I know that a lot of people, whether they have chronic illness or not, can struggle at this time of the year as the temperatures drop and the hours of darkness increase. But for me, the opposite is true. I’m not a fan of the heat, brightness and noise of summer and always feel my mood improve around this time of year, so today I thought I would share 5 of the things to love most about this time of year in the hope that it resonates with some of you!
1 – Cosy nights at home
I don’t go out very often other than to swim or walk my dog so almost every night is spent at home irrespective of the season, but once the nights become darker, home feels extra cosy. I love to light candles and tealights, switch on my fairy lights and snuggle up on the sofa with my dog, a hot drink, a book and my trusty heat pad and count my blessings. I know I could do any or all of these things in the summer, but it never feels as cosy or special as it does when it’s dark and cold outside.
2 – The beauty of nature
Being out and about at this time of year affords some beautiful sights – early morning mists rolling back off the fields, beautifully intricate spiders’ webs draped from grasses and jewel like rosehips and berries decorating the hedgerows. Most of all though, it’s the time of year for magnificent autumn colours, crunching through layers of leaves on the woodland floor and watching how the colour palette develops on a daily basis that has the power to lift our spirits.
3 – Nature’s bounty
It’s also the time of year for nature’s harvest – think apples, pears, plums and damsons as a start. Blackberrying can be great fun too, especially if you’re planning to make something yummy with your haul. These fruits lend themselves well to comfort food such as crumbles and pies or simply stewed with your morning porridge. I find that eating in harmony with the seasons that food tastes fresher, I feel more connected to nature, plus it cuts down on food miles.
4 – Soups and stews
Seasonal produce such as pumpkins and squashes make great soups and stews which are comforting, wholesome and filling. The great thing for those of us living with a chronic illness is that soups and stews are easy to make in a larger quantities either to last a few days or to be frozen – so that we have nutritious food available without having to cook every day.
5 – Comfy clothes
Colder weather also means that we can dust off our most comfortable clothes – thick knitted jumpers, big coats, woolly scarves and the like. My own favourite item is a ridiculously large pair of cream woollen socks. They’re far too big for my feet but are so comfortable and I instantly feel relaxed and at ease whenever I put them on – I just don’t feel the same about any of the items in my summer wardrobe!
So there we are, some ideas for 5 things to love about autumn!