It might be the end of summer, but there are lots of things to look forward to about autumn! Here are five simple ways to boost your happiness now that the days are getting shorter.
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1. Schedule something to look forward to
Mark up your calendar with fun events. You might not be going on so many beach adventures now that summer is over, but there are lots of autumn activities to look forward to. Find out what's on at the theatre, and search online for events in your area.
If you can't afford trips out, put some dates in the diary to meet up with friends. Autumn is a good time to get cosy and stay indoors – to make it more of an event, host a games, cards or movie night. If you enjoy cooking, you could even organise a 'Come dine with me' style dinner party with friends.
2. Hit the re-set button at work
It's hard to hit the ground running after a relaxing summer, but it's worth it. Think of it as a new school year and take the time to rejuvenate your outlook. Your boss might notice and increase your level of responsibility, which can help to take your mind off the end of summer.
Hate work? Why not plan the career change you've been dreaming about? Invest in some inspirational books and do some research from the comfort of a cosy armchair. Career Change: Stop hating your job, discover what you really want to do with your life, and start doing it! (£7.99 from Amazon) should give you some ideas and inspiration.
3. Rediscover your passions
As an adult, you've probably figured out what makes you happy - but that doesn't meant that there isn't anything left to explore. Late summer is the best time to discover (or rediscover!) your passions.
Many part-time and evening courses start in September. Check out your local college or education centre and consider trying something completely new. Whether its fencing, Asian cookery, or creative writing, getting out of your comfort zone can be a great way to beat the blues. Plus, meeting new people is sure to enthuse and re-energise you.
4. Exercise outdoors
It can be tempting to stay indoors when the weather turns colder, but getting outside is a good way to boost your mood and energy levels. Consider taking up a sport, like netball or bowls, or get some fresh air and go for a power walk.
Studies show that a brisk 20-minute walk can reduce the production of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline by as much as 45 percent and improve your mood for an hour afterwards.
5. Plan a staycation
Taking a day of pure laziness at home can be good for the soul - or treat yourself, and stay in an Airbnb in your area. No cooking or chores should be done during your staycation. Make the most of it and relax!