Many like the autumn season. It has gold, red, and brown colours, autumn dishes and pastries, and perfect excuses to stay at home and snuggle with a book. On the other hand, some of us feel a bit down when there is not much sun outside and days are getting shorter and colder. There’s nothing strange about it - the autumn blues is real.
However, there are ways to deal with it and “sing in the rain” instead! In line with our November theme - named after our Peony of the Month - uplifting “Singing in the Rain”, we bring you suggestions on how to combat autumn blues!
Creativity is one of the best ways to deal with ‘autumn blues’ in a healthy way. Certainly, this is the way that our peony artist, Siyuan Ren, recommends as a tried and tested method! Previously, we have shared some tips on how to be more creative in 2021 - have you used any of them? If not, feel free to take a look, and here we recommend a few new creative hobbies that seemed particularly match the autumn time:
- Arts and crafts. This one is very handy - if you master it, you will be able to create beautiful decorations, as well as fix and upgrade many things and save a lot of money. You could even build some birdhouses for birds to feed during the winter!
Photography. Speaking of birdhouses... colder months provide an excellent opportunity to see birds different to those you see in the summer. Why not photograph them, along with autumn trees and fallen leaves? On top of that, if you’re in the area where it snows, soon you’ll have opportunities to capture beautiful snowy landscapes.
Beautiful Winter Bird
- Painting or drawing. If not camera lenses, you could use a pencil or a brush to capture interesting things around you! If you’d like to try with peonies like Siyuan, we recommend starting with cut flowers - and here you can read about her creative process.
Go out & Notice Little Things
Some of us may think that autumn is just this grey season when the sun sets right around the afternoon teatime; there is not much need to go out, it rains all the time, it’s cold, trees are losing their leaves - it’s rather grim and depressing!
How about a change in perspective? We can try to find beauty everywhere, even where there seems to be none, and we will be surprised. For example, the autumn leaves didn’t have to be gold or red - but they are. The rain didn’t have to sound so soothing and smell so fresh and clean - but it does. And after the rain, when we can witness a sunset fading behind the clouds, we can also be thankful for this pretty sight.
This mushroom didn’t have to be so round, but it is!
And even if we might think that late autumn - when the leaves have fallen - is not the most attractive time of year, there is beauty and harmony in how nature acts. We still see her processes at work, even in decay. Dying plants, withering flowers and decomposing leaves are necessary for spring to come back in full force next year. This aspect of nature is actually often depicted by botanical artists.
Without the cold and dormant period, flowers like our beloved peonies wouldn’t be activated and wouldn’t bloom at all. That’s why there is beauty in how well everything aligns and works like clockwork - if we just pay attention.
And, on top of that, there are many other beautiful things around us - sometimes these are works of other people, or buildings, or art, animals, someone’s smile, etc. Try to notice them!
Without cold and dark autumn, we wouldn’t have these stunning white flowers
Research proves that helping others makes us feel happier. There are a few mechanisms behind this. First, when we do something for others, we shift our focus from our situation to others’. Through comparison, we often discover that our problems aren’t as serious as we thought, or even if they are, we are not alone.
Secondly, helping others is one of the ways to boost endorphins - our body’s ‘feel-good’ chemicals. People who volunteer are also reported to have higher self-esteem. Apart from that, simply being kind to others can relieve stress and improve our immune system.
In the past, we have donated The Peony Girl art to a few charitable initiatives. It was possible because you supported us! We encourage you to look for initiatives - especially local ones - that speak to you. Ideas include donations, giving away unwanted items that others might still use, volunteering.
The Peony Girl list of activities wouldn’t be complete without gardening! It’s worth mentioning as it aids both our physical and mental health. Regarding the former, it is pretty straightforward - working in your garden forces you to warm up and move your body. It’s a form of exercise which burns plenty of calories and strengthens the heart.
The other way in which gardening helps is through its positive impact on our psychological health. It lowers the cortisol level and reduces stress and anxiety. It can also serve as a mindfulness practice and help take our focus away from modern life’s overwhelm and fast pace.
And while it might seem that there is not that much to do in a garden - after all, it’s autumn - it’s far from true! There are so many gardening activities that take place precisely in autumn. Let’s take a look:
- Removing or composting leaves. You might want to remove them from your lawn - it’s not healthy for grass to be entirely covered as it will trap moisture inside and block the sunlight. However, in other parts of your garden, it might be beneficial to keep the leaves as an additional layer of fertiliser.
- Planting. We described the process of planting peonies in the last article, but apart from that, autumn is an excellent time to plant trees, shrubs, and flower bulbs like tulips. For a more detailed list, we recommend you take a look here.
- Pruning dead parts of your plants so that they have more strength to come back in spring! Of course, that also applies to tree peonies.
Add some colour to brighten things up!
Sometimes, when everything seems grey and moody, adding a bit of colour is all it takes to change the mood completely! That’s one of the goals we want to achieve with The Peony Girl floral paintings, wall art and accessories. There are a few ways to achieve this:
- Go big or go home - meaning, if you miss sun outside of the window, how about having a window showing a peony field that is blooming all year round? It is possible with our new large floral painting on canvas we have - “Peony Field” showing blue sky and a field filled with herbaceous peonies (inspired by the Lovely Rose peony!).
- Little colourful elements work, too! Colourful peony paintings and prints are like little bursts of colour to brighten up your room and be a reminder of spring peonies! We recommend our peony paintings for sale or chinoiserie art prints. For example, the cute botanical art set you see below features ALL of our peony prints shown in 2021 and includes the not yet revealed Peony of the Month December! (Hint: it is a stunning ruby peony).
- When you go out, don’t just wear grey and black - elevate your outfit with a colourful element! You can do that easily with our silk accessories, like a flower scarf or a silk twilly. They were created from hand-painted peonies and are cheerful yet elegant! On top of that, all of our silk scarves are printed here in England on high-quality silk.
See all of The Peony Girl peony art - original floral paintings, fine art prints (including chinoiserie prints and botanical illustration collection), silk peony scarves and paintings here in store.