I love Autumn. I adore the colours of the autumnal British countryside and getting cosy after a chilly walk home is a favourite. But for many people Autumn and Winter is tough. The shorter, darker days that accompany this time of year can trigger seasonal affective disorder (SAD), causing people to feel tired, unmotivated and depressed.
First and foremost, if you are feeling these symptoms (at any time of year) you must speak to someone – a friend, family member or doctor. If you’re not ready to talk to someone you know, you can call Samaritans for a chat any time.
In addition to talking to someone, I have put together a couple of ways to help you embrace and enjoy the Autumn.
1. Get Outside, Whatever the Weather.
As we experience colder, harsher weather it is tempting to stay inside and avoid the world around us. But it is very important to exercise regularly and enjoy some fresh air.
2. Eat Well.
Autumn equals mashed potato, pie, gravy, and other loveliness. But you must make sure to squeeze in all of your fruit and veg. Exposure to sun is the body’s main source of vitamin D, and when levels of sunlight decrease it can increase the risk of SAD. Vitamin D can be found in oily fish and eggs. You can also try some healthier versions of your favourite meals. Why not try swede, sweet potato and pumpkin – all sources of vitamin C and the antioxidant, betacarotene.
3. Plan something and/or Set a goal
With summer behind us and Christmas still a little while away, it is easy to feel unmotivated. You can try setting a goal or planning something to look forward to. This could be a dinner with friends, taking up a new hobby or even booking a mini break.
Mindfulness is becoming increasingly popular for managing anxiety and depression. There are lots of groups you can join or you can practice by yourself, click here for more info.
5. Get Cosy
I’m talking candles, blankets, comfortable clothes and baths.
You can even give Hygge a go: “The Danish word hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a feeling or mood that comes from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary everyday things simply extraordinary; whether it’s making coffee a verb by lingering over a cup to a cosy evening in with friends to lighting a candle with every meal. Some refer to Hygge as the Art of Creating Intimacy (with yourself, friends and home). Words like cosiness, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, fellowship, simpleness and living well are often used to describe the idea of Hygge.Technology and modern day busy-ness has removed so many of us from ourselves, our homes and ordinary tasks, making them feel as though these things are hard to do, have no importance or are too time-consuming. It’s stopped us from being authentic and conscious. Hygge is about celebrating reality and present.. ” (Hygge House, 2015) read more here & here.
Let me know what you think in the comments or on twitter @maldrichwincer!