This time of year is amazing for so many reasons (hello pumpkin scented everything and cosy nights in) but it's also a nightmare for keeping on top of your health, skincare routine and mood. I've already noticed the difference, as soon as the evenings started to get darker, my motivation for going to the gym after work entirely disappeared and my penchant for cheese increased tenfold.
The dark mornings and evenings can affect your mood too, if you work 9-5.30 it's likely that you'll never see the light of day, a very depressing thought! The lack of sunshine and the changing seasons will affect your skin too, it's basically a season of nonsense that we have to battle through.
I'm all about indulgence at this time of year, mulled wine in front of Love Actually anyone? But, to keep you and I from piling on the pounds, losing motivation and boosting your mood, I've put together few tips to help us get through the autumn and winter months.
As awful as it seems to drag yourself to the gym after work, it will help to boost your mood. Endorphins are always good whatever time of year and will instantly help to lift your mood as well as relieving stress.
If you can't stand a night time visit to the gym, plan something for the weekend. This time of year is amazing for hiking, whether it's in our favourite haunt the Lake District, the Cotswolds, the Peaks or wherever, autumn is perfect hiking weather. We often spend a Saturday or Sunday climbing fells in the Lake District and it is one of the best ways to get fresh air, exercise, see beautiful views and have some time to reflect on all the madness going on in your every day life. Also, hiking about 10 miles uphill burns around 2,000 calories so that mulled wine and roast afterwards will be well and truly earned.
My diet has already taken a turn for the worst with a comforting pasta bake last night and a roast planned for later today but it's bound to happen! I tend to try to eat healthily during the week and at work so I can indulge at the weekend, it's all about finding a balance that works for you. My personal trainer at the Worsley Park Marriot Hotel and Country Club has given plenty of advice on what to eat so I've tailored them to my taste in the salad below, hopefully you'll like the sound of it too!
I aim to prep my lunches so I know I've got something tasty and healthy ready, for the past few weeks I've been having avocado, chicken, pepper and quinoa, lentils or chickpeas for lunch every day, it's good for you but it's really filling too. I use half an avocado, half a red or yellow pepper (not a fan of the green), a third of a pack of Jamie Oliver's ready to eat quinoa, lentils or chickpeas (they're always on offer, last three meals and take all the effort out of it), one baked chicken breast and salt, pepper and a slice of lime for dressing. It's about £2 a portion so much cheaper than a daily trip to the cafe or supermarket.
This time of year is always stressful, whether it's because you work in retail (online stresses have started already with the beginning of Q4 and offline is coming) or because of the impending doom of unavoidable family squabbles, hectic Christmas shopping trips and a suddenly bustling social calendar, it's important to take some time out for you. Make sure you have time for your hobbies, book a massage or just take a day off work for some life admin.
Putting aside time for you will give you time to treat yourself and reflect on everything that is going on around you, my favourite way to unwind is to run a bath, light candles, grab my favourite magazine, slather on a face mask and relax. I picked up some Sephora sheet masks while I was in California and I can't wait to give them a whirl!
Treat your Skin
This time of year is a nightmare for skin, the changing temperatures and harsh weather conditions can cause havoc. Get your skincare routine down now at the beginning of the season to prepare and protect your skin for when the weather takes a turn for the worst.
I've recently added in an Aveda oil with all natural ingredients which comes with a structured brush for a facial massage, it's boosts the circulation, gets rid of any dull, dead skin cells and hydrates leaving radiant looking skin. I'm working in beauty again now so I'm sure my skincare routine will be ever expanding! You can find it here.
Make sure to upgrade your moisturiser for this time of year, a richer cream is needed for battling the colder weather, but don't forget, one with spf is still get to have.
Change up your Signature Scent
Something as simple as changing your perfume could help to life your spirits! I tend to have a spring/summer perfume and an autumn/winter perfume, thankfully they last just about the right time as my current floral perfume is running out. For this season I've started wearing the new Zadig & Voltaire This is Her*, and it has the right balance of cool floral tones, spicy pink peppercorn and a slightly masculine scent that I always go for.
If you find that you're not getting all the vitamins that you need, simply add a supplement. We have a vitamins site at work so I've been harassing my friend Claire who works on the site to give me tips on everything that I need, I settled on Seven Seas Perfect 7 Woman because who doesn't like a multi-tasker? It tackles 7 different areas including energy, brain, skin and hormonal activity, so covers quite a few bases for keeping you in tip top condition for the winter ahead. I've been taking these for about a week so can't sing their praises just yet as it's too early but I'm going to keep on with them so will let you know how it goes!