Changing leaves, comfortable clothes, pumpkin, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice…everything, fall is arguably the best season. The transition to fall can be bittersweet, saying goodbye to summer, swapping bathing suits for sweaters, and heading back to school. The start of a new season is the perfect time to focus on wellness and self-care. Fall wellness will help set the tone for the rest of the year, and carry you into the new year on a positive note.
Drinking enough water is a wellness tip for every season, because it is so important for staying healthy. There are so many beverage options (juices, coffee drinks, soda), we can sometimes forget to drink our daily 8 eight ounce glasses of water. Drinking water in the summertime can be a bit more obvious, as the warm weather draws us outside and increases sweating. As the weather turns cooler and we head into fall and winter, the air becomes less humid, becoming more dry and less moist. The dry air wreaks havoc on the skin and overall health. Boosting your water intake will have great effects on your skin, and may even help ward off sugar cravings!
If you’re bored by plain water, try some of these healthy infusions:
- Blackberries and sage
- Cucumbers and mint
- Apples and cinnamon
- Watermelon and basil
- Blueberries and lavender
Avoid SAD (seasonal affectiveness disorder)
SAD typically starts at the beginning of fall and carries on into winter. You may find yourself in a funk, feeling down, having less energy, and being more irritable. SAD can be caused by the lack of sunlight during the fall and winter. The lack of sunshine can cause serotonin and melatonin levels to drop, which can make you feel down and interrupt sleeping patterns. You can help avoid SAD by getting outdoors during the fall, and absorbing some sunshine. If you live in a place with considerable cloudiness in the fall, you can buy a special light box that mimics the sunshine to help boost serotonin and melatonin. If you know you’re going to be getting little sun until the spring, you can take Vitamin D supplements too. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. If your body is low on Vitamin D, you can feel more tired, sad, and your immune system may lower, making you more susceptible to colds and the flu.
Eat Healthy Foods
Eating seasonally is a great way to adjust your palette to the change in weather. Fall has some of the richest and healthiest fruits and vegetables. You can dine on pumpkin, squash, broccoli, beets, brussel sprouts, and apples. You can bake an apple, adding just a dash of cinnamon (if you want to indulge, a scoop of vanilla ice cream) for an easy and healthy dessert. If you’re going to carve up a pumpkin, or use one for cooking, don’t throw out the seeds! Pumpkin seeds are highly nutritious, and you can leave the shell on! Just add a little salt and bake them in the oven for a perfect snack that rivals potato chips.
It’s easy to get into the sweet tooth mode during fall and winter, between all of the pumpkin spice, baking, football season, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. A grande Pumpkin Spice latte from Starbucks has around 50 grams of sugar in it! Baking treats in the fall is a must, but try cutting the recipe in half or bringing the leftovers in for your co workers, they will thank you! It’s easy to get into junkfood mode during football season too. Try to make healthy swaps like raw vegetables and hummus instead of chips and dip, or veggie burgers and hotdogs. Even if you never get trick-or-treaters on Halloween, you always feel the need to get candy just in case. This candy just so happens to also be your favorite. Avoid buying an entire bag of your favorite candy. If you have to have some, buy a single bar as a treat. Instead of fasting all morning in preparation for the big Thanksgiving dinner, try eating a big breakfast filled with protein, and then a light lunch. You can indulge during the holiday, but try to avoid taking home unhealthy leftovers and extending Thanksgiving for the next two weeks.
Cleaning isn’t just for the spring! Fall is a great time to go through your house, tidy up, and take stock of what you have. You can give back to the community by donating old clothes and unused items! As the leaves change, they make their way to the ground and your pond. You can still enjoy your pond through fall, even though the weather will be getting cooler and your fish a little sluggish. Preparing your yard for winter by raking leaves, weeding, pruning plants, and cleaning is good exercise and will help you soak up some sunshine.
It’s easy to hibernate during fall. The cooler days make you want to curl up with a good book by the fire with a warm cup of cocoa. The extra sugary treats don’t help your energy levels. The days are shorter, making it feel like there aren’t enough hours of daylight to do everything you wanted to do. Exercise tends to be the first item forgotten about on the list. You can exercise inside, following along with no-equipment fitness videos on YouTube or go for a jog or walk outside. Even a few minutes of walking outside helps lift the spirits. Start taking your dog, most dogs love to walk and will help you stay on a schedule. They won’t let you forget their morning or evening walks!
Fall is a beautiful time of the year. Lives can get hectic, and we forget to take care of ourselves and focus on health. A new season is the perfect time to concentrate on well being; don’t leave the resolutions and changes for New Years. You can start eating right or exercising more any time of the year. Living well is about being mindful about yourself, taking the time to drink enough water, relax, and being happy.