It’s a funny time of year when the clocks change. You can feel like winter’s not really coming yet right until the end of October and then suddenly overnight the air seems to turn cooler, the evenings get shorter and even the light looks different. I actually love Autumn, but I’m always sad to see the end of warmer weather. There’s something a little bit sad when you have to get your winter coats and thick knitted jumpers out of the back of the wardrobe! But I like the feeling of change that comes along with the cold air, I don’t know if it’s just an overhang to school days when September meant the start of a new year, being a year older at school and the chance for a fresh start, but there’s something exciting about this time of year, like it’s a chance for new beginnings and trying something new!
And starting something new, cracking down on old habits or giving yourself a bit of an overhaul can be a great way to deal with the sudden change of the weather, the sudden lack of energy levels and that general down-in-the-dumps feeling that can sometimes come along with the colder months. It’s a good time of year to start thinking about your ‘wellness’ – and I don’t just mean sorting out your fitness or diet, but making sure you really look after yourself however you need – whether that’s eating healthy or making sure you take some time out to rest and do the things that make you happy. Jet2 sent me a ‘wellness pack’ this month to help beat the end-of-summer blues that comes with the end of holiday season, and it inspired me to write a post about the things that I do to beat the Autumn blues – from indoor activities that make me smile when it’s cold outside, to starting a new routine of my own to help me have a positive Autumn! I hope you enjoy some of my tips!
Make a new playlist
At the start of October I started my ‘Autumn 2017’ Spotify playlist. Having a seasonal playlist is something I started doing last Summer, when I realised there were so many great songs I found, liked and promptly forgot about afterwards when I was scrolling through Spotify! I’m a big fan of using the ‘discover’ list on Spotify, so I started saving anything I liked from my weekly playlists, or came across and listened to elsewhere on to one big seasonal list. It’s a great way of saving the music you love and ending up with an awesome reminder of a certain time in your life through the music you listened to. I find that there are some favourite tracks that may come and go depending on the month or season, but remind you of a certain time or place so vividly it’s like a nostalgia trip every time you hear them. This is an amazing way to make sure you don’t lose those songs that you loved and listened to on repeat, even if it was only for a week! Plus it helps to make me happy that it’s a new season – even though I was sad to wake up to a misty morning instead of sunshine that morning and know that the Summer was over, it still gave me a little bit of excitement to start my new list and the feeling of exciting new things to come for a new season!
Summer always seems to be the time that everyone thinks about their fitness the most (beach body blah blah blah) but I really find that Autumn is the time when I need to restart my fitness routine. Yes, you might be able to cover up in big jumpers, but the lack of sunlight always equals a lack of energy for me. Without the sunlight to get me up, out of bed and ready to embrace the day it’s very easy to become a bit lazy! Starting a new fitness regime is a great way to sort that out – starting today I’m going for a quick run down the canal by my house every morning. Trust me, when I woke up this morning I reaaaaallly din’t want to go and would have way rather stayed in my cosy bed, but I forced myself and it made a huge difference! Not only did I get a boost of fresh air first thing in the morning, I had a sense of achievement and way more energy to see me through the day! Working at a computer all day means it’s all too easy to get no daylight when the colder months come around so making a commitment to exercise outdoors every day is a great way to make sure you don’t miss it. Working from home also means I can start getting daily yoga into my routine through the fab online yoga site Movement for Modern Life. They have hundreds of classes with amazing yoga teachers online at your fingertips. I’m lucky enough to make my own work routine, so I can time my yoga practice breaks with the afternoon slump I get at around 3pm when I’m working – trust me, doing some yoga in the afternoon is a way better pick me up than reaching for the coffee and biscuits that I’d normally do when I need a pick me up from work! It’s a good way to get fitness into my timetable without any horrible early morning gym sessions or spending my evening on the tube to a yoga class. I’ve got a feeling this new routine is going to get me feeling a lot fitter, healthier and happier in no time!
Buy some new stationary
I still can’t get rid of the school-kid inside me that thinks that Autumn = new stationary season! Even though it’s been longer than I’d like to admit since I’ve been at school or Uni, there’s still something about this time of year that makes me want to do a stationary overhaul and buy a new diary, pens, pencil case…you name it! And all matching of course…! I love any excuse for a new notebook, so this is one habit I’m more than happy to hold on to! I’m literally a sucker for stationary and can’t help buying new notebooks whenever see a cute one…I mean, I’ll definitely use it at some point right? My all-time faves are Kikki K, Jo & Judy and Ohh Deer, where this cute planner is from! It’s perfect for organising your days and tasks if you’re busy like me! Is there anything better than getting a new notebook or diary to make you feel productive?! I don’t think so!
Just like I find exercising helps extra in Autumn and Winter, I feel the same about eating well! I guess it’s probably a no brainer – eating better is going to help you feel better! As much as I also love to indulge when it gets cold – hot chocolate, hearty home-cooked meals, all the mulled alcoholic drinks (!) – I find it’s important to look after my diet. It’s so easy to feel a bit stodgy and lethargic when you’re stuck inside to avoid the cold, and it’s all too easy to reach for the sugary snacks to boost your mood rather than finding other ways to beat the Autumn blues. So I find eating healthy helps to boost my energy and stop me from getting that “It’s cold, I’m not going to make any effort” feeling. I’m good at eating healthily when it comes to my main meals, but snacking can sometimes be my downfall! So finding healthier ways to do it really helps. Like switching crisps for kale chips and chocolate for raw bars like Nakd. You still get the satisfaction of snacking and the energy pick-me-up from eating in-between meals but it’s a lot healthier and doesn’t come with the sugar crash afterwards!
I find it hard when the daylight hours get shorter and the evenings get colder because I tend to feel really limited on what I can do. I like to be out and about, doing activities as much as possible, but it’s all too easy to feel like you’ve got nothing to do in the evening once it gets to winter! I think the secret is to learn to embrace staying in! Something I’m usually pretty bad at and will take some practice…but there are ways! I’m thinking bubble baths, lots of face mask pamper sessions, and homemade hot chocolates in front of a movie! There’s something really luxurious about just enjoying doing cosy activities and giving yourself the time off to just relax. It’s all about that Hygge lifestyle to enjoy the colder months and embrace it getting dark so early! Now if only I had a fireplace….!
Book your next Holiday
If all else fails…there’s a sure way to cheer up those autumn blues. Booking your next trip away! Whether you want winter sun (I’d recommend Gran Canaria for year-round sunshine – read my travel tips here), something further afield (read about my cruise trip to the Caribbean last winter here, or something closer by, there’s nothing like the thought of a holiday to cheer you up and give you something to look forward to! Next on my list is Iceland, definitely a destination to help you appreciate wintery climates more! I’m eyeing up the Jet 2 sale too for some cheap city breaks to Europe, they’ve got sooo many destinations to choose from and some of them are only £25 each way at the moment which is a pretty big bargain! You can check out the site here…let me know if you’ve got any holidays booked to help you through the winter (or if you end up booking one now!!)