5 Easy Ways to Beat Autumn Blues
Whilst some people may love the autumn, with its changing leaves, darker nights and lower temperatures, there are plenty of others who see long sunless days stretching ahead and can easily feel very low.
In fact for anyone who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder (http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Seasonal-affective-disorder/Pages/Introduction.aspx) this is when it often worsens but many more people than that will experience low moods at the beginning of autumn. In some ways it’s quite natural, summer over, holidays possibly over for another year and days getting rapidly shorter as well as colder and often wetter.
So if you can enjoy picking blackberries, bonfires, bracing walks or simply drawing the curtains and curling up with a good book that’s brilliant. If not here a few suggestions to help you beat those autumn blues.
Take Up a New Hobby
It doesn’t really matter what it is anything from knitting to oil painting will give you something to while away the long winter evenings. Any form of creativity is good for us so think about dressmaking, crocheting, cross stitching, card making, glass decorating, or card making to mention just a few. In fact with a bit of planning your creativity could even help you to get organised for Christmas – making cards, decorations or even gifts for example. But there are lots of other creative outlets like music, cooking, a spot of home DIY or decorating. But choose something that you do really enjoy doing – it should be primarily about the process rather than the end product. It means when faced with a long autumnal evening you have something that will not only occupy you but that you will enjoy.
Join a New Club
This may be linked to the last one because a lot of clubs may be based around hobbies but that certainly doesn’t have to be the case. In our local town (which is a small market town) there a clubs for all sorts of interests, book clubs, film clubs, music clubs, supper clubs, exercise clubs, photography clubs, wine tasting clubs and art clubs to name just a few. A hobby is a good way of filling evenings when you are at home, especially if alone but a club is a great way to get out and socialise and that is good for you too. Having friends and socialising has definite health benefits (http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/good-friends-are-good-for-you) fact one study suggested that people who have an active social life are less likely to suffer adverse effects from stress than those who are socially isolated. So Use the autumn to get out and make some new friends
Get Some Exercise
It’s so easy when the weather worsens to stay shut up indoors. The idea of a walk or bike ride isn’t nearly so appealing when it’s freezing, blowing a gale or pouring with rain. But when we exercise we release endorphins which actually make us feel happier. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-does-exercise-make-us-feel-good/
Fresh air is good for us too so even if you have to wrap up and put on your wellies, the chances are you will feel better for braving it and having a brisk walk. If you work indoors so that it’s house to car then from car to office it’s even more important to make sure you get some fresh air. But if you really can’t face that then try an indoor exercise or sport like badminton or swimming, or join a gym, some can be very expensive but there are several new chains now that offer very reasonably priced ‘no frills’ membership. If that idea still doesn’t appeal then there are always exercises you can do at home, there are lots of short yoga sequences on You Tube for every different level and of course there are always new exercise programmes available on DVD or the or the internet – so you can do Zumba or aerobics in the comfort of your own home.
Enjoy the Delights of the Season
Ok so you may not be a fan of the season but it does have a few good points. Think of harvest festivals and all the wonderful fruits and vegetables that are around. Check out some favourite autumn recipes like apple and blackberry crumble, or try your hand at making some jams or chutneys - they are surprisingly easy – follow the link for a few easy autumn recipes.http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/top-20-autumn
Another seasonal favourite of mine is soup. I love soups but when the sun is shining I would always prefer a salad. When the days are colder however I love making and eating soups. There are so many varieties from smooth ‘drinkable’ soups to hearty soups that are a meal in themselves. Packed full of nutrients as well as tasting good they are a great way to ward off the autumn blues.
Give Yourself Things to Look Forward To
We all work better and feel happier when we have things to look forward to. These good be goals we want to achieve like training for an event or completing a qualification. But it can also be things like having a holiday to look forward, I must say if I hadn’t already booked my next two holidays I would be getting the brochures and doing my research right now! But it could also be some nice social gathering or event that you can look forward to and it certainly doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you are someone who finds autumn tough then make sure that every week you have something on your calendar to look forward to. Meeting a mate for a coffee, having friends for dinner (it needn’t be posh or expensive unless you want it to be) inviting some friends for a movie evening, or organising a team for a pub quiz. Whatever it actually is, is less important than the fact it gives you something to look forward to. One of the problems with autumn especially if the weather is not so good is that it can seem like weeks and months stretching ahead with not a lot to look forward to but really that’s easy to fix. Think about what you enjoy and then organise it, or something similar – so an outdoor barbecue might be tough but friends over for a burger evening is definitely a possibility. You can even enjoy a summer cocktail!
It's Up to You
Like so many things in life there are elements of choice. Certainly some people find it harder than others but mental attitude does play a part. If you decide you aren't going to like autumn then almost certainly you won't. But with a positive outlook a bit of planning and being prepared to give new things a go there is no reason why this season can't be a time fun and fulfilment.