With summer having come to an end, it’s normal to experience feelings of sadness or even anxiety. Perhaps you’re dreading the arrival of longer nights and colder days, or maybe you’re worried that you haven’t quite made the most of the sunniest season.
But whether you’re a fan of days spent outside in the sunshine or cosy nights curled up on the sofa, autumn has plenty to offer. So, to help keep your spirits high as temperatures begin to drop, we’ve come up with 10 reasons why autumn is the best season.
Why might we feel down at the end of summer?
Our mental health is delicate and sensitive to environmental stimuli, like the changing of the seasons.
You might have heard of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) – sometimes referred to as ‘winter depression’. This is a clinical condition that can cause symptoms like a persistent low mood, increased anxiety, and lack of energy throughout the winter months. SAD is usually triggered by a lack of light/vitamin D once the days get shorter.
But, there are also a number of similar, less severe ways that we can be affected by a change in seasons. In his interview with New York Magazine, Stephen Ferrando, director of psychiatry at Westchester Medical Center, refers to this as ‘subclinical mood shifts’.
One of these subclinical changes is known as the ‘end of summer blues’. Ferrando likens this experience to how we may feel on a Sunday night; perhaps sad that the weekend is nearly over but also anxious that we haven’t spent it as wisely as we could have. Autumn is also a time of flux and transition and, as a result, we might feel unsettled.
What can we do to fend off the end of summer blues?
There are a number of ways that we can improve our mood as we settle into autumn. Rachel Annunziato, an associate professor of psychology at Fordham University, recommends staying organised, taking things slowly, or even using this time to take a well-deserved break.
Another way to keep our spirits high in this period is to take some time to consider what we’ve got to look forward to. To help you do so, here are some of the reasons why autumn can be the best season of all.
10 reasons why autumn is the best season
1. There's plenty to do in the garden
Although spring is typically the busiest gardening month, many green-fingered growers claim that autumn is the most enjoyable gardening season, and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) agrees.
The RHS says that autumn’s warm and moist soil textures make it the perfect time for a variety of plants to grow new roots. Plus, there’s usually plenty of rain to keep things watered. So you can get on with planting things like autumn/winter bedding plants, spring-flowering bulbs, trees, shrubs, and winter veggies.
Autumn is also an enjoyable time for gardeners because there’s plenty of harvesting to be done. For example, summer crops like cucumbers, courgettes, and tomatoes are particularly productive throughout the early months of the season. So you can start enjoying the rewards of all the hard work you’ve put in over the past year!
2. You can layer up and experiment with style
Many of us in the UK fill our wardrobes with jackets, jumpers, and trousers.
And since these more weather-resistant items are often needed eight or nine months of the year, choosing a lightweight outfit during the summer months can be a bit of a pain. So for many of us, it’s a relief when autumn arrives!
Aside from sheer practicality, autumn clothing can also be better from an aesthetic point of view. The arrival of cooler weather means we can express our sense of style through layers, make the most of accessories like wooly hats and scarves, and swap flimsy summer shoes for stylish, chunky boots.
3. It's spooky season
Sure, winter has Christmas, and throughout the summer we’re treated to a steady diet of barbecue-filled bank holidays, but autumn has plenty of holidays to offer too.
Although it’s not as widely celebrated here in the UK as it is in other parts of the world, some of us look forward to Halloween on 31st October. Halloween has its origins in the Celtic holiday of Samhain, which was originally celebrated to mark the end of the harvest.
Celebrations can be traditional, such as apple bobbing or carving faces in seasonal veggies, like turnips and swedes (or pumpkins!). Or, there are plenty of other modern revelries, like Halloween parties or taking children trick-or-treating. For more inspiration, you might like to have a read of our article; 12 spooky adventures for Halloween and beyond.
If Halloween’s not your thing, why not look forward to watching a local firework display over a cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine on Guy Fawkes night? You can search for a firework display near you here.
And finally, if you or your loved ones are Jewish, you may have enjoyed the high holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. If you follow religions like Sikhism and Hinduism, then Diwali, the festival of lights, is just around the corner on 12 November.
Even if you don’t celebrate any of these holidays yourself, why not take some time this autumn to learn about them?
4. Lots of the best shows premiere in autumn
On warm, bright summer evenings, the last thing many of us want to do is head inside. But when autumn arrives, there’s nothing much better than time spent curled up on the sofa watching TV.
