I was a recent guest on BBC radio talking about seasonal blues. I’d like to share with you some of my tips for keeping a positive attitude with the onset of dark nights upon us. I’m not talking about someone suffering with SAD more feeling bluesy as the summer draws to an end. There are some wonderful ways to keep your spirits lifted through the autumn months into winter it’s just a question of making a few simple changes.
Make the effort to go for a walk at lunchtime or better still wrap up warm at the weekends and have a lovely walk on the beach or just head for the country. The colour of trees this time of year is truly stunning. Regardless of how gentle, exercise has long been a mood enhancer. There is usually some form of exercise that you can do whatever you’re level of fitness. I personally practice Tai Chi and Pilates which is great for stretching and mobility.
According to Live strong .com being outside reduces stress and depressions a 2008 study published in the “Journal of Biological Regulators & Homeostatic Agents” recruited participants to spend time walking in forest and city areas for this very reason. According to the research, participants showed more physical signs of relaxation — including lower blood pressure and lower amounts of the stress hormone cortisol.
Nourish your body.
Make sure you are getting lots of fruit and vegetables to give your body what it needs. Autumn is a lovely time for making homemade soups that are inexpensive and healthy. If you can use organic seasonal vegetables all the better but if not then your local market or supermarket is fine. I’m realistic enough to know not everyone will buy organic so adapt things to suit your own lifestyle and budget.
This is one of my personal favorites it’s simple to make, warming and nutritious.
1 large squash peeled and cut into chunks
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped.
Stock or if non to hand water is fine.
Salt & pepper to taste.
Optional coconut milk & fresh watercress.
Gently sweat the onion and garlic in a large pan.
Add the squash.
Add stock or if you are using water add enough to cover the squash you can always add more at the end if needed.
Simmer until soft.
If you are adding watercress pop it in now then whiz up with a blender.
For a special treat just before serving stir in some coconut milk and warm through, season to taste then enjoy with crusty bread or crackers.
Create a list of things you would like to do and use your imagination. Perhaps try and new hobby, read a book you have been promising yourself, learn to paint or try meditation. Visit a garden centre for inspiration just being around nature is uplifting. Light scented candles when it’s dark and you’ve drawn the curtains.
Focus on all the good things in your life if you can’t manage that just focus on one thing. Be grateful for what you have no matter how small it is. I try every day to be grateful for something whether it is the fact we live in a country where fresh drinking water is available or for my friends. Its there if you look for it.
Change is inevitable.
Remember nothing stays the same so try to accept that the seasons will change. Come December 21st the nights will begin to draw out again and spring will be upon us in no time.