As the rain lashes down outside in seemingly never ending sheets, the wind causes the trees outside our windows to shake off their leaves in spectacular fashion, the sun lowers and sends glistening rays that are often brighter than those of summer but we look forward, often with dread, to darker evenings, there are ways to be happy in the autumn.
WARM UP INSIDE
Choose your hot drink of choice and your favourite mug. Whether you love coffee, tea, fruit infusions, hot chocolate (with marshmallows?) or horlicks, a hot drink will warm both your hands and insides. For added happiness make plans to share a drink and a catch up with a friend. Visit your favourite coffee shop or café, find a corner table, order your hot drink of choice and wile away a couple of hours in the company of someone you love whilst watching the world pass you by.
For added joy add cake.
PILE UP YOUR BED
A couple of weeks ago Small Boy talked me into putting our thickest, softest blankets on top of our bottom sheets for added ‘snuggle’ and it has made bedtime soooo much cosier. Change your bedding, pile on some blankets, add a fluffy layer. Crack open the windows to cool your bedroom and allow for better sleep and bury yourself in warm layers to stave off the chills.
A HUG A DAY
Hug someone every day. Your partner, your child, your friend or your cat. Greet friends you haven’t seen for a while with a hug. It doesn’t matter who it is you choose to hug, but make it into a habit.
This is real comfort.
COSY UP YOUR WARDROBE
Dress for the weather as it is, not what you wish it was. Dig out your winter jumpers, darn the toes of your thick tights and wear two pairs of socks inside your boots. Whilst the skies are heavy with rain carry an umbrella, layer long sleeved vests under your clothing and invest in a waterproof mac with a hood. When the cold starts biting pile on a warm coat, gloves, scarf and a hat.
Don’t hold onto your summer clothes in the hope that they will make the warm weather last (am I the only person who does this?), accept the change of seasons and keep yourself warm and dry. It’ll make the next few months infinitely happier.
Walk warm this autumn.
Make a pot of stew, chili or soup, something warm that takes its own time on the stove or on a low heat in the oven. Something that fills your home with fabulous fragrance whilst it bubbles away. Once cooked put the pot in the centre of your dining table, gather your family and heap up bowls with mashed potatoes or steaming rice.
As the leaves cover the pavements with an autumnal carpet, get out of the house. Wrap up in layers, put on your waterproof coat and some wellies and wander somewhere you have never been. Dance in the rain, kick through the piles of leaves (you know you want to) and jump in puddles.
Learn to embrace the weather of the place in which you live.
If it is raining, if it is cold, if the day is wonderfully bright, if it snows; get out and enjoy it…you may as well!
BRING IN THE OUTSIDE
Find the time each week to fill your home with the outside. Buy armfuls of in season blooms from your local florist, pick late flowers and cut branches from your own garden, collect conkers from the ground, line your windowsills with houseplants and potted fragrant herbs.
One of summer’s joys is growing life outside, so this autumn bring that life inside.
CURL UP AND READ
Turn off your television and put down your phone. Listen to the wind and rain batter against your windowpanes outside whilst you are warm under a blanket inside and read a good book; that book you have had on your to read pile for months.
There is little as calming in life as listening to the weather from somewhere where it cannot reach you…little else, that is, than reading.
BRIGHTEN UP THE EVENINGS
A friend once told me that if you light enough candles you can raise the temperature of a room. Whilst I’m not sure if that is actually true they can certainly make our homes happier. Burn thick, cream church candles in candlesticks, melt wax blocks over tealights, light scented candles in glass jars and fill your home with your favourite fragrance and twinkling, flickering lights.
Pick up your phone, reach for a pen, open your facebook messenger and speak to someone you haven’t spoken to in far too long…or someone you recently met but haven’t yet made contact with. Meet friends for coffee, natter over lunch or arrange a cosy dinner at home.
Connect with those you care about.
At this time of year trees are full of apples, hedgerows contain more blackberries than the birds can eat and, if you are lucky, you may find a few damsons. Grab a basket, your children or a group of friends and see what food you can find for free. Then go home, make jam, bake a crumble, prick all your damsons and add to a bottle of gin for Christmas…enjoy!