Oh, the doom and gloom! Autumn is here and I can already notice its effect on my well-being. This season is all about survival for me; the seasonal affective disorder, SAD, hits me hard when temperatures plummet and days become darker.
My patience for any little thing grows thin, my energy levels go low due to lack of sunlight (yes, I run on solar energy), and I just become someone who’s not particularly nice to be around.
I’m aware of all of this, and as much as I try to avoid feeling annoyed about people being people, or try not to snap at my colleagues on a daily basis, it’s very rare that I’d reach my normal level of calm when I’m so broken on the inside. All because of the climate.
For the past 3 years I’ve been on the process of moving out of here, because I’ve known from day 1 that this is not a country for me. But here I am, still stuck. First it was a boyfriend that kept me here and then it was a dream job, and now it’s the dentist (I’m getting those braces!).
Life happens, and who am I to fight against it happening. I just have to do with what I’ve been given, even if for now what I’ve been given is shit.
So, survival kit is the word of the season, once again. And since I know what the main issues, are and how those issues affect my well-being, I’m able to adjust to the situation to some extent.
My Autumn Essentials – The Ultimate Survival Kit
Since it’s cold and wet outside, I tend to avoid going out in the Autumn season as much as I can. Thankfully my job allows it, so I could theoretically stay inside for the whole next 2 months.
But staying cooped up inside is not exactly healthy, not mentally and especially not physically. This year I’ve really fallen in love with running, and even though running in cold weather is painful (lungs and skin, not happy), I do try and use every opportunity to do it.
Running is a way to clear my mind like nothing else can. And it’s also great exercise! So, I use every single morning with even a little bit of sunshine available to go running. In Estonia those mornings are rare in the Autumn, so I really need to make the most out of them.
Tea – LOTS of tea
Tea has always been my comfort drink and an essential part of my survival kit. It warms you up, and it makes you feel like home. That’s why I always drink a cup of tea when I come home from any sort of travel. No matter if it’s a weekend in Finland, or a holiday far away, I’m not home until I’ve had a cup of tea.
Perhaps it’s the warmth factor, but drinking tea really makes me feel calmer and like everything’s okay. That’s why I totally understand that British people suggest a cup of tea when you’re struggling. I know from experience, it does work!
I prefer drinking my tea from enormous, bucket-like cups rather than those small, pretty cups with saucers. I want the enjoyment to last as long as possible, so a big bucket of tea is my choice.
Over-sized wool jumpers
I can’t stand cold: my skin dries out and falls off, my lungs ache when breathing the cold air outside, and I freeze to my core. So much so that even a hot shower afterwards doesn’t help, because it’s the core that’s frozen.
So, of course the best way to hide from the cold are woolly jumpers. Preferably multiple on top the other. Just one problem: I hate layering clothes. It’s so uncomfortable.
My solution to this has been to invest in huge woolly jumpers, which are long and wide enough for me to crawl into as whole. You know, like a nest sort of a thing. So, if you ever met me sitting on my sofa in the evening watching telly, you’d see a bundle of wool, with a pair of eyes and a top of a head peeking from the top.
Candles and Wine
When I want to pamper myself (which is every evening) I light candles on every surface of my apartment, pour myself a glass of good red wine and have an ultimate chill with a good movie.
Everyday luxury can be such small things. And since Autumn is the season when I struggle keeping warm after the Summer, wine and candles are the most luxurious things: both warming the heart and the soul.
Even though the SAD makes me a lot less social than I would normally be, it’s never good to alienate yourself from people. Human interaction is something that gives me energy, so no matter how low I feel, and how shit the weather outside, I force myself to hang out with friends at least once a week.
And every time I gain extra energy from it. Just hanging with people, talking about everything and nothing, laughing about whatever, it just makes me feel so good.
I am your ultimate extrovert, so for Autumn to affect me like this is scary and frustrating every single year. But because I know it’s going to happen, I need to push myself to find the energy to get up and get out. Some days it’s really hard. But I do it because I know the impact and the value it has in regards to my mental health.
Of course, there are also a lot of things I love about Autumn. We have the privilege of having full 4 seasons, and there’s nothing as beautiful as the colour display that trees put up in the Autumn.
Also, hot chocolate gets a whole new aura of luxury about it in the Autumn. I don’t drink hot chocolate often, but come Autumn I get a sudden urge to have it. Often!
And then there’s the anticipation for Halloween! I love a costume party. And after Halloween we can start preparing for the festive Christmas season with its multiple, glittery parties and events. I’m particularly looking forwards to the Grow & Glow party in London!
Which one are you; Autumn lover or a fellow Autumn struggler? What essentials are in your Autumn survival kit? ♥