Autumn evenings at home might be my favourite thing about September and October. I will spare you all the other reasons I love autumn- I wrote about that a few weeks ago.
It’s starting to get darker earlier. Evenings are longer which means it is acceptable to get into pj’s earlier and hide under a blanket on the sofa. Saying no to social plans gets a little easier as there is no evening sun glaring at you through your living room window as you inform Netflix that you are very much still present and wanting to watch your sixth episode of Riverdale.
There is really only one downside I can think of for autumn. In all its wonderfulness it is getting colder. Whilst this means cosy jumpers and nights in it also means I am about 100x more tempted to drink hot drinks. While I am sat writing this I have a cappuccino to hand.
Caffeine has been very closely linked to high anxiety levels, as sad as that makes me. This is very much the case for myself and whilst giving up coffee over summer was fairly easy, I can’t say no to the pull of a coffee shop on a crisp Friday afternoon. And decaff has no place in my life- if I wanted to drink muddy water I would just go outside and find a puddle.
This has meant that I have spent most nights since I finished university, a month ago, sat up, mind racing and feeling completely worried for no reason. It doesn’t help that any sort of routine I had as a student is now gone.
During one of my 4 am ‘oh my god is the house being robbed? Why is the silence so loud?’ panics I decided it was probably time to make a little bit of a change. There was no reason why someone who spends most of her day in front of a screen should be this tired. My concealer could no longer hide the bags.
When I get into bed I am rarely tired. Realistically my days aren’t too strenuous right now. Swapping out my evening routine of TV until twelve o’clock for an hour at the gym or even better, yoga has meant that all of the things that have pissed me off in the day get left on the running machine and I can go home feeling calm.
Once I get in from the gym all I want to do is get in a very long, cold shower. Having a skin care routine that you actually look forward to doing has made a massive difference to me both mentally and physically. Swapping out a face wipe for what can only be described as the most heavenly smelling face scrub in the world feels a bit indulgent (it absolutely isn’t) which is always nice. Treat yourself.
I used to scoff when my parents would tell me that I wasn’t sleeping because I was on my phone in bed, but annoyingly they have a point. Once I get into bed I am the worst for watching youtube/Netflix/iplayer. I get to 3am wondering why I can’t sleep when I have a little box of light (my phone) two feet away from my face. Hiding my phone from myself and picking up a trashy novel (Bridget Jones forever and always) means I end up falling asleep earlier but I’m not bored in the process
Lastly, I am really messy. My dad calls my room ‘the swamp’ if that gives you any indication. But I have found that, as much as I hate tidying my room, if my clothes are put away and my draws are sorted I sleep so much better. The hour of pain is worth the good night sleep and no one really likes sleeping under their clothes.
I am not saying my anxiety has completely gone away. I am still drinking maybe a little bit too much coffee and the thought of going to the gym at eight o’clock is sometimes a little bit too much but having more of a routine has definitely left me sleeping better and feeling calmer.
I hope you’re enjoying the long autumn evenings as much as I am.