As the forests slowly put on their cloak of colours and the crisp morning dew falls on our warm cheeks, we gradually welcome the season of change, autumn.

As we're approaching autumn, I always find myself thinking of Keats' poem "To Autumn", in which he beautifully describes it as the season of "mists and mellow fruitfulness". Autumn has often been associated with feelings of melancholy in poetry, but not necessarily in a bad way! It's a time where people go more "inward", be it on a physical level, such as staying in more, or on a mental level, such as taking more quality time for themselves. After all, what's better than cosying up at home, with a hot chocolate and a good book or comforting movie?

As the nights grow darker and the temperatures slowly begin to drop, here are some tips on how to prepare for the colour-changing season of autumn!

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Do step up that self-care! People often underestimate the change of seasons and the drop in temperatures that comes with it. To keep your immune system strong, you might think of boosting up your vitamin D. We absorb it through our skin from sun exposure, which is why with the shorter days ahead of us, many people tend have a vitamin D deficiency.

Don't dress too lightly. I'm guilty as charged when it comes to that...Layers are your best friend here, allowing your body to adjust to the upcoming temperature fluctuations that the season brings. We come from a long heat-wave infused summer, so it's important for our bodies to gradually adjust!

Do eat with the season. The beauty of autumn lies with the seasonal food that comes with and all those comforting autumnal dishes! Stop by at your local farmer's market and have a look at the vegetables and fruits that you can buy. Buying products that are seasonal guarantees that their nutritional values stay high - very important if you want to be in good health! Have a look at our seasonal calendar to know more about fresh produce!

Do eat warm dishes, as they moisten and clear out your lungs! Warm soups are good for your digestive system and help you keep warm as well!

Do use those spices! They're good for your lungs, your digestive system, your immune system...
Try ginger for your immune system or relieving nausea: I can vouch for some freshly cut ginger with warm water, lemon and honey, it's delicious! Try nutmeg, as it's known for brain stimulation and battling battles fatigue. Turmeric is good for heart, as well as an antioxidant- again stimulating the immune system.

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Don't just stay at home, even though your warm bed seems very appealing in autumn/winter. If there is one thing that only autumn has, it's the beautiful colour-changing forests! And we have so many of them in Luxembourg! Re-connect with nature by taking strolls in the forest, take your partner with you, or your dog, or a friend, why not make it a socializing experience? Your lungs will be happy and your rosy cheeks will make for a healthy glow!

Do a mushroom hunt! With amazing forests comes a huge variety of edible mushrooms! And what's more fun than finding something in the forest that you can actually cook? DISCLAIMER- you should be able to distinguish between edible and inedible mushrooms, if not, go with someone who has enough experience to do so...Be responsible and do your necessary research if it's your first time doing this!

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Don't forget your rain gear. Unfortunately, autumn also comes with lots of rain, sometimes predictable, sometimes unpredictable. Don't regret getting soaked wet and being sick just because you didn't preemptively pack your umbrella or rain jacket...And if you do happen to get wet, I recommend taking a warm shower or bath, or at least thoroughly drying off!

Do take time for a seasonal clean at home! Make some of those big sweeps before winter kicks in and you're too lazy or tired to do so. Make room for your warmer clothes, clean out your shelves, clean your windows before it gets too cold! It's also surprisingly soothing for the mind. See it as cleaning your environment physically, but at the same time, you're leaving summer behind you and preparing yourself for cozy you-time season.

Happy autumn season!