Fall is upon us, which means the annual onslaught of listicles about fun, fabulous fall activities is also upon us! Most of these things—going to a pumpkin patch, trying a darker lipstick, picking apples, making a metric ton of soup—are great, but they’re also a little played out.
Today, I present to you a fresh, new list of ways to celebrate Instagram’s favorite season. You will not find “take whimsical photos wearing all plaid at a pumpkin patch while drinking a pumpkin spice latte” on this list, but only because it’s a given that you’re already doing that, right now, while reading this.
Without further ado, here are 10 ways to get autumnal, y’all!
1. Throw an elaborate seasonal feast to commemorate the end of thigh-chafing season.
Invite all your lady friends who understand the anguish of chub rub. Deliver a prayer of gratitude for the divine gift of tights and pants.
2. Ask for a raise.
Women don’t ask for enough raises. The best thing about asking for a raise at this time of year is you can use a fun seasonal line like, “The leaves may be falling down, but the numbers on my paycheck need to be going UP.” OK, maybe don’t say that. But do ask for a raise if it’s been awhile since you’ve gotten one! You deserve it!
3. Stop dieting.
The insane “beach body” pressure has lessened, great food is all around, dieting doesn’t work, and you’re a fucking babe. Any questions?
4. Get rid of your clothes that no longer fit.
You know what’s depressing? A closet full of clothes that make you feel like you’re not good enough. The seasonal wardrobe transition is a perfect opportunity to go through your closet and remove all the pieces that don’t fit, used to fit, or might fit someday. You don’t have to get rid of them right away if that feels too dramatic, but put them in a box and store them somewhere unseen to remove that source stress from your daily routine. Clothes are not meant to be a daily reminder of your failure to carve your body into an exact replica of Kate Hudson’s. Clothes are meant to be worn.
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5. Shop for school supplies.
The other day I found myself in front of the school supplies section at Walgreens and the rush of excitement combined with the grief of mourning my lost youth caused me to start making involuntary whimpering noises. Then I was like, “Wait, why can’t I buy a crisp new notebook with a kitten on the front and a package of pencils?” It’s September! Buy yourself a couple cute things to please your inner 5th grader.
6. Do art.
Have you been secretly wanting to try abstract painting, figure drawing, mosaic, stained glass, sculpture, sewing, or singing? Why not use this school-y September energy to make it happen? Sign up for a community education class or dig into some YouTube tutorials and let your creativity flow.
7. Don’t put up with men’s bullshit.
Since last November, my tolerance for men’s bullshit has been hovering at around zero. My go-to response for an overly flirty barista or mansplaining co-worker these days? “Trump is president and I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS.” Highly recommend you try it out this fall.
8. Cause a ruckus.
When fall comes around, it’s tempting to curl up next to a “utopian apple orchard”-scented Yankee Candle with a big bowl of autumnal vegetable soup and try to forget what’s going on in the world. Rest is important, but we’ve got to stay engaged, and if anything, turn up the heat on our elected officials as more injustices pile up by the day. Speak out. Volunteer. Hold your reps accountable. Hold police accountable. Protect immigrant communities. Don’t let racist comments slide. Donate to social justice organizations. Engage in some good old fashioned civil disobedience.
9. Bring your neighbor a pie (or some cookies, or fruit, or raw vegan energy bars or whatever).
This sounds sort of hokey, I know, but real talk: community is so important. Connecting with your neighbors is good for your emotional health, safety, and community. The world is terrifying right now. Most of us our lives are spent isolated behind a computer screen. A warm “hello” and a basket of scones can change everything.
10. Buy an ornate piece of furniture off Craigslist.
Fall feels like a time of new beginnings, and for some reason, it also feels like the perfect time to buy the vintage French-inspired armoire that you never knew you needed.