Saturday, November 15, 2014

Why I like fall but why it is also killing* me

*not literally/immediately, but it doesn't help my health, that's for sure

My two favorite times of the year are spring and fall. Coming from a state that has very distinct seasons (though many feel as if winter lasts really long), I view those two seasons as the times that birth two other seasons. Plus, I don't like really hot weather but I can tolerate cold weather.

Spring is a wonderful, hopeful, and beautiful time. Remember how good it feels when the weather starts to warm up and the early flowers are pushing their way up from the ground? Everyone seems to be in a better mood as they shed bulky winter clothing and get some sunlight. Fall is lovely, too, as the hot and humid days of summer dissipate and the leaves change color (assuming it's a climate such as in Michigan or in Germany).

Fall is also great because of the fun seasonal things to do, such as visiting Herbstfest in Heidelberg (which may/may not include drinking grappa and dancing in front of an ice cream store) or drinking Federweisser and eating Zweibelkuchen.

However, sometimes I think that fall is trying to take me out. I suffer from seasonal allergies and chronic sinus infections. As the leaves fall and it rains, I feel awful, probably from the combination of mold and the leaves. I've been sick twice in September alone, then sick again in October. When I'm not actively sick, I feel as if I'm on the verge of getting sick, suffering from nasty congestion, headaches, and feeling as if I'm about ready to spike a fever. I'm exhausted; perhaps I don't get as much oxygen or I sleep poorly from being congested.

To be fair, I feel that springtime has it out for me too, with all the pollen flying around, which also induces more sinus infections. However, fall is made even more difficult by the decline in daylight. Even when I go straight home from work and not to one of my many engagements after, I am totally exhausted and am ready to go straight to bed. Sometimes it's difficult to stay awake even until 8 p.m. I guess it's a good thing that I usually have commitments after work; otherwise it's so hard to ignore the siren call of sleep! It can be 6 p.m. and feel like it's time to go to bed. I definitely feel some grumpiness settling in because I know that it'll just get gloomier with winter settling in.

Maybe one of these days I'll buy myself a special lamp for light therapy. I wonder if it would help. Readers, have you ever used them, and do you feel a marked improvement in wakefulness and mood as a result?


  1. Hello, yes I bought one last year and I already used it this fall. It seams to be very gloomy right now and especially here, where I live, we do not get much sun. I think it helps me, because it is really bright! It is not like you get immediately happy while using it, but if you use it continuously you won't get so grumpy or depressed. There are a few good ones that only cost about 25 Euros or so.

  2. Thanks for the input, Melanie. I think I should really get one. I'm sooo tired all the time and could use a pick-up.