Ideas for the November chill
November is rushing away from us at a rate of knots and there’s certainly no question that winter is just moments away from our grasp. I can feel the biting cold a little more thoroughly this year and am truly revelling in animatedly shoving my hands in not-so-new coat pockets, a touch thicker than those of yester-month, and finding rogue £5 notes, faded receipts (probably for emergency chocolate and pre-commute coffees).
November is also arguably a month of feeling that the year has totally run away from you and beginning to think about present-giving and of a little more time spent with loved ones. I mean, what I’m getting at here is that it’s a prelude to December and all of its festive joys.
Volunteer with Age UK
Top of my list this winter is to volunteer for Age UK. So often we devote the colder months to hibernating and indulging in self-care at home but there are so many elderly people who are alone this winter. Perhaps they’ve no family to spend time with or they’ve recently suffered a bereavement; it makes me so sad to think of the elderly alone over the winter and I’m totally putting time aside to volunteer and spend an afternoon with somebody in the neighbourhood for a cup of tea, a friendly chat or to help them get out and about.
Set aside a self-care Sunday
With so many family events and obligations coming up, don’t forget to make time for yourself. It’s a well-known fact that weekends will suddenly become cluttered with festive shopping, hot chocolate catch-ups, Christmas market visits and afternoons at grandparents’ houses, so put time in your diary for a self-care Sunday where you can cosy up at home in a dressing gown, do your nails, watch TV, cuddle pets and read books.
Shake up the skincare routine
My skin always suffers at the turn of winter. To combat that, I reach for the same set of skincare to truly up the ante and keep my skin fresh, moisturised, dewy and plump with a natural, radiant glow. Sounds cheesy as hell but I find the below products just totally get the job done. If I had to recommend just two products? The Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque (used on Wednesdays and Sundays) and the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (two or three drops a night) for insanely soft, dewy complexions.
Something that I think is completely underrated is baking sweet treats and surprising loved ones with them! I fear that we’re long past the days of gifting neighbours with cookies in a bid to persuade them to stop hoovering at 11pm but isn’t it lovely when you’re surprised with sweet treats after lunch at work? Do that, but at home. Last winter, I loved baking batches of brownies and taking them to work, to my auntie and uncle or accompanied by a bottle of bubbly round a pal’s. And I’d give anything to be able to surprise my Granny with a batch of brownies this year.
Plan a weekend staycation
Us British types are completely spoilt with Christmas markets and other similar markets in the run-up to that big day and if I wasn’t so pushed for time – we return from Hong Kong on the 5th! – I’d totally be booking us a staycation in a city within England. I’m dying to go back to Bristol, for example, and really want to visit Bath.