Ways To Enjoy A Positive Autumn
Article By Susan Leigh
Susan Leigh, Altrincham Counsellor and Hypnotherapist has just published her third book, 101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday (ISBN 9781910275160) based on her social media series. A glossy, pocket-sized book, it’s full of inspirational quotes & pictures, a treat to give or simply keep for yourself.
Already there are signs that autumn is fast upon us. The leaves are changing colour and are starting to fall, the evenings are noticeably drawing in and Strictly Come Dancing has returned to our television screens!
Let’s consider some steps we can take to ease a positive transition from summer to autumn and winter and so ensure a happier, more upbeat approach to the seasons.
• Resist the temptation to dress in dark, drab shades. Winter clothes can be heavy and dull, in colours like black, brown or navy, but an overcoat can be much improved with the addition of a bright scarf, hat or pair of gloves. Determine to be cheery and add colourful touches. Brighten your mood.
• Think about home. Lighting plays a huge part in making a home feel comfortable and welcoming. Try to avoid bright overhead lighting. Lamps, candles and side- lighting create a far cosier, more intimate feel in a room. Why not use softer lighting when you’re looking to relax, or utilise those lovely scented candles you received as a gift and enjoy a soothing soak in the bath after a tiresome autumnal day.
• Scent is often forgotten but it can significantly affect your mood. Autumnal smells like pine cones burning on an open fire, a dish of pot pourri or fragranced seasonal diffusers can add a pleasant welcome to your home upon your return. Add lavender to the rinse cycle of your bed linen or use pleasant laundry sprays when you’re ironing – all tips to add lovely fragrance to your days.
• Warm fabrics and the use of texture can make a positive contribution too. Autumnal colours like gold, red, bronze and muted orange can bring a luxurious feel to your furnishings, as can the use of warm fabrics like velvet. You could brighten your home with an array of scatter cushions. It might be time to re-hang your heavier curtains and turn your home into a snug, comfortable haven. Rugs and colourful prints can add extra visual appeal.
• Mealtimes are important as autumn is when we usually start to spend more time indoors. Salads rarely inspire at this time of year so dust off your slow cooker and make delicious heart-warming soups, casseroles, stews and roasts. Add colour to your food. Visit the local farmers’ markets and choose from their attractive display of fresh, seasonal vegetables. Parsnips, sweet potatoes, beetroot and cabbage all bring colour and can ensure that your meals are appealing to look at as well as tasty and nutritious to eat.
• Spending time outdoors can be harder to do as the weather becomes colder and the evenings darker. Make the most of evenings or weekends and use opportunities to enjoy the autumn sunshine as well as the many colours on display in parks, beaches and the countryside. Wrap up warm and go for a brisk walk, leaving your meal to cook whilst you’re out. Then the aroma of a tasty meal will await you on your return. Or enjoy a drink with friends in a snug country pub afterwards.
• You may feel disinclined to go out as much socially on darker, colder evenings, so maintain contact with friends by inviting them round for drinks or a meal. You could ease the effort and expense by encouraging everyone to contribute a dish or agree to alternate homes each time.
• A safari supper can be a fun way to entertain your friends. Several people in the same street or neighbourhood each make one course of a meal. Then everyone walks from house to house as the evening progresses. It can be a novel and inexpensive way to share time together.
• Have a music evening, where everyone chooses a genre and provides the tracks, You could even have a challenge to see which of you correctly guesses the year or each artiste. Or resurrect your board and card games and watch as everyone’s competitive streak emerges. You may see a new side to your friends! Games evenings can become a surprisingly popular feature of your social calendar.