Fall is fast approaching and with it comes sniffles, coughing, wheezing in addition to pumpkin-flavored lattes and chunky sweaters. Plus if you live on the West Coast, all this wildfire smoke is making your situation even worse. Air quality can fluctuate a lot in the fall and you may have to stay inside more than you’re used to but you can still find ways to enjoy the season and protect your health!
First of all, preventative measures are needed.
This may be the boring, unfun part but we promise it’s necessary to ensure your daily life isn’t disrupted by allergens all the time.
- Make sure you’re aware of all your allergies, get tested by a doctor to know the full breakdown of what triggers you.
- Keep an eye on pollen count and the air quality index of where you live. Sure, it can be annoying to let numbers dictate your movement but don’t put yourself through unnecessary sniffles when you can stay indoors for the day!
- You. Must. Clean. Yes, you need to keep your space clean and free of pollen, dust, mold spores and whatever else is in the air. The most effective way to accomplish this is keeping the air filters in your space updated and a true HEPA air purifier running. The cleaner the air, the clearer your head, the more enjoyable your day is.
Preparations must be made.
Next, you got to gear up for any and all situations you may encounter if you’re heading outdoors. Be sure to align your timing to avoid bad air quality.
- Masks aren’t just helpful for preventing the spread of COVID-19, they’re great for keeping your nose and mouth protected from anything hanging in the air.
- In fact, accessorize your entire head while you’re at it, but have fun with a large but cute pair of sunglasses and a floppy, sunhat to keep pollen, smoke or dust from clinging to your hair or getting in your eyes.
- If you have medication you need to take, take it. An inhaler to bring? Bring it! (There’s a ton of great, functional and fashionable inhaler holders out there!) An EpiPen? Make sure you or the person you’re with has it! Don’t forget tissues and you’re prepped for the outdoors.
Enjoy the great outdoors safely.
While you’re out and about, make sure you do so safely and be aware of any sudden weather changes.
- Avoid fall leaves! We know you desperately want to jump in a huge pile of leaves or hear the crunch underneath your ankle boots but dead leaves are, if they’re dry, a dust bomb waiting to go off or, if they’re wet, a breeding ground for mold.
- If you’re going to be in a heavily wooded area or a park, bring blankets or chairs to sit on to avoid contact with the ground or grass. Bonus points if you’re super extra and bring an umbrella so nothing gets on you.
- In the likely chance you come into contact with pollen or dust or any other allergens on your skin, make sure you have hand sanitizer on you to clean off your hands easily before you go back inside.
- When you’re back indoors, carefully remove all outdoor clothes to be washed. Some people have designated rooms where they dump outside items before they fully enter the home.
When in doubt, stay at home.
Listen, there’s plenty to do inside the house. You just have to get a little creative. This way, you’re adhering to lockdown guidelines and protecting yourself!
- Decorate your space to match the season’s vibes. Carve some pumpkins, use faux leaves and pine cones throughout your space, add a few apple-cinnamon-pumpkin-scented candles here and there and so much more. Pinterest is our favorite go-to for fall decorating.
- Recreate what you could do outside the house indoors. Set up elaborate movie nights with large sheets for a screen, a fog machine, lowlights and a popcorn machine. Have a fun, bottomless brunch with a small group. Play a band game or sing karaoke, whatever you can think of!
- Bake a bunch of fall-themed treats like apple pie, pumpkin rolls, maple glaze doughnuts, apple fritters, caramel salt cheesecake...whoops, sorry now we’re daydreaming. If you’re not into baking but you are into eating, look around for local pastry and cake shops in your area that you can support by buying an entire week’s worth of sweets.
Fall is one the best seasons so make sure you get the most out of it by taking the basic, precautionary steps to keep your head and lungs clear. Stay home as much you need to and be safe.