As Snug as a Bug

26th October 2018

Do you greet the coming of autumn with a pang of melancholy as the darker evenings draw in? Or do you welcome ‘the prettiest season of them all’ with alacrity, happily embracing a cosier ‘hygge’ lifestyle. Whether you love, like or loathe this time of year, here are eight ways to make autumn as happy and healthful as possible…

1. LIGHTEN UP
If you struggle with dark mornings, try a light lamp alarm clock. The lamp gradually turns itself on, getting brighter and brighter, to mimic natural dawn and wake you up slowly before the alarm goes off. “Research has shown people feel more positive and find it easier to get out of bed in the darker months after using this kind of device,” says nutritionist Cassandra Barns.

2. STORE UP ON THE SUNSHINE VITAMIN
Consider taking a Vitamin D supplement throughout the winter months, when ‘the sunshine vitamin’ is in short supply. A lack of Vitamin D can affect neurotransmitters like serotonin, which is linked to low mood. NHP’s Vitamin D3 Support (£12.97, www.naturalhealthpractice.com) is a liquid vitamin D3 that is absorbed more quickly than a capsule.

3. TRY TRYPTOPHAN TREATS
Choose your snacks wisely, advises Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of The Natural Health Bible for Women. Opt for tryptophan-rich foods – such as dairy products, fish, bananas, dried dates, soya, almonds and peanuts – to up your intake of this important amino acid used by your body to make the ‘feel good’ brain chemical serotonin.

4. SNUGGLE UP
There’s a reason we’re in our PJs by 8pm in the autumn. When it’s dark, the body releases a hormone called melatonin, signalling that it’s time to feel drowsy, thus altering our body’s natural rhythm from its summer one. Give in to this evolutionary urge and turn your home into a hibernation haven with cashmere blankets, textured cushions and flickering candles.

5. DRINK TO YOUR HEALTH
While you’re snuggling, enjoy a classic hot drink with a healthful twist as devised by nutritionist Amy Savage. Take 360 ml almond milk, 2 tbsp cacao powder, 1 date, 1cm piece fresh ginger and place all the ingredients in a blender starting with the almond milk. Blend until smooth; then transfer the chocolate mixture to a saucepan and place on a medium heat until warmed through.

6. UP THE HYDRATION
The colder weather means there’s less moisture in the atmosphere and heated air means low humidity too, which leads to more water evaporating from our skin. “This can cause cracking, flaking and irritation and leave skin with a lacklustre, parched appearance,” says cosmetic dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting. Up the hydration-ante with a good moisturiser that suits your skin type, and cleanse and exfoliate regularly so that the active ingredients can penetrate. Add a comforting moisture mask to your routine, such as Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Mask, (£19.99 www.burtsbees.co.uk) for soft and glowing skin.

7. TAKE A DIP
After that hot summer when all we could face were quick, cooling showers, now’s the time to return to our love affair with the tub. Indulging in a long, leisurely bath – moisture mask, glass of wine and soggy paperback optional – must rate highly as one of autumn’s chief pleasures. The Beatitude range of therapeutic candles and oils promise ‘a state of supreme happiness’, and having tried its ‘Peace’ bath oil (£25/£40 beatitudeproducts.co.uk), I can’t disagree.

8. EXPERIMENT WITH NEW SEASON FASHION
As the temperature changes, so does our wardrobe – and autumn fashion always seems so much more enticing than summer selections. Treating yourself to one or two seasonal investments is really just the grown up version of buying your new September pencil case.

The biggest colour trend this year is brown; this really wearable autumnal hue has been adopted across the catwalks for everything from leopard print coats to 90s-inspired chocolate lipsticks.

Find Your Local