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  • Illustrations by Mr Antony Hare | Words by Mr Ahmed Zambarakji

The change of seasons has long been known to affect the animal kingdom. The Arctic fox, sly and fashion-conscious creature that he is, changes the colour of his coat to match his backdrop (white for snowy winter, a dusky brown for summer). The poor Siberian hamster, which only mates in spring and summer, sees its gargantuan testicles shrink as the days get shorter. The change of light signals a series of hormonal changes that make the little guy look like a completely different animal by the time fall has set in. Some animals hibernate; others come to life - all have an internal understanding of time.

While it is not acknowledged nearly as often, the ebb and flow of the seasons also have a profound influence on the human body. Although this connection to the world around is a basic and fundamental tenet of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Indian practice of Ayurveda, a growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that the Earth's changing rhythms can have a profound effect on our physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing.

The waning daylight of autumn, for example, is known to wreak havoc with our hormones, body clock, behaviour patterns and mood. Hair grows and sheds at a different rate, our sleep patterns become irregular and our emotional wellbeing often takes a nosedive. On top of this, the dry cold wind tears our skin. The seasonal changes wreak havoc with our immune system and (usually carb-y) cravings appear as if from nowhere. Studies even suggest that the fluctuation of testosterone that comes with each new cycle can affect our body shape.

And so with autumn very nearly upon us, MR PORTER provides some pointers, above, for weathering these changes with ease.