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Five ways to safeguard your mental wellbeing this Autumn

Don't let the cooler weather season get you down, with these five ways to stay happy and content over the coming months.

Five ways to safeguard your mental wellbeing this Autumn

Autumn is officially here, meaning winter is on its way. As we usher in the cool, wet and windy weather, many of us will cease our normal outdoor activities. Coupled with a lack of sunshine and Vitamin D – important for our mental wellbeing – we can all fall victim to the blues.

But it’s not all bad news; there are a few things you can do to improve your mental wellbeing during autumn and later, winter too.

Keep in mind that maintaining mental health is equally important to staying physically fit, especially for those more vulnerable such as the elderly.

Here are some ideas you can implement or share with family and friends to stave off the cold weather blues:

1. Get outdoors

Motivation to get moving may be at its lowest over the coming months but try and find an excuse to get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air. Investing in some good quality clothing and shoes to protect you from the elements and keep you warm is ideal. The crisp morning air is great for walking, jogging, cycling or walking the dog. In fact, taking care of pets has been known to have a resounding impact on our wellbeing. Remember to try and keep to greener areas, as connecting with the outdoors can have enormous benefits for your mental wellbeing. Why not get the whole gang involved and book in some bushwalking, bike riding or even kayaking. you could even join a group to make it a social event?

2. Rediscover the garden

Tending to your garden is one of the best things you can do now, as you (and your garden) will reap the rewards of your hard work in the summer months. It’s also a great activity for your mental health; looking after plants and gardens has been found to be extremely therapeutic. There are also some plants and vegetables that thrive at this time of the year, so why not visit your local nursery or ask friends for cuttings from their own gardens? If you live in an apartment or terrace you may also like to get involved with a local community garden. Contact your local council to find out more.

3. Pick up a new hobby

There are a variety of winter sports available to partake in now. Consider joining a netball, football, rugby, hockey or rowing club. Competitive team sports are a lot of fun, allow for bonding with friends, also has physical benefits to your fitness levels. Other great activities to take up include cooking, baking, knitting, scrap-booking, bookclubs, boardgames, puzzles and crosswords. Set yourself a goal and see how quickly you look forward to working towards that everyday before or after work.

4. Eat seasonally 

Traditional Chinese medicine has long advocated eating fruits and vegetables that are in season. This is because the ancient Chinese believed that humans should live in harmony with the natural cycles of the environment. Winter is closely related to the kidneys, bladder and adrenal glands. So the emphasis should be on warming foods like soups, stews, root vegetables, beans, garlic and ginger as well as whole grains and roasted nuts. Eating in season will help you save money and support local farmers too. Organise regular trips to your local farmers markets or producers instead of the local supermarket.

5. Participate in a fun run or walk

July and August are the peak times of the year for fun-runs and walks. Make a commitment to train and participate in one this season – it’s a great feeling to rub shoulders with fellow locals and do something outdoors. You will also help raise much needed funds for local charities and organisations, not to mention feel accomplished and satisfied after completing one of these events. Invite your family and friends to join you or if not support you by helping with fundraising for the event.

How do you make sure you stay sane during the cooler months? Share your ideas with us in the comments section below.

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