From the triumphant blazing colours to the crunch underfoot on a countryside walk, autumn is arguably one of the best seasons.

Whatever 2020 has looked like for you, why not make this autumn your best yet. Whether you have the itch to learn a new skill, or want to give back to your community, there are plenty of ways you can embrace this beautiful season to its fullest – and improve your mental health at the same time.

Take a look at some ideas below…

1. Learn how to knit and decrease your heart rate

With the temperature drawing in, there’s no better time to get cosy inside and teach yourself a new skill. Whether it’s drawing, painting, calligraphy or making your own eco-friendly soap, there are plenty of hobbies to help improve your mental wellbeing and get your creative juices flowing.

Knitting has long been praised for its mental health benefits, but did you know that a recent study has found knitting to be the most relaxing hobby of all, thanks to its ability to decrease the average heart rate by 18.75%? It makes us want to take a deep, slow breath just reading that news. Here’s the full list of the 20 most relaxing hobbies.

Previous studies have shown that having a hobby can boost your mental health, with psychologists at New Zealand’s University of Otago finding that taking part in the activities leads to an “upward cycle” of increased wellbeing.

2. Give your home an autumn refresh

autumn winter interior trends


Use the inspiration of autumn to transform your home into a warm and relaxing space. If time and finances allow, give your interiors a refresh with some of the best autumn/winter interior trends of 2020. They include comforting neutral colours, spice tones, cane furniture and ‘granny chic’.

Top tip: create a cosy space by layering cosy cushions, throws and blankets in neutral and natural colours. Autumnal candles will help to make your house a home, while comfortable furnishes will create feelings of happiness, friendliness and wellbeing.

3. Sign-up to an online Artisan Pop-Up Market

It’s been a tough year for artisans and small businesses with many physical shopping experiences – including our own Country Living Spring Fair – being cancelled. So we’ve gone virtual to give our artisans and crafters the boost they need…

From Friday 6th to Sunday 8th November 2020, we are holding our third online Artisan Pop-Up Market of the year – and this time we are adding an extra 12 hours of shopping to bring you a real Christmas bonanza.

All you have to do is register for free and we’ll send you exclusive discount codes for hundreds of our trusted Country Living Artisans, including homewares, jewellery, food and drink, ceramics and a new Christmas store. It’s perfect for your festive shopping.


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4. Learn how to groom your dog at home

Spending one-on-one time with your dog at home is a great way to boost your mood, reduce anxiety and generally work on your human–canine bond. Learning how to groom your dog at home as a way of a) saving money and b) bonding with your pup in a new way.

As part of our virtual event in May, former Crufts winner Marie Burns revealed how to efficiently groom your dog at home. Marie and her pup, Becky, demonstrated how to brush and shampoo a dog’s coat and suggested which products to use. Whether you want to clean your dog’s ears or perform an at-home welfare check, the video offers plenty of advice. WATCH & LEARN NOW

    5. Head out on an autumnal walk

    woodland walks by loch an eilein in autumn

    VWB photosGetty Images

    Autumn heralds the transition into fresher, shorter days. Alive with a breathtaking palette of golden colours, slip on your hiking boots and head outside to spot leaves, glistening blue lakes, green flora, and, if you’re lucky, maybe some wandering deer.

    It’s not just your mind that will benefit from a walk: you’ll burn calories, strengthen your heart, improve circulation, and have increased energy levels, too. It won’t be long until winter is on our doorstep and the leaves are gone completely, so embrace this season of change whilst it’s still in reach.

    Need some new walking boots? Here’s our round-up of the best ones to buy right now.

    6. Volunteer in your local area

    There are plenty of simple ways you can volunteer around your neighbourhood, whether it’s by helping to feed the homeless or volunteering with an animal charity. Giving back time to others is a brilliant way to make a big difference.

    Before signing up, check your area for any COVID-19 restrictions. Some volunteering schemes may have temporarily paused, so it’s worth researching the best use of your time.

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