With cooler temperatures comes less daylight, which causes many people to suffer with SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Even if you don’t experience SAD, you may still feel put off by the shortened time with sunlight.
Autumn is one of my favorite seasons, and I still feel a bit down when there’s rain day after day and darkness as soon as my husband gets home. Then as it heads into December and January, I feel myself wishing the months away and yearning for more sunlight and daytime. I’ve developed these mechanisms to help me cope with the cold and dark months.
Begin getting up earlier. Setting your alarm back even 30 minutes will help your adjustment to the smaller window of daylight. If you are really affected by the changing times, contemplate getting an artificial sunlight lamp (you can find them on Amazon). Set up your normal sitting place, work place, or surfing-the-internet place to be in the sunlight to help get your daily dose of vitamin D.
Make your home or space feel cozy. Chances are you’re going to spend more time here, so fill it with stuff you find lovely. Purchase a new candle in your favorite fall or winter scent. My favorites are Yankee Candle November Rain and Yankee Candle Gingerbread. Fill your room with fleece blankets in your favorite colors.
Get excited about the coming coldness. Plan your fashion purchases. Sort through last year’s sweaters, boots, jackets, and/or coats and decide what new pieces you should pick up. Colder temperatures mean accessories, so search for new hats and scarves.
Since some of your spring and summer hobbies will come to a halt during the autumn and winter, you should plan to fill that space with new hobbies indoors. Invest in new books. Get a crock pot and make chili or apple butter. Learn how to bake seasonal items (bonus: these can then double as gifts for guests for the holidays). Make it a goal to finish all the Final Fantasies. Look into getting involved in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November.
Change the décor in your house to fit the month. Have fun setting new stuff up for the regulars: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Because many people are more affected by SAD in January and February, be sure to include New Year’s and Valentine’s Day. This helps to acknowledge the passing of time and help keep you from feeling like you’re stuck at a standstill.
Get outside. It’s important to make your time at home worthwhile, but make sure you plan some outdoor activities. You can find places to pick apples or pumpkins in most areas with some light travel. Go light seeking, both Halloween and Christmas light gazing are super fun. Seek out festivals in your area, go to winter farmers’ markets, and maybe look into haunted houses. Sledding, snowball fights, building snow people, ice skating, skiiing, and snowboarding are other winter activities you can do outside.
Lastly, get actively involved in seasonal gatherings. Try not to fall into a pit of staying at home. Go to a Halloween party, take a dish to Thanksgiving, and volunteer your place for the New Year’s party.
Hopefully with these tips you can avoid ruts and just enjoy the time of year! If you have any tips you use, share them with us!