Winter is coming.
No, really. IT IS COMING.
You may have forgotten cold weather is even a thing as Britain basks in the glow of a particularly mild autumn.
But the annual descent into winter is due – temperatures will plummet as low as 1C this weekend.
To add to the shock the clocks go back on Saturday night, so it’s going to get even darker in the evenings.
Whether you love or loathe winter, here are some tips to keep you happy and healthy.
How can I prepare my mind?
Feeling gloomier in winter isn’t unusual for many of us – but for a small minority there could be a biological cause.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is clinical depression brought on by the changing seasons.
Research is yet to provide conclusive results on its how it works, but there are a number of theories based around a lack of sunlight disrupting our sleep cycles.
Dr Cosmo Hallstrom, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, explains it could be related to “the natural phenomenon of hibernation”, as well as the hormone melatonin.
Methods of coping, he adds, include the use of a light box (to mimic sunlight) and regular visits to sunnier countries.
The NHS recommends light boxes, saying 30 minutes to an hour per day should be enough to make a difference.
But helping your mood isn’t just about the weather – improving your lifestyle through healthy eating and exercise will also help.
How can I prepare my body?
Healthy eating and exercise could also stave off illnesses associated with the winter months.
The NHS advises that regular consumption of fruit, vegetables, milk and yoghurt – dairy products contain protein, vitamins A and B12, and calcium – will help to boost your immune system.
Winter vegetables – carrots, parsnips, swede, turnips – are perfect either for roasting, mashing or making soup.
Eating hearty breakfasts containing fibre and starchy foods like cereal will also keep illness at bay, as will regular exercise.
To keep “winter tiredness” at bay, the NHS suggests getting “outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible” as well as counteracting stress with meditation.
Along with these helpful tips, keeping yourself and your family warm is essential when the temperature plummets. Make sure you have enough fuel for the forthcoming colder weeks and months ahead.