a millen-gordon guide to… finding joy in the darker months of the year

27th October 2023
Are you someone that struggles with the lack of light at this time of year? Read on...

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Given that the clocks go back an hour on Sunday morning and we say farewell to British Summer Time until next Spring, I thought I’d share my tips for adapting to the noticeable change, should you find yourself dreading the ever darkening days.

By not just keeping the tips below in mind throughout the coming months but consciously putting the effort in to put them into practice on a daily basis, I’ve found that my attitude to late Autumn and Winter’s darkness has changed considerably over the past few years. So much so that I’ve grown to cherish what the darkness offers instead of wishing my days away by counting down to Spring…

1. Embrace the comfort and excuse to slow down

If you ask me, if ever there was a time to embrace the sloth life, it’s as soon as the clocks go back at the end of October! As someone that needs to spend time on my own to recharge, for me, it’s the perfect excuse to gravitate inwards and slow down with gentler activities closer to home (that usually involve a hot date with Lumi, a good book and the fire!) I have no qualms about putting my cosiest pyjamas, dressing gown and slippers on as soon as I’ve finished for work, lighting a suitably seasonal scent (I lit the ‘Birchwood Pine’ candle from Nest in the kitchen the other day and instantly fell in love) and consciously block out time in my diary to do absolutely nothing so I can make the most of long nights with no plans.

2. Pay attention to the unique traits of the season (that you don’t have access to in the lighter months of the year)

Whether it’s the fact that stargazing at this time of year is notably clearer, the way the frost glistens under the last remnants of moonlight right before the dawn breaks or the distinct smell of burning logs seeping from chimneys throughout the neighbourhood, there are so many moments of magic that the darker months provide. By making the effort to not just acknowledge those moments of magic when they arise but consciously look out for them each day and night, I’ve found that it provides me with a sense of grounding at this time of year. Not to mention a newfound appreciation for the hidden gems of the dark that once-upon-a-time, I overlooked. 

3. Use the dark months as motivation for your future self

Though this point could seem as though it contradicts with my first tip, I’m a big believer that it is possible to embrace comfort throughout the darker months AND use the darker months as motivation to get your ducks in a row before Spring! For instance, there’s something about the solitude that long, dark nights provides and the clarity that comes from spending time in my thoughts. For that reason, I encourage you to embrace the peace and quiet of long nights and no plans. Sit still, allow yourself to be bored and see what crops up. Then ruminate on what steps you need to take in order to bring those dreams to life (little hint: one of those steps is allowed to sound like, ‘let myself do nothing for a while and get some energy back!’) As soon as you’re clear on those steps, ask yourself where you’d like to be and how you’d like to feel come Spring? Then use the next few months as motivation to do what it takes to make those goals a reality. 

4. Two words: The Food

Nothing screams ‘comfort food’ more than looking out the window at 5pm and seeing a drizzly, dark sky staring back at you. Whether it’s hearty pumpkin or parsnip soups, roast dinners or jacket potatoes covered in cheese and beans, seasonal produce at this time of year lends itself to hearty meals that feed your soul, not just your stomach. Extra points if they’re eaten whilst wearing the cosiest pyjamas and dressing gown you own!

5. The holidays are coming!

I can’t be the only one that finds huge comfort (not to mention excitement) in the fact that the clocks going back means that the festive season is on its way too?! As soon as Halloween and Bonfire Night have been and gone next week, expect a lot of festive preparations coming your way! Speaking of which, I’ll be sharing my exclusive Christmas Calendar to all of my newsletter subscribers on 1st November so make sure you’re subscribed if you’d like to receive a free copy! Subscribe to my newsletter here.

6. It’s an opportunity to spread joy

One of the most rewarding parts about bringing my book, Evergreen, to life has been the messages I’ve received from so many of you saying – amongst other things – how much Evergreen has helped you to view the colder, darker months differently. For that reason, I’m now a big believer in the idea that one of the best ways you can feel joy is to spread it yourself. With that in mind, next time you hear someone share their less than positive thoughts about the clocks going backwards, (politely) offer them one or two benefits that darker mornings and nights bring. Though I can’t say for sure, my hope is that it gives them food for thought and potentially helps them to find comfort in the clocks changing, too.

Looking for some cosy Autumnal outfit ideas?

Take a look at my favourites from H&M here…

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  • Danielle
    27th October 2023 at 1:49 pm

    I feel completely on my own that I adore the dark nights. I crave them in the warmer summer months earlier in the year!

    The Reluctant Blogger |

    • Lydia
      27th October 2023 at 4:04 pm

      You’re certainly not on your own here Danielle! I love them too. Have a good weekend x

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