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How do you mentally prepare for autumn?

Live your best life in every season with holistic wellbeing

There are so many wonderful things to be enjoyed about autumn but some of the changes can also unsettle us for a bit as well. The lower temperatures can mess with our skin, the darker mornings and evenings can affect our mood, the chill can make us gravitate towards less healthy food options and our need to hibernate can make us feel less inclined to exercise. While all of that's fine to a point, long-term it can undermine our enjoyment of our health, wellbeing and this beautiful season.

Here are some of the ways we have learned to mentally prepare for autumn so we can enjoy it to the full.

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Stick to regular sleep routines

This one won't surprise you, but despite the inclination to sleep as many hours as humanly possible (and occasionally that's great), keeping a regular routine when it comes to going to bed and getting up in the morning is widely recommended by sleep and health experts. That means striving for the same type of hours at the weekend as well as in the week.

This is especially important for people who struggle with sleep as it helps our internal body clock to have a consistent schedule, making it easier for us to fall asleep and wake up. In turn, that quality of good sleeping hours will help us to feel less tired in the day. Sleep has also been reported to be important for keeping our immune systems strong and keeping those coughs and colds away.

pumpkin soup

Use nutrition to boost autumn wellbeing

Nutrition is an essential part of our wellbeing at all times. When it gets cold and dark out we all want foods that are warm and comforting, which can make it all too easy to reach for high sugar snacks. If we're feeling cold it also tends to make us hungry as eating helps to generate internal heat. The good news is there are lots of amazing, seasonal ingredients that we can turn to for slow release energy, warming meals and filling nutritious dishes.

Top of the list includes bowls of porridge in the morning filled with cinnamon and maple syrup as well as plenty of seeds and fruit. Oats help blood sugar to stay stable and boost our mood. Cinnamon also contains compounds that improve insulin sensitivity, which can affect our mental wellbeing, it's also good for memory and focus. Other favourite ingredients are stews made from root vegetables and pumpkins, plenty of berries and mushrooms, which are actually great for mood swings.

Embrace restorative exercise

While a run on a crisp, cold, sunny morning is hard to beat for those who are so inclined, and it certainly gets the endorphins going, if it's a wet and horrible day or running isn't your thing, other forms of exercise can take centre stage at this time of year. Taking care of yourself is a top priority and while movement is an essential part of that, it's not about beating yourself up - it's about supporting your body.

Restorative exercise has been on the rise in recent years and it focuses on anything that eases pain and restores joint function. For some that might be yoga or Pilates, for others it might include a whole process including treatments like cryotherapy and isolation tanks. It's very much a holistic approach to fitness and listening to what your body needs.

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Update your skincare for autumn

Our skin needs entirely different things in the autumn and winter than at other times of the year. The changing temperatures can dry it out more, it might be beneficial to add vitamin D into your diet and you may find additional exfoliation helpful. Our hormones also have a heavy impact on our skin and the way it behaves. Stress can have an impact on our hormones and therefore our skin, which is another reason our skincare needs change with the seasons.

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Spend time with friends

Nothing improves our mental wellbeing as much as quality time with friends. Helping us to feel connected to the people we care about, conversation and putting the world to rights together is one of the best ways we can take care of ourselves and our emotional health. Go for a walk together and benefit from the fresh air, spend time in a thermal suite and get the additional health benefits of the heat, or organise a simple cup of coffee and a catch up.

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