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Small ways to curb the dread of darker days

By Eden James

Design by Aimee Lee

As autumn begins, winter looms menacingly. The dread of darker days starts to set in and it can be easy to find yourself feeling unmotivated, weary and sluggish. Nevertheless, glimmers of light may be found among these drearier days. These are my top ideas to inspire you to do positive things to help ease you through the next few months. 

Sunrise and sunset are truly beautiful things to witness. In the middle of summer, you’d have to get up ridiculously early to see the sun rise but with the days getting shorter you get the convenience of watching at a more sensible hour. It’s a great way to start the day by seeing the morning beginning and with sunset being earlier it will definitely be dark when you go to sleep. It should put you in the mood for bed a lot more if it’s dark outside. Plus, you get to witness the true beauty of nature each day and see how day turns to night.

Autumn and winter are full of things to celebrate. There are so many things to look forward to in the coming months; you can even take this as an opportunity to learn about a celebration you have not experienced before. With Halloween, Bonfire night, Diwali, Hanukkah and Christmas among others, there are many opportunities for festivity across the next few months. These things can give you that sense of excitement and a sense of purpose if you feel bogged down. Perhaps make plans to celebrate these holidays with family or friends: a cosy coming together on a cold winter’s night. .

Summer can be a busy time. With drinks in the park, day trips to the beach and garden barbecues it can often feel non-stop. . The chillier weather provides good justification for nights in to relax and recover from the summer frenzy. It can be so important and beneficial just to take some time alone and have time for a bit of self-care.

Ongoing pandemic or not, going out certainly seems less enticing during winter. Instead, enjoy a movie night with friends. Get a hot drink, warm pudding and a good pile of blankets and have the perfect night of fun at home.

I feel like autumn signals the start of the academic year meaning it’s time to get stuck into university again. If you have a job, you can take this as a time to refocus on your goals, or if you’re starting a new job get to grips with that exciting change in your life. If you are currently unemployed (which I know is very true for many people in the pandemic), take this time to work on yourself or just take a break and relax. Whatever is happening in your life at the moment, find a new focus and really get stuck into it. Creating a mini project for yourself will give you a sense of fulfilment and something to work towards during the darker months.

Another exciting thing about the coming months is getting your autumn wardrobe out. While I love a good summer dress, there’s a real thrill in digging out those warm and cosy winter clothes again. It’s always nice to have changes in your life and having that fresh wardrobe to work with always excites me. Whether that’s your clothes from the past or a new purchase , it’s always fun to make those seasonal wardrobe changes.

Make the most of the hours of sunlight. With the late sunrise and early sunset there’s only a limited number of these hours. All the more reason to make the most of them. Wrap up warm and go for a lovely walk, have a winter bonfire or find an outdoor market. .

If the outside seems too chilly to brave, why not seek out some new inside activities. Make pancakes, build an inside fort or learn a new skill? The last one is definitely my favourite idea: so often you might feel you have no time to better yourself so why not take this time to try something new? Turn the dread into a new opportunity, you could even rope in some friends and all work on it together.

Hopefully, I’ve given you some ideas of how you can embrace the coming months even if the winding down of summer seems a miserable prospect. Autumn and winter hold a fun of their own, which although sometimes harder to find is all the more satisfying when you do.

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