As September comes to an end, no doubt autumn is now officially upon us, and you can almost smell the seasonal staple pumpkin spiced lattes in the air. Rather than reminiscing about sunny summer days and iced coffee on the beach as the dark nights draw, here's how to stay cosy this autumn with snuggly sweaters and delicious hot drinks
1. But first...coffee
There are few things more upsetting than the temperature drop between August and September, but one thing that is sure to cheer you up (and wake you up) is a delicious hot latte with a seasonal syrup, such as the classic pumpkin spiced latte.
Many coffee retailers introduce a new autumn menu this time of year, so if you're struggling to find a reason to get out of bed in a morning when it's still dark and cold outside, why not start your day with a maple hazelnut latte or a caramel s'mores latte?
If you're not a coffee lover, why not try a seasonal hot chocolate instead?
2. Don't sweat it, just sweater it
Just because you've said goodbye to strappy sun dresses and stylish sandals doesn't mean you have to bid farewell to fashion as well. As well as being necessary so that you can stay warm in colder months, lots of layers can look really cute, especially if you choose complimentary colours and warm autumnal tones.
If layering sounds like far too much work when you're stumbling around trying to throw on a suitable outfit for work still half-asleep in the morning, the return of baggy, oversized jumpers is also one of the main advantages of autumn.
"The return of baggy, oversized jumpers is also one of the main advantages of autumn"
For a day out, out of the cold, try thrift shopping or browsing your local charity shops for a new seasonal sweater!
3. Don't blank autumn out, blanket yourself in
One of the best things about autumn is that if you do just want to denounce all ideas of going outside and snuggle up with a blanket (or two), no one will blame you. It's cold, it's wet, and few things are more pleasant than finding that perfect snuggly spot on the sofa and staying there, cocooned in warmth.
If, like me, you're already in your cosy era but live with people who refuse to turn the heating on, even though you can practically see your breath in the bathroom mirror, I'd recommend investing in an electric blanket.
Rather than subjecting your friends or family to the tropical temperatures you crave, you can simply melt into the warm cloud you've moulded around yourself, and watch snuggly (and smugly) as the leaves start to fall.
4. Still fika-ing things out
If anyone knows how to deal with the cold best, no doubt it's the Scandinavians. While the Danes have hygge, which means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people, the Swedes have something called fika. Without the extravagance and planning of British Afternoon Tea, fika is a much more simple and spontaneous approach to enjoying a coffee and a sweet treat with friends.
"Fika is a simple and spontaneous approach to enjoying a coffee and a sweet treat with friends"
The main idea behind this Swedish custom is to socialise and take a break from your busy day, and you might enjoy a delicious drink and a slice of cake or a pastry to keep you going as well. The name of this tradition is thought to have derived from a syllabic reversal of the old Swedish spelling of coffee, "kaffi".
Although in Sweden this tends to be a year round tradition, and it's not uncommon to see Swedes doing fika in the park in a sunny day, it's a great way to stay cosy in autumn—and an excuse to take a break for cake whenever you need!
5. Cosy cuisine
As delicious and vibrant as fresh summer salads are, when your fingers have gone numb in the time it takes for you to get your key in the front door, the last thing you want to put in your belly is a cold dish on a cold autumn evening. However, that doesn't mean that you can't still make delicious meals and get all of your nutritious veggies to fight against winter colds and fatigue.
To give yourself something to look forward to instead of a beer garden after work, why not try cooking a satisfying soup, or a slow-cooked stew to enjoy with a glass of wine.
6. Bake it 'til you make it
By now you've probably cooked and polished off a delicious, warming casserole, or a scrumptious soup, but make sure you've got room for more, because autumn is the perfect season for baking some sweet treats of your own.
"Autumn is the perfect season to bake some sweet treats of your own"
There's a reason that the Great British Bake Off starts only next week and nothing says cosy like the smell of cinnamon swirls or homemade apple strudel—you could even branch out and try making your own fika snacks!
7. Crochet the day away
Just in case you're feeling guilty because you've spent all of autumn so far snuggled up on the sofa watching Gilmore Girls—although if this is all you've done so far I congratulate you on getting into the seasonal spirit—here's something you can do from beneath your heap of warmth and cosiness.
Perfect for those with a creative streak, or if you're just a bit of a fidgeter, crocheting and knitting are great ways to keep your hands busy while you're just chilling out (and keeping warm) on the sofa. It means that you're not spending hours just scrolling through your phone and—the best part—you get something warm and wearable once you're done!
If you're new to crocheting or knitting, you can find plenty of tutorials on YouTube and patterns online.
8. Friday film night
So it's Friday night, and at the end of a long week you might want to socialise with some friends and wind down to the weekend. Except beer gardens are no longer an option unless you want to be shivering into your chardonnay, and unless you're wrapped up warm, an evening amble with friends is definitely out of the question.
Instead, why not extend your cosy sphere that you've carefully cultivated and organise a cosy Friday film night with your friends and/or family, or even just solo if you're fancying a bit of me-time. In the interim between feel-good summer films and Christmas classics, there are some absolute autumn must-watches that'll make you feel all cosy inside. I recommend Good Will Hunting or When Harry Met Sally to start you off.
Banner credit: Liudmila Chernetska
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