One of the hardest things to adjust to is the cooler seasons and the shortening of days… It can often feel like you have less time to do all the things that you usually have to do in a day, and don’t get me started on finding the time to do laundry and get it to dry… The transition to the shorter and busier days of autumn can be a challenge. To help ease the change, we’ve put together a list of five ways to make the most of your autumn and get ready for the coming winter.
- Bask in the sun
We get most of our vitamin D directly from the sun, and since we spend most of our time inside during the autumn/winter seasons, our intake typically decreases around this time of the year. But, while we have shorter days during autumn, we are lucky enough to live in one of those countries that still has beautiful sunny days even on the coldest day, so take advantage of that. Autumn sun is lovely; it is still blissfully warm but not quite as hot. So, sit on the stoop, take a walk down the street or in a park, or maybe even visit the botanical gardens to catch the last greens and blooms. If you find that you are not getting outside much, a vitamin D supplement can boost your mood and immune system!
- Take in the wonder of nature
While you are on those walks, why don’t you make some video content, documenting the wonder that is the change of season… Using your phone or a camera, capture the wonder of the autumn colours. Pick a street in your neighbourhood and take a five-minute video of the greenery as you walk down the road. Do this every day until the leaves have completely fallen from the trees, then edit the videos together and speed them up to create a time lapse of the leaves changing colour to watch or share with your loved ones of social media.
- Get your flu and COVID-19 vaccines
The tides in social norms have turned as far as common flu symptoms are concerned. Long gone are the days where you would get a “bless you!” after a sneeze, or a pat on the back and an offer of a glass of water after a coughing fit. All you will get now if you even scrounge up your face in anticipation of a sneeze is a deadly stare. So, make sure you get your COVID-19 and flu vaccine early, and practice good hygiene. The vaccine will help protect you and your loved ones from these viruses, and keep your immune system fortified in case it needs to fight something else off. Unfortunately, the vaccine cannot protect you from getting ‘the look’ when you cough because you choked on your own spit.
- Be kind to yourself
As the weather gets cooler, we generally tend not only to eat more, but also to eat heartier foods. This leads to the common trend of putting on a few kilograms during the colder months. While some people have a slightly wider frame because of the layers of clothes, most of us tend to follow this trend and that is okay. Don’t beat yourself up about it. The shorter days and longer nights that come with autumn can also cause low moods, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) on the further end of the spectrum. So, be kind to yourself, listen to your body and give it what it needs! If you find that you or your dependants might be suffering from SAD, please click on the link to find out more information about the Bestmed Mental Health Helpline .
- Time to go… shopping!
A new season means a new wardrobe and pantry… The therapeutic properties of shopping are undeniable, and autumn is no exception. A few trendy items to upgrade and update your winter wardrobe can have you looking and feeling great during the gloomy days. Better yet, autumn and winter means the harvest of some of our favourite foods: beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, eggplant, oranges, naartjies, pumpkin, tea with scones, oxtail, soups, stews, dumplings, samp – somebody stop me because I can go on all day. Also, what better to pair a hearty soup with but a few new books and a playlist of shows to enjoy?
…Ooo bobotie, berries, hot chocolate, porridge…