Health & wellbeing

Embracing autumn

07 Nov 2023 | Written by Susanna Lewis

The Joy Club member and host of our monthly ‘Writing for wellbeing‘ workshops shares her tips on how to embrace autumn.

The season of Autumn is now firmly upon us. Leaves of russet brown and copper stretch out before us like a carpet of cosiness, telling us it is time to prepare for the coming of the winter months. Many people dread the arrival of Autumn as it precedes winter bringing cold weather and shorter days but perhaps we should use it as a time to rest and reflect. Autumn doesn’t have to be the season of doom and gloom. If we can find ways to embrace it then we may find that Autumn and Winter helps us feel refreshed and even rejuvenated. So what can we do to enjoy the Autumn season? Here are my top tips and you may find that instead of dreading the approaching winter, you look forward to it, embracing every aspect of this much-maligned season.

Autumn plays a vital role in the natural world and as nature is such a powerful healer it can improve our health and wellbeing. It is traditionally the time for hibernation, for creating warmth and comfort, for enjoying that cosy feeling and for eating warm, nutritious food. Animals and wildlife prepare for winter in a similar way. They don’t fear the winter, they embrace it by thinking ahead and preparing well in the autumn so that they can enjoy winter without any hardship or uncomfortable feelings. Perhaps we should follow their lead.

This is a time to get cosy. Grab some blankets and throw them on your sofa and bed, then when you get the chance for some rest, pull the blanket over you and snuggle down with your favourite hot drink and a good book. Why not light a scented candle or two and turn the lights down? Reading by candlelight is my favourite way to spend a cold winter’s evening. As always, please be safety aware when lighting candles. If the thought of lighting candles worries you, then search out the battery-powered LED candles which look so authentic and give a wonderful cosy glow.

Autumn is the time to start slowing down, to rest and strengthen your immune system. The winter period is a time when colds, flu and other viruses make an unwelcome reappearance. If you rest well and practice self-care then you are less likely to succumb to any infections that are floating about. Maybe look at strengthening your immune system through health supplements such as Vitamin D and C which are often depleted during the winter season. Please take medical advice on supplements before you try them.

Look at your diet and try adding more heart-warming nutritious foods to your everyday meal plans. Why not start making your own soups which are far healthier than shop-bought ones. I invested in a soup maker and it has been a game-changer for me. It’s easy to use and ready in twenty minutes. Look online for soup recipes if you struggle for ideas.

Sleep is very important at any time of the year but especially during the winter months. Many animals sleep longer during the winter as they know the importance of rest to allow the body to recover from the busyness of the summer months. Try and go to bed a little earlier, maybe thirty minutes or so. This extra time in bed will help you feel more rested and more energetic in the morning. Create a relaxing environment in your bedroom with low lighting and cosy bedding as this will help you sleep better.

Finally, why not fully embrace autumn and winter? Wrap up well and go out into nature for a refreshing and stimulating walk. Remember this is the season to rest and recuperate so slow, leisurely walks are all you need to feel the benefits of nature. Find new places to walk, explore new areas and treat autumn as an adventure for discovering new experiences. If you are not able to go for walks, simply use the world around you to enjoy some fresh air. Go into your garden and explore your own territory, maybe get yourself a bird feeder and spend time watching the local wildlife as they go about their daily work. There is nothing more relaxing to a busy and anxious mind than watching the everyday routine of the natural world.

I hope this has given you some ideas to prepare yourself for the coming winter season in a way that brings joy to your heart, rather than the dread that you may normally feel when summer ends. Sometimes making the best of something we don’t naturally enjoy can bring a whole new perspective to our life and can even change our mind on long-held views. Autumn is the start of a delightful new season and there is much joy and new experiences to be had during this time and I hope you find something wonderful to help you enjoy the next few months.

Why not join me on Monday 13th November at 11am for my ‘Writing for wellbeing‘ class where we will be exploring improving our wellbeing during the autumn and winter months.