Autumn is finally here meaning an array of crispy leaves will fill our paths as soups, hot drinks and snuggly jumpers make a welcomed return. Not only does autumn have an effect on the weather, our wardrobe and cooking choices, it also brings a change in energy levels as light hours are reduced and the nights become longer. Keep reading to find out how to stay aligned with the ebb and flow of your energy levels during this seasonal transition.
EAT HEARTY NURTURING FOODS
In order to keep energy levels flowing and build up our immune system in time for winter, it is essential to nurture your body with healthy, seasonal foods. Avoid processed foods and always opt for organic options where possible. Eat seasonal fruits and veggies as many of these are excellent sources of the immune-boosting vitamin C. In terms of vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and green and red peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Citrus fruits and the berry group: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries, are also rich in Vitamin C as well as pertaining to foods high in antioxidants. Antioxidants do wonders for the body. According to expert Christopher T. Reilly, “antioxidants remove free radicals from the body which can run rampant and actually damage cells, causing serious illness.” This makes for an excellent excuse to do some healthy, nurturing cooking.
EMBRACE THE HYGGE AUTUMN FEELS
If the book The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by happiness researcher and expert Meik Wiking doesn’t get you excited about the cosiness of autumn and the nights drawing in, I don’t know what will. The Danish concept, Hygge, embraces all things warm and wintery including: candles, blankets, baking, hot drinks, warm clothing, books, and nature. Autumn is the perfect excuse to mindfully relax and practice presence by taking a warm bath whilst enjoying some aromatic oils and lighting some candles. Create a hygge ambient by sitting back and relaxing with your favourite book, podcast or film. Or why not enjoy a morning of baking followed by an evening featuring your favourite movie accompanied, of course, by the hygge essentials: a hot drink, a blanket and somebody you love (a pet counts too).
SCHEDULE IN SOCIAL EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
At times, it is much less enticing to organise meet-ups and attend social events with shorter days, cooler temperatures and darker evenings. Yet, reminding yourself just how much fun you will have with your friends, family, or partners makes for the perfect reason to schedule in activities that bring you happiness. From a dinner or games night with friends, to an outdoor cycle or an autumnal family walk, fill your fall social calendar with events that you can look forward to all week.
Melatonin regulates the sleep-wake cycle meaning that a decrease in light exposure causes “an increase in melatonin production, which results in a feeling of sluggishness or being tired” according to experts. In order to avoid this seasonal tiredness, ensure that you are consistent with your sleeping pattern with the aim of achieving between 7 to 8 hours of sleep depending on what your body requires. Limiting screen time and artificial lighting about an hour before drifting off is also a fundamental part of getting a good night’s rest. Remember, you are only as energised as your previous night’s sleep.
The beauty of autumn deserves to be celebrated, so here’s to cosy nights in, delicious warm recipes and beverages, and enhancing the hygge ways of happiness. What are your top tips to staying healthy, happy and energised in autumn?