Written by Penny Bull, Penny Bull VA Services
There are some people who love Autumn; the leaves changing colour, the crisp, sunny mornings, the countdown to Christmas. But for many others it can be a depressing time. It’s cold, damp and the hours of daylight are dwindling every day. We yearn for sunny days out and warm, bright mornings but it seems like an impossibly long time before they’ll be back.
It’s easy to feel like hibernating under your duvet and waiting for spring. However, to do this is to effectively wish away half the year, when really we should be making the most of the precious time we do have – both at work and with our families.
Below are some methods for making the most of this season, so you can be having fun and making new memories, rather than wishing the time away.
Create new family traditions
The key to this is finding something that you will all look forward to doing together. You could put together a photo album full of your favourite summer memories, make a bucket list for the year to come or get crafty and make an autumnal wreath for your front door. A great tradition for kids is to start a gratitude journal; you can make your own with a cheap notebook or treat them to one of the many lovely journals available online.
Go hard on Halloween…pumpkin picking everything!
We tend to grumble about having this American holiday forced upon us, but leaning into it as an excuse to have fun can make a really big difference to your mood as sunny September turns into chilly Autumn. With all the themed events and costumes so easily accessible, it’s a bit of a no-brainer for parents. Plus, with so many pumpkin-based activities to choose from
(picking, carving, baking, soup-making), you can really drag it out and make the celebrations last a good fortnight! And with pet costumes now seemingly everywhere, well, it just seems rude not to let them join in too…
Make the most of your outdoor space
One of the great things about Summer is how much time we get to spend in our gardens – it’s almost like having an extra room in the house. Well don’t let the drop in temperature spoil that for you. Invest in a small fire pit and some outdoor lighting. That way you can wrap up warm and spend some time outdoors with the kids. Toast some marshmallows or make
s’mores. Channel your inner scout and take turns telling ghost stories. Or take advantage of the early darkness by doing some stargazing.
Eat nourishing foods – and get the kids involved
Check your local listings for your nearest farmers market. This is a great opportunity to teach the kids (and yourself!) about seasonal produce and where food comes from. Maybe they can help you choose a new recipe to make together based on what you’ve bought. The colder months are also the perfect time to dust off your slow cooker and make some comforting soups and stews. Using it provides the win-win situation of a nutritious dinner cooked for you while you’re busy working or doing mum stuff. Autumn is also the return of porridge season. You can bump up the nutritional content of this already fibre-packed breakfast by adding fruit, nut butters and yogurt. Overnight oats prepared the night before are a great time-saving option for busy mornings.
Make indoors your cozy haven
Make like a Scandinavian and embrace the trend for ‘Hygge’. Make sure your home is a cozy place you want to retreat to in the evenings by incorporating some snuggly, seasonal decor. Create warmth and comfort with chunky knit or fleece blankets and use candles or fairy lights to give your rooms a warm glow. Essential oil diffusers or wax burners are great
for filling your house with gorgeous scents. Then surprise the kids by organising a pyjama party for the whole family, complete with pillow fort, hot chocolate and a favourite movie.
Wrap up and embrace the outdoors
Being in nature is good for our bodies whatever the season, but during the darker months it’s really important to our wellbeing to seek out as much sunlight as we can. It’s tempting to hide away on grim, grey days but in reality you and your little ones will have just as much fun outside in winter as in summer. Just layer up in cozy clothes, pack some treats and a flask of
something warm and everyone will be happy! You can visit the zoo or a farm park, have a nature scavenger hunt, try out geocaching, kite flying or just get their wellies on and have some dedicated puddle jumping time. You can even put them to work raking the leaves in the garden, but expect to have to go back and do it again yourself afterwards!
One way to feel better about the seasons changing is to have a little wardrobe update. Maybe it’s a coat that makes every outfit look more pulled together, some shiny new boots or a shade of lipstick you’ve been meaning to try forever. Aim for clothes and accessories that make you feel warm and comfortable while simultaneously making you look and feel good about yourself. That way, you will actually look forward to getting out there and showing them off!