It’s Monday, the weather is grey and the mornings and evenings are dark. It can be pretty difficult to muster up any enthusiasm when you hear the rain battering against your bedroom window and you know if you retreat from your duvet you’ll be shivering.
But it’s not all bad! Here are some suggestions of things you can do to keep you motivated this week and to get you excited about this time of year.
1.Beat the Monday blues with a seasonal caffeine fix
Whether it’s a pre-work pick-me-up, a lunch time treat or an evening mini celebration for getting through Monday, a hot beverage with a twist is great for getting you into the mood for Winter. This week I’m going to be trying to get my hands on the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte and last week I enjoyed a gingerbread latte from Costa. Alternatively, why not have a go at making your own? Just buy some flavoured syrup, some whipped cream and some cinnamon to sprinkle on top!
2.Treat yourself to a tasty Tuesday dinner
This time of year really gets me in the mood for hot and healthy comfort food. Best of all, delicious Winter dishes are usually simple to make as it’s just a case of throwing the ingredients into a pot and putting it in the oven! Some of my favourites include: a lamb, red wine and vegetable hot pot with a mashed potato topping; beef and vegetable stew and dumplings; a baked bean and sausage hot pot with a sweet potato topping; and a vegetarian chowder featuring potatoes, onions, peppers, sweetcorn and a delicious cheese sauce. If you’re really in a hurry, why not enjoy some soup (carrot and coriander is my fave) with some sunflower seeds thrown on top and some crusty bread and butter on the side? Yummy.
3.Unwind on Wednesday with a pampering session
Making it to the middle of the week deserves a little bit of time for indulgence. Why not run a hot bath when you get home and light some scented candles or incense, put on some relaxing music and enjoy a good old soak? Cup of tea or glass of wine optional. Make sure you have a fluffy towel ready for when you get out and then treat yourself to some luxurious body lotion before getting into your pyjamas early. I personally feel that Wednesday is also a great night for eating chocolate; or perhaps a hot chocolate with some marshmallows on top?
4.Thank Alan Sugar it’s Thursday
Even after all these years, I’m still completely obsessed with The Apprentice and it’s definitely something to look forward to on a Thursday night. There are always some awkward cringe-worthy moments where I often comment that I could do a better job and it’s fun to make bets on who will be fired next. If you’re not really bothered about who Lord Sugar’s next business partner is, there’s plenty to enjoy on Netflix at the moment. The new season of Black Mirror is extremely clever and thought-provoking and Narcos season 2 is very addictive and action-packed. I’m also working my way through Gilmore Girls at the moment, as I like to have something girly and easy to follow on the go as well.
5.Celebrate Halloween with a horror movie marathon
Although Halloween isn’t officially until next Monday, most people will be planning their fright night for this weekend. Empire magazine have come up with some terrifically terrifying suggestions for a scary movie night, so why not invite some friends round, serve them some green punch (Midori and lemonade?), some eyeball pasta and Frankenstein cupcakes (other suggestions can be found here) and scare yourselves silly? Don’t forget to carve a pumpkin to illuminate your window and have a bag of sweets ready for trick-or-treaters; just make sure you don’t jump out of your seat when the doorbell rings!
6.Blow away the cobwebs with an autumnal walk
Brave the elements on Saturday and venture outside for a bracing walk. Woodland walks are great for stomping through piles of leaves and seeing the beautiful autumnal colours, whilst beach walks are perfect for invigorating the senses as you battle with the wind. Even if it is raining, grab your raincoat and wellies and get some fresh air into the system. Don’t forget your hat and scarf and, if you’re planning a long walk, why not take a flask of tea or coffee with you?
7.Make the most of the extra hour in bed and have a lazy day
Sleep as long as you can and after you wake up stay in bed as long as you can – that’s what Sundays are for! Plus, this weekend we have an extra hour because the clocks change, hooray! Have breakfast in bed, snuggle up in your dressing gown and enjoy a good book. Some of my favourite books that I’ve read recently include The Versions Of Us by Laura Barnett, The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I’m also working my way through the Daphne Du Maurier novels as I love a good story set in Cornwall! Then, relax with a movie – perhaps with a roast dinner cooking in the oven – and remember to enjoy the day; Monday hasn’t arrived yet! Just make sure the film is over in time for Poldark!
I hope you have a productive week and that you are already planning some treats to look forward to. This time of year isn’t all bad; it’s just about embracing the changing weather with cosy nights in. Don’t forget to make plans for Bonfire night!