The end of summer brings seasonal blues for some of us – especially in the Northern Hemisphere where it signals the arrival of shorter days, longer nights and wild weather.
But there are several reasons that autumn should be welcomed back like a favourite friend returning home from afar.
For starters, nature enflames our senses with the fiery hues of turning leaves, we get to slip into cosy clothes and sip sublime spiced pumpkin lattes.
And it’s also a sociable time to take stock of your studies, spend time with family, prepare for the party season and much more.
With that in mind, here are 10 tips for enjoying autumn.
1. Restyle your study for autumn
If you’re suffering a seasonal study slump, switching up the colours of furnishings like cushions and accessories might supercharge your synapses again. It’s been shown that autumnal colours like red can increase productivity because they increase the blood flow, elevate heart rate and inspire passion and emotion. With your study space suitably restyled, you’ll feel much more energized and creative.
2. Clear your brain with a brisk walk in the autumn woods
We all know walking has physical benefits, but according to mental health charity Mind it can also enhance your psychological wellbeing. Apparently, it reduces stress and anger, improves mood and aids relaxation. So if you want a brain that fires on all cylinders, slip on those wellies and skip through those wonderful golden leaves like a sprightly squirrel.
3. Get those cosy autumn clothes back out
While it’s lovely to lounge around outside in shorts and tees (especially when it’s unexpectedly sunny), there’s also something soothing about wrapping up in your warm wooly jumper and jacket and slipping on your scarf and bobble hat before braving the elements. Selecting your autumn outfits helps you warm up for outdoor activities with friends and family in more ways than one.
4. Make an autumn playlist
You’ll need a soundtrack that matches the sights, smells and sensations of the season, so making an autumn playlist should definitely be on your to-do list. And although summer songs might spring to mind more easily, there are more autumnal tunes than you might realise – favourites like Autumn Almanack by The Kinks, Autumn Leaves by Ed Sheeran and Autumn in New York by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong should kick-start your hit list.
5. Read autumn poetry…and write some too
While you’re out for a walk, why not clear your mind completely from everyday concerns for five minutes, rest at a scenic spot and read some classic autumn poetry? And since this liminal season has inspired everyone from John Keats to Emily Bronte to put pen to paper, it might spur you to get lyrical and write your own seasonal ode too. Banish writer’s block by adding your own verses to this opening – ‘Wandering through the autumn woods and pulling on my mittens, I gazed across a misty field and saw some furry…’
6. Cram with some jam
One of the many benefits of distance learning is that you’re able to study at home and possibly have more time for activities like cooking, so preparing some autumn preserves allows you to hit the books and cram with some jam, tea and scones. Take your pick from delicious ingredients like damsons, pears, blackcurrants, blueberries and gooseberries, find a few recipes online and boil up enough batches to see you through to spring.
7. Spend cosy autumn evenings indoors
Whether you’re curling up on the couch with your better half or having your family round for seasonal food and drinks, autumn is an awesome season to spend cosy evenings indoors making the most of home comforts. Make sure you’re well stocked with blankets, cushions and chocolates, then settle in while TV favourites like Strictly Come Dancing whisk you through to Christmas on the wings of whimsy.
8. Embrace autumn holidays like Halloween and Bonfire Night
Holidays like Halloween and Bonfire Night evidence everything that’s excellent about autumn – the excitement of donning extravagant costumes and attending fireworks displays puts spring’s sedate eggs and bunnies in the shade. So embrace these autumn holidays to the fullest and before your last sparkler has fizzled out you’ll be prepping for the Christmas social season.
9. Balance your autumn diet and exercise regime
Although there’s no sense starving yourself of treats in autumn, be aware that your body will probably crave carbohydrates, so be sure to balance this out with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables that aid weight control and help you combat seasonal coughs and sniffles. Meanwhile, icy pavements make this the perfect time to focus on indoor exercise at your gym – no matter how tempting it may be, don’t suspend your membership until spring.
10. Make sure you get enough sleep
According to the NHS, dark mornings and evenings in autumn mean that your body produces more melatonin, which can make you feel more tired than usual and disrupt your normal sleep patterns. If you want to stay in tip-top physical and mental condition for work, family and academic pursuits, follow these seasonal shut-eye tips from The Sleep Council and stock up on Vitamin D from your pharmacist.
These 10 tips will help you face autumn head on, keep on track with your life goals and emerge healthier and happier for the festive season and beyond.
For more health and lifestyle tips, take a look at these blogs: