How to Make the Most of Autumn

Autumn is here, but it doesn’t need to be the end of outdoor living.

I’ve been thinking about ways to keep making memories and enjoying the outdoors throughout these darker, colder months, and therefore have compiled this blogpost in the hope you may trade watching true crime documentaries on Netflix with some snacks, for spending some quality wellness time outdoors in your back garden.

…but why?

Well, yes, it is getting colder. And whilst that may seem like a misery, the only thing propelling said misery further is by not spending time in the little sunlight we have left of the year.

Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused. At night, darker lighting triggers the brain to make another hormone called melatonin. This hormone is responsible for helping you sleep.

Written by Rachel Nall RN, BSN, CCRN and medically approved by Timothy J. Legg PhD, PsyD, CRNP, ACRN, CPH; Healthline, 2019.

Sunlight therefore increases mood, so spending time outdoors in the winter sun is important for your mental health. In fact, Seasonal Affective Disorder is often connected to a lack of serotonin and a surplus of melatonin in winter months. Being outdoors, is medically proven to improve your hormonal balance and therefore, your mood.

I also wrote in our previous blog post about the psychology of plants, and their subconscious influence on our mood. Being outside then, is a naturally joyful combination for human hormones – and it is something we should relish in all year round!

#autumnnights on Instagram – autumn inspiration photographs

Whilst nights are darker, mornings are lighter after the autumn equinox, meaning early risers get to experience maximum sunlight possibility throughout autumn and winter. We may all love to think we will be able to rise early and be productive, but this isn’t always actuality.

This is why I’ve devised 6 outdoor self-care ideas (all on your garden patio) that will boost your mood whether night or day.

6 Self-care Patio Ideas

Drinks & Tapas with Friends…

Why not make the most of your garden by hosting a drinks and tapas evening for your friends?

This seamless living space created by one of our customers using our Mist Chalk Concrete Effect Tiles is the perfect environment for a casual, autumn evening. Mist tiles have the benefit of also coming in a complimentary version for indoor use, so you can follow the trend of seamless living to really impress your guests!

Add a patio heater to avoid being chilly and you’ve got yourself the perfect end-of-Summer company!

A Morning Cup of Tea…

Image courtesy of @shamfamilyrenovation on Instagram.

Extended morning sun deserves its time to shine, so sitting out on the patio to enjoy your cup of tea in the morning is a great way to relax before work or the school run, and simultaneously get some much needed Vitamin D!

If you’re an early riser, or just have some more time on your hands, why not lay out a yoga mat and take some me-time? I love our Calcario Grey Slab Tiles for a stylish and simple garden space, perfect for a calm and relaxing wellness morning.

Outdoor Movie Night…

If you really can’t resist the urge to watch a movie (or those true crime documentaries) then get creative, and take it outside!

Enjoying the outdoors with a cosy movie night is a great way to get the best of both worlds – fresh, autumn air and watching television in the comfort of your home.

Set up a projector on your patio, turn the fairy lights on and grab a duvet and snacks! I love this vision paired with our Materia Perla Slab Tiles – use your garden sofa to maximise the experience!

These slabs are hard-wearing and easy to clean, so no need to worry about spilled chips and dips staining them.

A Romantic Dinner to Watch the Sunset…

Image courtesy of @ourhanburychows on Instagram.

Boost your serotonin (and your oxytoxin – better known as the love hormome) with a romantic, patio dinner, watching the Autumn sunset.

This time of year boasts some of the most beautiful sunsets, and I definitely wish we could experience the views of @ourhanburychows pictured above!

Our Icario Plus Blanco Slabs are perfect for romantic vibes, with their quartzite effect with directional veining for luxury design and experience. And, their anti-slip finish means no need to worry about tripping over with plates on the way to alfresco dining!

Toasted Marshmallows…

Marshmallows are always a favourite, so have fun toasting them on your patio!

As an after-dinner treat, or just a fun activity, I love the thought of toasting marshmallows on a fire pit in the autumn. The crackle of the fire and the smell of burning cinder is definitely homely, and a reason to spend time outdoors.

Our Valeria Grigio Arco Slabs are pictured above, and they definitely boost nostalgia with their Italian, cobbled inspiration. Whats special about these slabs is the ability to create bespoke designs due to their patterning, perfect for your unique and special autumn memories.

Grow your Christmas Veg…

Get the happy, festive vibes going by planting your Christmas veg on your patio!

Growing vegetables is great for all ages, and the daily responsibility of nourishing them is a great opportunity to spend time outdoors.

Prepare in style with my favourite choice from our Outdoor range, with our Botanique 20mm Slabs, inspired by the highly sought after Belgian Bluestone. They have a rectified edge too, perfect for a seamless finish.

Just add a planter (I like this one by Zest 4 Leisure available for £109.99), and grow your parsnips, red cabbage and sprouts in preparation for Christmas dinner. They thrive in Autumnal conditions, so will be perfect for the festive harvest.

I hope I’ve inspired your garden design, as well as you to spend some time outdoors this Autumn season! After all, it is scientifically proven to benefit us – so make sure you do it in style.

Abby (a new blogmaster for Walls and Floors)