If you’re feeling worn out, irritable, and have a strong desire to cocoon yourself as autumn’s days grow shorter and chillier, you’re in good company.
A lot of folks notice a slump in their mood and vitality during this season.
However, before you make a beeline for the sanctuary of your comforter, here are some pointers to navigate—and perhaps even appreciate—the seasonal shifts we encounter at this time of year.
Connect with Nature
As Alfred Wainwright, the renowned author and hillwalker, once quipped, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate attire.” Heed his wisdom by bundling up in cozy layers and weather-resistant footwear, then venture outside to soak in the beauty of the outdoors. Physical activity is an excellent way to stimulate the production of endorphins, those mood-enhancing hormones, so opt for a brisk walk, jog, or bike ride.
Soak up Some Sun
During the colder months, the sun tends to rise late and set early, diminishing our access to natural light. This scarcity can negatively affect our circadian rhythm, which orchestrates our sleep-wake cycle. Make it a point to spend at least half an hour outdoors during daylight to help lift your spirits and boost your alertness.
Invest in a Light Therapy Lamp
These specialized lamps mimic natural sunlight and pack more punch than your average bulb. Always adhere to the guidelines provided by the manufacturer—or consult your healthcare provider—regarding its proper usage, positioning, and duration.
Nourish Your Body
Craving comfort foods? Opt for wholesome, filling stews (a wonderful way to make use of economical meat cuts) and soups. Incorporating a variety of nutrient-rich vegetables into your homemade meals can also fortify your immune system, helping you fend off seasonal illnesses.
Channel the Danish Lifestyle
Draw inspiration from the Danish philosophy of ‘hygge,’ which celebrates simple joys in a snug setting. Spruce up your living area with plush throws, comfy pillows, fragrant candles, and mood lighting. Then settle down to enjoy a cherished movie or playlist while sipping on a rich hot chocolate.
Seek Professional Guidance
If you find it particularly hard to cope, you might be dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression. For more information, check out the mental health charity MIND’s website or have a chat with your general practitioner.