Happy fall! Although the weather is still warm here in Atlanta, there is a distinct coolness in the air that lets me know fall is here. A new season is the time to reset and reassess the habits and practices from the summer. What worked for you during the warmer months might not be as effective as the weather gets colder and the nights are longer. This is also the time of year when we can experience shifts in our physical, mental, and emotional health. In the colder months, we have the tendency to let go of or ignore the habits that kept us feeling healthy and balanced. As it grows colder outside and gets darker earlier, you might feel the urge to stay inside more, isolate yourself, and indulge in comfort foods. This can have a serious impact on your overall health and wellness.
The following tips are great ways to manage your mental, physical, and emotional health through the colder months and help you maintain wellness.
When it is colder, we use heat to keep our cars, homes, and offices warm. This can be especially drying and dehydrating for our bodies and leaves our skin feeling itchy and uncomfortable. Drinking plenty of water can keep us hydrated, energized, and moisturized. Flushing your system with enough water each day is a great way to detox your system, releasing toxins, which can boost your energy. It is recommended that we drink at least half our body weight in water each day. So, if you weigh 150lbs, drink at least 7ounces of water.
Mind Your Nutrition:
Continue to make healthy food choices, even when it is cold. During the fall and winter, it is easy to consume comfort foods on a consistent basis. As delicious as comfort foods are, they can have an impact on your mental, physical, and emotional wellness. Foods that are processed, have lots of sugar or butter, and are fried can make us feel sluggish and impact our mental health. Sometimes when we are feeling down or depressed, we have the tendency to reach for comfort foods to make us feel better. A result of that is feeling less energetic and unmotivated which can lead to more depression symptoms and eating more heavy foods. Focus on balance with your nutrition and incorporated seasonal fruits, vegetables, and nuts throughout fall and winter. The 80/20 rule is great for having a balanced diet. It means that you consume foods that are healthier choices 80% of the time and indulge in comfort foods 20% of the time.
As mentioned before, when it gets colder, we have the tendency to hibernate and stay inside. I am here to remind you that you are not a bear. You do not need to hibernate during the winter. Making sure you are compeleting at least 20min of physical activity each day will have a huge impact on your physical, mental, and emotional health. When we move our bodies, we are releasing emotional energy that may be trapped. Walking, running, yoga, joining a gym, stretching, are all activities you can do during the colder months to remain active.
Again, you are not a bear. It being cold out is not an excuse for you to isolate yourself and withdraw from activities/people that you enjoyed during the warmer months. Doing so is a fast track to experiencing anxiety and depression symptoms. Be sure to keep social activities on your calendar and engage with others. The holiday season is around the corner, that is a great time to be social. You can also join a club or an athletic team. The colder months might also be a time for you check in with a mental health provider, such as a therapist, because depression and anxiety symptoms tend to be more frequent in the fall and winter as well as the onset of season affective disorder.
Try these 4 tips throughout fall and winter and share your progress with me!
Peace, love, light