I cant be the only one who struggles with this time of the year. I so badly want to be that person who can enjoy the slowing down, surrender to the cozy nights and embrace the layers but I just don't find it that easy. Don't get me wrong I'm getting better at it as the years pass and here are a few things that have helped me with this transition.
Last year I read the most gorgeous book recommended to me by a friend called Wintering by Katherine May. This book focused on not just the season of winter but also the winters of our life. Filled with some amazing snippits this is just one beautiful passage; “Winter is when I reorganise my bookshelves and read all the books I acquired in the previous year and failed to actually read. It is also the time when I reread beloved novels, for the pleasure of reacquainting myself with old friends. In summer, I want big, splashy ideas and trashy page-turners, devoured while lounging in a garden chair or perching on one of the breakwaters on the beach. In winter, I want concepts to chew over in a pool of lamplight—slow, spiritual reading, a reinforcement of the soul. Winter is a time for libraries, the muffled quiet of bookstacks and the scent of old pages and dust. In winter, I can spend hours in silent pursuit of a half-understood concept or a detail of history. There is nowhere else to be, after all.”
I fuel my body with different food. As we move through Autumn and in to winter I look to fuel myself with warming foods, nutrient dense and seasonal. In the Summer months I am love salads and a Mediterranean diet although through autumn I like to swap these for soups, stews and pastas.
I try to not fight my need for a slower pace, for more sleep, for less 6am alarms. I am by nature a morning bird but when those mornings are dark and cold it can feel relentless to be getting up at the crack of dawn every day. So I forgive myself for not wanting to do my morning work out, I may instead shift the bulk of my exercise to the evenings, weekends and lunches if I can.
I dress for the weather. Feeling good in how you look in what you wear is great, being warmer is better and If you can do both at the same time then you are winning. Since moving back to Devon from London a couple of years ago my wardrobe has definitely become more practical. This has meant investing in what I like to call 'The Devon Essentials'. For me this is a warm coat, good waterproofs and decent boots.
I find beauty in the Autumn. I promise you that wherever you are you can find pockets of beauty if you look hard enough and we are lucky in Devon because we really do not have to look that hard. As the seasons change our environment changes and Autumn really does bring with it the most beautiful array of colours on our trees, combine this with a cold crisp day and a warm coffee in hand, we are winning.
Lastly, I keep getting in that cold water. I love an ocean or a river dip and this does not stop because the temperature drops... but look out for my next blog where I go in to my top tips for winter dipping.