October 30th, 2020
November offers a sense of calm that I have grown to appreciate more and more every year. It's the perfect opportunity to take the time to ponder and plan before the December festivities kick in.
There's a stillness in the air as the days and nights get darker, and often a reluctancy to get out of bed on a cold dark morning. Why not embrace the dark mornings by setting an alarm slightly earlier than usual and allow yourself to wake up slowly. Ease into the morning by turning on a lamp and reading a chapter of a book. Or stretch in your bed, waking your body up slowly before you have to get up.
It's usually at this time of year that I start setting an early alarm to enjoy the stillness of the cold dark mornings, with a good book. My alarm is actually a lamp turning on, that starts off very dim and slowly increases in brightness. It feels like a gentle way to ease into the day rather than a startling alarm that makes me want to hide under the covers.
By this point in the year you have fully let go of summer and have comfortably transitioned into Autumn. Breakfast may have moved on from granola and yoghurt to something warmer like porridge with a dollop of sweet honey. Meals become heartier, with the reappearance of pies and mash.
A few other things to make sure you don't miss out on in November:
Add autumn/winter spices to everything. I have a pumpkin spice powder made from freshly ground spices that can be tossed into coffee, hot chocolate, porridge, desserts, warm cider and even cocktails!
Light candles. Never is there a better time to get cosy with a candle in the darkness. Candles have the ability to calm ev
en the most tortured soul and take us back to simpler times.
Walks. You may think twice about going out for a walk because of the slight drizzle outside but remember:
"there's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing." Alfred Wainwright.
Pick up a nice raincoat and take the opportunity to walk at this time of year. The colours outside right now are magical and you can enjoy a brisk and refreshing walk, in your favourite knitwear without picking up a sweat.
Board games. Feel like a child again by playing board games while it's pouring with rain outside.
Box sets. Now is the time to catch up on those Netflix shows you missed earlier in the year. Grab the duvet from your bedroom and get cosy.
NaNoWriMo. It's National Novel Writing Month every November. Join writers all over the world in this challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel by the end of the month. There couldn't better way to embrace the November calm.
Get creative, whether it's on paper, cloth or in the kitchen. Silent, dark days are the time for it.
Light a fire and toast some marshmallows. Like I said, it's magical outside, stay warm with a fire and enjoy some star gazing.
Get lost in your favourite oversized knitted jumper. Not to mention the longest boots you can find to keep warm outdoors.
Books. Snuggle up under a throw and read a good book. I personally love a YA fantasy or a thriller at this time of year.
Dim lighting. Say good bye to overhead lights and try just using lamps. It's unbelievable how cosy and happy you feel in your home with the right lighting.
Get festive! Yes some people will complain that it's too early, but as we approach the end of November we're allowed to start getting excited about Christmas... maybe even sneak in an early Christmas film!
I did of course do a simple things list for November in my bullet journal, which is here:
I'm loving my new stencil at the moment that helps me get this layout without the need for a compass or protractor to get 5 equal segments.
I also did my monthly mood board to set the tone for the month ahead:
Finally, I also did a "light up your life" list for this month, since my November bullet journal theme was about lighting candles. This lists the different ways that I can bring light into my life - physically and metaphorically:
Let's enjoy the magic of November together. Tag me on instagram @reflectwithraksha with your simple things lists for the month, and use the hashtag #simplethingslist. I'd love to feature them in my instagram stories to spread the positive vibes.
Wishing you all a cosy and happy November.