Autumn is settling in. The other day it was ridgidly cold and I didn’t get properly warm all day. Today it is grey and dull and wet out. I will certainly have to get my winter wardrobe out again.

It’s funny really, autumn is my favourite season. I love the scents, the smells, the food, the sight of the tree leaves changing colour but the older I get the more I dislike winter. It may have something to do with the thyroidectomy I had four years ago. I never used to feel the cold but now I do and once I am cold it’s a struggle to get warm again.

But whatever triggered it, I found that winter became much harder to deal with. I cruise along ’til Christmas fairly well but from there on in I slump. I’m not a naturally depressive person, in fact, quite the opposite,so it was quite a shock to find myself so down for no real apparent reason.

Now, I’ve not been diagnosed, but I guessed from the symptoms that I was touched with a little SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s a way to describe people who get more depressed in a specific season. My lovely husband bought me a SAD light last year for my birthday. It doesn’t make me sad, it cheers me up. It’s a very bright light that mimics natural sunlight and in fact it’s become nicknamed ‘the sun’ in our house. You can see it’s glow from the street when it’s on and the curtains are opened.

It certainly helped last year, although I stillhad that post Christmas slump I didn’t feel anywhere near as bad as I did in the years previous. That bit of ‘natural’ sunlight perked me right up. Funny how something so simple can have such a huge impact. I am open to the possibility that it’s purely a placebo thing. I think it will help therefore it helps but by gum, the main point is it helps at all!

Funnily enough, when I opened up my blog today I didn’t plan to write this at all. It all just sort of happened but here are some of my hints and tips for making the most of autumn and winter. 3 ways to beat the winter blues!

1. Get Outside

It may be wet, it may be cold but if it’s dry (or even if it’s not) go out and have a walk. The exercise makes you feel better in itself, we can spend far too much time cooped up inside as the weather gets colder, but I think being out in the world, enjoying the elements is an anti-depressant in itself.

In the above photo I was cold, I was soaked to the bone but I was happy! We were visiting the illuminations at Blackpool, you can see one in the background!

2. Eat Well

My Tasty Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

I am sure we all turn to heartier, sturdier foods as the cold days and dark nights draw in. There’s nowt wrong with that at all but I find I need to think more about getting healthy food into me as winter draws in. Especially with the temptations of Christmas being available in the shops from September! As comforting as mince pies, Christmas cake and chocolate goodies can be you’ve got to remember to get your fruit and veg in there too. I have plans to bring you more recipes here at and through the coming months I’m hoping to share with you some healthy recipes to bolster your mood. (There will also be indulgent recipes I’m sure!)

Vitamin D is good for avoiding the blues and can be found in oily fish, eggs and you often find it listed as one of the additives in cereal. Make sure you’re eating these as part of a balanced diet. It may also be worth considering taking a supplement through the winter, too but it’s always wise to consult a GP before starting such action!

3. Pamper

Homemade Orange and Cinnamon Bath bomb

Look after yourself. Granted, this sounds a bit namby-pamby, not to mention obvious but giving yourselves treats throughout autumn and winter will perk you up. Maybe treat yourself to a manicure, a trip to the cinema or a visit to a local park. Cuddle up with a blanket, a cup of something warm and comforting and a good book (maybe a Blisse Book?) and spend sometime in another world. Relax and unwind.

There are many ways to treat yourself without spending a fortune, too! I know some great easy to make beauty products that you can do at home. I’ll post some through the following months but if you have a Pinterest account check out the great ideas that are posted there.

Do you have problems with getting through the colder months too or do you love winter? I’d love to hear your tips and advice for surviving autumn/winter too!