Summer may be over but that doesn’t mean that summer feeling has to go into hibernation, too. Yes, it tends to be easier to feel happy, spritely and full of zest when the sun is shining and you don’t have to worry about whether you should take an umbrella outside with you. And yes, the joy of being barefoot on a sandy beach or hitting that out of office button is, for many, unrivalled on the happiness scale, but there are some quick and easy ways to keep that summer feeling thriving, well into autumn. Don’t believe us? Read on to find out.
Head to a Garden
According to gardenvisit.com, England is the “most garden-loving country in the world”. We’re not sure whether that is proven by statistics but it sounds about right. The UK is lush and green and filled with gardens that you can visit all year round and, according to the National Garden Scheme, 80% of people feel happier after visiting a garden.
Gardening is good for the soul too, but if you’re not green-fingered even on a cold day a brisk walk through a beautiful, green, landscape, out in the fresh air, can be a welcome pick-me-up. Want to explore some beautiful gardens on a rainy day? Head to indoors at the Barbican Conservatory or the Sky Garden in London, outside the city there is the famous Eden Project in Cornwall, The Great Glasshouse in Wales, the David Welch Winter Garden in Aberdeen and the Sheffield Winter Garden.
Try Hot Yoga
Exercise is a great mood-booster and if you’re missing the warm summer weather then why not book in for a hot yoga class? Bikram is a stifling 35–42 °C (95–108 °F) if you like your yoga hot, hot, hot but, if not, many yoga studios offer classes in a warm room. Not only does the warmth help loosen your muscles, so you can stretch more easily but it’s a welcome respite from the cooler climes outside.
Go for a Coastal Walk
Much like a garden visit, a coastal walk is wonderful for the soul. It can also help you sleep. Research carried out by the National Trust found that coastal walkers slept for 47 minutes longer after a walk by the sea, with 46 percent feeling happier after their stroll. Even on a blustery or drizzly day, getting outside and watching the waves crash again the shore, rambling along hilltop coastal paths or strolling on sandy coastlines can lift your sprits. Just be sure to wrap up warm. The National Trust has a handy list of scenic coastal walks here.
Create a Sanctuary at Home
During the autumn and winter months we spend more time indoors, escaping from the less than temperate weather outside so why not create a little sanctuary in your home? A cosy, inviting space you can retreat to and that’s dedicated to your favourite hobby. It could house your yoga mat or a comfy armchair, throw and pile of books for reading. Perhaps you have an arts and crafts table or an easel for painting. Whatever you love to do, make space for it in your home and fill it with everything you need. Why not scent the space, too? Some candles or a reed diffuser like the Rituals Fragrance Sticks, £42.50, will help to make the space inviting and homely.
Plan a Holiday
It might seem counterintuitive to focus on the thing you are missing most: summer and holidays, but according to a 2010 study people anticipating a holiday were happier than those who didn’t have a trip planned. Want to boost that anticipation-related happiness? Immerse yourself in books, films or articles about the place you are visiting. You can read all about this idea in the New York Times article “What a Great Trip! And I’m Not Even There Yet” by Stephanie Rosenbloom.
Cook Your Favourite Holiday Foods (and Get Your Friends Over)
Whether it’s thin, fresh pizza and oil-drizzled, parmesan-drenched pasta from Italy, rich, tomatoey paella from Spain, Cypriot halloumi and salad or gloriously stinky cheese and quaffable red wine from France, eating your favourite holiday foods can conjure up the best memories. Why not gather your best friends and throw a holiday-themed dinner party with foods from your most beloved getaway? Happiness and food babies, guaranteed.
There is something incredibly uplifting about looking down and seeing bronzed limbs or a glowing complexion in the mirror. Use a light dusting of bronzer like Miracle Bronzing Powder Natural, £25.50, to give your complexion a boost and why not pair it with your favourite summer lip colour? If you want to look tanned but not tangoed throughout the colder months, try mixing a little Self Tanning Face Cream, £17.50, into your day cream and body lotion for a subtle, healthy glow all year round.
Make a Photo Album of Memories
We live in a digital world, with our images living in the cloud or behind small handheld screens. But, there is something wonderful about holding a physical picture, so why not print your favourite holiday photos and spend the day with family or friends recounting anecdotes of times gone by? Organise all the images into a photo album and you’ll be able to reach for it any time you want to revisit those happy memories.
Treasure Your Weekends
Hard-Fi sang about Living for the Weekends and while we should live more in the moment every day, not every day or every moment is going to be the best one ever. The end of a summer holiday means returning to our normal routines and responsibilities. But, allow yourself to let go of these at the weekends, treasure your days off and treat each one like a mini holiday - whether that’s heading for day trips or treating the 48-hours like a mini staycation.