Resist the urge to hibernate this month and instead, have a read through my list of 13 Smart Things to do in November to keep your energy levels up and your life organised:
Free the Pot!
It’s been banished to the back of the most unreachable cupboard in the house all summer, but it’s time for the slow cooker to reclaim its rightful place on the kitchen worktop once again. Hot stews and soups are the best way to get vitamins and keep us warm and healthy during the coming cold months.
Buy Christmas Cards Now if You Haven’t Already.
I love Christmas, but I loathe card shopping. Why are the aisles in card shops always so narrow? Why does it cost £5 for a sparkly piece of card? It’s still early enough to avoid the Christmas rush so get in early and buy your cards and stamps before the card-pocolypse in December. Better still, order them online!
Declutter Before you Reclutter.
Our homes are about to be filled with tons of fresh, shiny Christmas crap, so it makes sense to check through the kitchen cupboards and the fridge for out of date food items (I recently found roast potatoes from last year buried in my freezer…), check the wardrobe for unwanted clothes (you might call them your lucky socks, but those three toes and heel hanging out of them would disagree) and see what can be thrown out, donated, or sold.
Earn Extra Crimbo Cash.
December is the most expensive month of the month. There’s presents to buy, expensive festive food to eat and heating bills to pay. So sort through your pile of clutter for items that can be sold on eBay, Gumtree, Facebook marketplace or even Etsy.
Maximise the Moisture
As the weather changes, my skin starts to break out in red dry patches caused by central heating and frosty mornings. So I change the way I moisturise my face, because my summer cream-gel is too lightweight. I switch between The Body Shop’s Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil and The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask for the night times, and in the daytime I use a moisturising mist spray to prevent me from looking frost bitten and flaky.
Say Bye Bye to Dry Eyes
The same goes for my eyes. They get so dry due to central heating, and since turning 35 I’ve noticed the outer corners of my eyes can get really itchy. So I always have eye drops and tired eye spray in my bag and desk drawer to prevent the itchiness.
The clocks have gone back and we’ve been robbed of our evening strolls around the park, but it’s still important to get daylight and fresh air or we’ll end up miserable and lethargic. So now is a good time to rework our schedules and find a way to be outside during day light hours. It can be difficult for those who work in retail for example, but even 10 minutes of direct daylight can make a huge difference to our health.
Get that D
Almost everyone north of the Equator should be taking a vitamin D supplement to prevent physical and mental health issues from developing. Start now to keep your levels topped up all winter.
Catch up with Forgotten Projects.
Us Brits spend a lot of time at home from November to March, so use that home time wisely and catch up on forgotten projects. Maybe one of your new year’s resolutions was to write a book, or start an Etsy business, but as soon as the spring sunshine peeked through the curtains you ran to the nearest beach and forgot about it. So resist the urge to scroll mindlessly through social media, find the project your started and get stuck in to it. Just think, you could have it completed by spring!
The temptation to sit on the sofa with a snuggly throw and binge the Friends boxset for the 40th time is strong at this time of year, but how many times do I need to see Moniker Geller dancing around her NYC flat with her head wedged up a thanksgiving turkey’s wotsit? I have a list of books I want to read and games I didn’t get around to playing as long as my arm. So instead of mindlessly watching old reruns all winter, I’ll be trying to consume media mindfully.
Cheer up with a SAD Lamp
Seasonal Affective Disorder effects a huge amount of people inthe northern latitudes, but if you’re dreading the dark winter days, don’t fear! There are steps you can take to prevent low mood.
You’ve probably heard about SAD lamps. 30 minutes daily with a SAD lamp can trick the brain in to staying more alert and helps prevent tiredness and depressing thoughts.
They’ve really come down in price in recent years. It’s now possible to pick up a decent SAD lamp for £20 – £30 on Ebay.
Winter skies are the best for stargazing thanks to the fact that cool air holds less moisture, meaning there’s less mist blocking our view than during the summer. So grab your woolly hat and warmest jacket, head to a dark spot and look up! There are two meteor showers to look out for in November: The Taurids on the 12th, and the Leonids on the 17th.
Prepare to Shop Smart
Everyone expects to spends more money than usual on the run up to Christmas, but there are tons of ways to save money. Make sure you’re signed up to all of the best cash back sites and use them when you shop. My favourites are TopCashBack and Quidco, the Honey browser add-on and Money Saving Expert forums. Refuse to pay full price for anything this year!