For some, appreciating autumn needs no assistance or explanation. They’re most at home in the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, of soups and scarves and spectacular falling leaves. For others, autumn represents the slide into the darkness of winter. The weather is cold and wet, the days are getting shorter, SAD is starting to cast its shadow and among everything else, it’s much harder to get laundry dry.
Today we’re helping to boost moods by giving some tips for how to appreciate the autumn even if it’s not your favourite season!
Autumn is the time of year when the length of the day starts to drop – throughout September we get nearly four minutes of daylight less each day! This drop in daylight hours can cause a condition called SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder, or seasonal depression. The causes aren’t fully understood, but it’s believed to be linked to extended hours of darkness causing a spike in melatonin levels.
One solution is to make the most of the daylight we’re still getting. Get outdoors during the day and soak up the sunlight and Vitamin D while you can. While it can be colder and wetter, dressing for the weather means you can still enjoy lunch outside the office or a walk at the weekend. If you need a bit more focus for the walk a city treasure hunt or countryside clue quest can provide some motivation and narrative, and make it a family day out!
In the Kitchen
One way to enjoy autumn is to take advantage of the unique seasonal treats it brings to the kitchen. Shopping and cooking seasonally means you stay in touch with the way the year changes, and get to enjoy harvest time as a peak season for recipes. From stuffing marrows to pumpkin soups, to sweet late tomatoes and rib sticking pies and casseroles that ward off the cold as the season blends into winter, autumn has plenty to enjoy in the kitchen.
You could take this a step further and go foraging! Late summer and early autumn is the time to look for blackberries, while later in the season sloes can be picked, pricked and soaked in gin to make a uniquely tasty Christmas liqueur.
While the longer nights might dampen some spirits, it’s worth thinking about what you can do to take advantage of them. Find opportunities rather than being resentfully ‘stuck indoors’.
From crafting projects to book clubs to film nights – or even simply getting heavily into Strictly and Bake Off! – as the nights close in, finding the unique possibilities of the season will help you enjoy more than focusing on what you can’t do.