.com. Twitter: @elvacarri