Because of this, lots of the best shows of the year premiere in the autumn – and this year is no different. Seasonal favourites like The Great British Bake Off and Strictly Come Dancing are back, as well as some exciting new dramas like The Burning Girls (Paramount+) and The Fall of the House of Usher (Netflix).
For history lovers, The Crown (Season 6) returns to Netflix on 16 November. And if you’re into sci-fi, why not check out Loki (season 2) on Disney+ from the Marvel universe?
5. Making your home cosy is fun
Spring and summer might be the time to focus on your outdoor spaces so that they’re ready for parties, barbecues, and days lounging in the garden with a book. But once autumn arrives, it can be fun making your home as cosy as possible.
You could even get creative and make some decorations, like an autumn wreath, potpourri, or some seasonal flower arrangements.
For some more tips on how to get your house ready for autumn, check out our article; 8 ways to make your home cosy.
6. You can escape the crowds on holiday
School holidays and warmer temperatures are some of the many reasons that people choose to travel during the summer. However, if you’re able to, postponing your trip until autumn can bring many perks.
Lots of places are far less busy, and the price of air travel, accommodation, and even some on-holiday activities can be vastly reduced – giving you more bang for your buck.
Plus, travelling in autumn can offer a whole new perspective on some of the world’s most spectacular places. Rusty autumnal colours are a treat in destinations like Ireland, Canada, and the Netherlands, and the seemingly never-ending summer in places like Mexico and Morocco can seem even more appealing when it’s chilly at home.
Check out our articles, 8 gorgeous holiday destinations to visit this autumn and 12 of the best last-minute holiday destinations, for inspiration. Or head over to the travel section of our website for more ideas.
7. The food and drink
If you’re sick of summer salads and bbqs, then the sound of hearty autumnal comfort food might tickle your tastebuds.
From pumpkin pies and winter berry tarts to meaty stews and hearty veggie soups, not only is autumnal cuisine comforting – it’s also rich with spices, signature seasonal veg, and delicious flavours. Plus, doesn’t a well-earned roast dinner after a crisp autumn walk hit the spot better than at any other time of year?
The cooler weather also means it’s time to start enjoying hot drinks like chai teas, hot chocolates, mulled cider, and the recent sensation: pumpkin spice lattes.
Whether you’re looking to get busy in the kitchen or would like some inspiration for what food and drink to enjoy this autumn, check out our articles; 10 autumn recipes and 9 delicious drinks that will warm you up on a cold day.
8. The weather is ideal for spending time outside
For some, the end of sweltering summer days is an unfortunate inevitability, but for others, it’s a welcome relief.
Crisp autumn temperatures and refreshing breezes mean that time outside can be enjoyed without fear of sunburn or sweating through your shirt. It’s the perfect season for getting stuck into active hobbies like walking, cycling, and gardening.
Even if you’re not the outdoorsy type, autumn offers some of the most versatile weather of the year. So for every bright, fresh morning, there’ll be a rainy afternoon that’s perfect for curling up with a book.
9. The colours are beautiful
One of the most exciting parts of autumn, especially here in the UK, is the wonderful colours that emerge with the changing of seasons. Starting as early as September and continually changing throughout October, our natural world transitions from lush green to a kaleidoscope of yellows, ambers, oranges, and reds.
The vast spectrum of different colours on display and the way different landscapes change makes autumn a perfect time to explore our environment – whether it be by foot, car, or bike. So why not head to the woods for a quiet bike ride, or to a windswept moorland for a wild trek?
Check out our article, 14 of the best autumn walks in the UK, for ideas on where to go.
10. The countdown to the holiday season
And finally, one of the most exciting parts of autumn isn’t actually autumn itself, but the knowledge that the holiday season is just around the corner!
This may involve attending the lighting of your town’s Christmas tree, beginning your Hanukkah celebrations, getting a headstart on your holiday shopping on Black Friday, or playing Christmas tunes way too early!
So whatever you celebrate in your household, from Christmas to Kwanzaa, you’ll know that there’s something to look forward to on the other side of the best season of the year.
We hope that this article has lifted your spirits if you were feeling sad about the end of summer. Rest Less Events is another great place to look for ideas for things to do if you’d like to stay busy inside.
However, as the autumn and winter months can take a toll on our mental heath, if you’re currently struggling with feelings of depression or anxiety, it’s important to reach out to a friend, family member, or mental health professional. The healthy mind section of our website also has plenty of useful information on how to look after yourself throughout the colder months and beyond.
Is autumn your favourite season? If so, why? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.