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The favorite season of lots of people officially came to an end. Warm summer nights are being replaced by cold rain showers, the days are getting shorter and shorter and it gets less and less appealing to spend time outside.

For a lot of people the seasonal changes also changes their mood. About 40 percent of the population feel less happy during the cold and dark months of the year. For example, they feel uncomfortable and less energetic. Ten percent is feeling even more down, and 450.000 people in the Netherlands go through a seasonal depression.

What to do about it?

Less light and warmth during the day, together with staying inside more often, are the main causes of these unpleasant feelings. However, autumn also has a lot to offer! To beat the “autumn blues”, here are a few tips that might help you enjoy autumn more.

1. First things first: go outside!

Enjoy nature, that might be at its best in autumn, with its beautiful colors and mushrooms. Getting enough sunlight can help tremendously against negative feelings. Sunlight also stimulates the production of vitamin D. Vitamin D contributes to strong bones and teeth, good muscle function and the functioning of the immune system, and thus helps you to feel good in general. There are plenty of fun outdoor activities to do in autumn. For example, collect chestnuts, or do some crafts with autumn leaves. It can also be fun to have a picnic, especially in autumn: take a rug, dress warmly and do not forget the thermos with hot tea, coffee or chocolate milk! Or if you have a garden, consider a fire pit! In this way, you can also sit outside in the evening with family and friends. Marshmallows and mulled wine will make the evening even more enjoyable!

2. Keep moving!

Various studies have shown that sports can help to combat depressive feelings. In autumn, it is even better to train outside, when it is still light. For example, go for a run! (https://nicedayblogv2-staging.j2r4vthg-liquidwebsites.com/en/running-and-depression/) This contributes both to your physical exercise and to your daily dose of sunlight. A brisk walk can also help a lot.

3. Make sure you have a nice morning

Especially in the morning many people suffer from the darker days. Without sunlight it is harder to get up and start your day in a positive way. What can help with this is a wake-up light: an alarm clock with a lamp that gets brighter and brighter, just as if the sun is rising. A nice morning ritual can also help waking up. Try, for example, every morning to prepare an extra tasty breakfast that you can look forward to. Or plan a nice activity in the morning, like reading a book, watching an episode of a series, or doing a few minutes of yoga exercises. This way you start the day with a good feeling.

4. Make it cozy at home

If it is cold and rainy outside, it can be very nice to get warm and comfortable. Some candles or lights can provide a cozy feeling, just like a soft blanket on the couch where you can hide under. Nice scents of, for example, essential oils or scented candles can also contribute to a pleasant atmosphere. Or bake an apple pie for a delicious warm and spicy scent in the house.

5. Try out a new hobby

If you like to be creative, learning to knit or crochet can be fun for autumn. In this way, you can go out with your own knitted scarf in the winter! Try out a new sport, or take piano lessons. There are plenty of places where you can take free trial lessons to see if something suits you. Or take a subscription at the library and start reading.

6. Consider medical assistance

If you feel very bad, it is a good idea to visit the doctor. He can refer you to, for example, light therapy or can recommend you specific nutritional supplements such as vitamin D. A doctor can also refer you to a psychologist if this is necessary. The NiceDay app can also help you with feeling more down in autumn, with or without connecting to a professional. You can find some tips for using this app at the bottom of this page.

7. And lastly: enjoy the small, nice things that autumn has to offer

For example, enjoy that cute warm sweater that you can finally wear, a nice hot cup of tea, sitting inside while it is raining, cooking with pumpkin, you name it. There are plenty of pleasant and nice things to enjoy in autumn!

NiceDay: Start planning nice things to do in autumn in your Daily Planner. Write down what you enjoy in autumn in your diary.

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Anouk Neerincx

Hi! My name is Anouk, coach at NiceDay! I would like to help you enjoying your day to the fullest. I like playing and listening to music, animals, traveling and books.

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