Autumn beauty is far more subtle than summer beauty: As the weather turns, it’s the perfect time for walks in the autumn sunshine, soaking up the light as bronze leaves fall in the brisk, cool breeze. She is the ultimate dark horse. But never underestimate the change of season on your mind, body and soul. It’s time to tweak your wellness routine to stay healthy and prevent autumn colds and flu. Then, you can relax and enjoy her cosy comfort.
Slow down and relax
Summer is so busy with socialising and holidays that it’s easy to neglect your wellness routine. Let’s take our lead from the natural world, which slows down after the exuberance of summer to recharge its batteries. It’s time to embrace autumn’s gentle pace to reflect and make plans for spring – it is harvest season, after all. An Autumn wellness routine will help you manage stress by forcing you to focus on yourself and live mindfully in the present.
Although we love autumn, we know that physical and mental health challenges exist as winter approaches. Darker evenings and grey weather can lead to autumn anxiety, so let’s get out in the sunshine before the days get shorter. We don’t want autumn anxiety to turn into winter SAD.
If you are having anxious thoughts, try concentrating on your body instead of your mind. Be aware of your breathing and join a yoga or pilates class. If you are struggling, try this mindfulness trick: imagine you are back at school and think of autumn as the start of a new year with many opportunities, not the end of summer.
Sleep: let there be light.
Everything seems better after a good night’s sleep. That negative inner voice that stops us from fulfilling our potential is no match for eight hours of deep slumber. It boosts the immune system and shores your health before the onslaught of winter flu and colds. So why does sleep seem so elusive when transitioning from summer to autumn?
Our body clock is ruled by daylight and the seasons. We often spend more time indoors with artificial light in autumn and leave work in the dark. But if your summer was a hive of activity, your body clock will struggle to adjust to shorter days and cooler nights; it will struggle to slow down as night falls, affecting the quality of your sleep.
Let’s make the most of the daylight before the days get shorter and get your sleep pattern back on track. Take your lead from the sun: an early morning walk, ideally within two hours of waking, will set your circadian clock and ensure a good night’s sleep. Vitamin D from the sunlight will boost your serotonin, energy levels and concentration before winter. Don’t forget SPF!
Don’t forget to drink water.
Drinking lots of refreshing water over the summer is easy – but we don’t feel as thirsty in the cooler weather, and it becomes a chore. Our body and skin rely on water to detox and flush out toxins – so try a warming herbal tea instead.
Protect your skin.
Our skin is wary of autumn: central heating and biting winds can strip the natural lipids from our skin barrier, leaving it tight, red and thirsty. Upgrade to a more nourishing moisturiser and strengthen your skin from the inside out with collagen drinks, which cleverly trick your body into producing more collagen. They are not just for anti-ageing: Yuvãfy Marine Collagen oral supplement is enriched with Hyaluronic Acid (to plump up fine dehydration lines), Vitamins C (to protect from free radicals) and B to calm redness.
Support achy joints with collagen drinks.
As well as thirsty skin, the drop in temperature can lead to achy joints that over-the-counter remedies never fully address. Going straight to the source and upping your collagen levels makes more sense, treating the cause, not the symptom.
Autumn is the perfect time to try a collagen drink – both your skin and joints will thank you! This essential protein supports your cartilage, the rubber-like connective tissue that protects your joints. Collagen drinks stimulate connective tissues to make more collagen, maintaining joint mobility and flexibility, reducing joint pain and stiffness, and easing symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Eating lots of protein is a good start, but we don’t always digest enough for optimal health -it’s not what you eat, but what you digest!
Let’s get your nutrition back on track before you spend the winter hibernating with comfort food. Don’t forget – Autumn is allergy season due to pollen in the air, with runny noses and watery eyes. Boost your immune system with collagen drinks, antihistamines and seasonal fruit and vegetables rich in vitamin C and antioxidants before winter.
Salads lose their allure in autumn, so stock up on warming spices such as ginger and turmeric to add flavour to soups and casseroles and strengthen your immune system. Think pumpkin soup or roasted butternut squash. Autumn is no time for a low-fat diet – it will leave your skin crepey, dry and fragile; instead, choose an omega-rich diet full of oily fish, brazil nuts and seeds.
It’s easy to put off exercise on shorter days with colder mornings, so let’s tweak your routine before you lose momentum post-summer and hide in bed. Exercising early in the morning lowers cortisol levels and stress-proofs your day – it’s a great chance to release negative emotions instead of suppressing them. If you hate the gym, try walking or cycling to boost your mood.
By Charlotte Wilkes