Your mood may change when going from summer to fall because of the change in seasons and routine. Discover 10 fall health tips to boost your mental health.
As summer turns to fall, demands on our time may change. Days are getting shorter, the kids are back in school, and your company might be gearing up for the holiday season months in advance.
All of these factors, plus preparing for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other holiday travel, can make your life and mind a bit more hectic.
To boost your wellness and mental health, look at our 10 fall health tips as the season transitions to a cooler time of year.
How Can I Improve My Mental Health Right Now?
If you're feeling a little stressed, tense, or anxious, you want to find a better emotional balance before the negativity leads to lasting health effects.
Try some of these activities for a mental boost right now:
• Drink plenty of water.
• Try a relaxing activity or hobby.
• Make a gratitude list of the things you're thankful for.
• Laugh and smile. Listen to a favorite comedian or watch a funny movie.
• Eat mood-boosting foods like fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, or nuts.
These activities are just a start, so consider more complex things to continue your road to wellness.
How Do I Quiet My Mind?
Several activities can quiet your mind simply because they are mesmerizing and fill you with a sense of wonder.
• Watch fish swim. Fish move effortlessly through the water, so watch these little guys for 15 minutes to see what happens.
• Breathe steadily and deeply for at least 10 minutes. Take deep breaths in your nose and out your mouth. Then, hold each breath for a few seconds before transitioning from in to out.
• Listen closely to some music. Pick up on the nuances of your favorite tracks, and listen as if you've never heard them before.
• Head outside to nature and marvel at the autumn season. Watch clouds float by and pick out fun shapes, or go to a lake to watch the migrating ducks or geese.
• Tense a particular muscle, such as your arm, hand, or foot, and then release. Relax for about 10 seconds before repeating the motion. This is also good for headaches.
Quieting your mind allows you to think about other things as you reduce stress in your life.
What Is Good for Stress?
To relieve stress and take away negative, stressful thoughts, try these activities.
• Meditate using visualization, guided meditation, or guided imagery. Several videos and audio recordings can help with this activity.
• Have lunch with your best friend. Sometimes, reconnecting with a person you care about can alleviate stress and take your mind off a stressful situation.
• Keep a journal. Journaling can help you put your thoughts to paper as you work to quiet your stress.
If stress is still an issue as the season changes to fall, it might be time to think about a condition called "autumn anxiety."
How Do You Treat Autumn Anxiety?
Autumn anxiety is a thing, and psychologists are aware of it. The causes can come from several factors, such as reduced sunlight, transitioning kids back to school, preparing for holidays, and experiencing stressful anniversaries where you subconsciously reminisce on a painful part of your past. Perhaps you miss a loved one who passed away, and you think about the upcoming holidays with that person no longer in your life.
Treatments for autumn anxiety include all of the stress relievers mentioned above. However, you might also think about starting something new, like a hobby, a return to school, or a stimulating task at work.
You could also reach out to a counselor to talk through your feelings. In the end, you want to go through this fall rethinking the season and regaining a sense of peace.
How Do You Stay Healthy in Fall?
Staying healthy in the fall can lead to a better mood and stronger overall health. Take a look at 10 fall health tips to stay happier as the seasons turn toward less light and cooler temps.
1) Spend at least 15 minutes a day on self-care.
Whether it's reading a book, journaling, meditating, praying, or watching silly cat or dog videos, pick a consistent time each day for self-care. This is time for yourself and no one else.
2) Start taking a vitamin D supplement.
With less sunlight, your body produces less vitamin D. Start taking a vitamin D supplement as fall begins rather than waiting until winter arrives. An earlier start gives your body a chance to reach therapeutic levels with daily supplementation.
3) Go to the doctor for a check-up.
You should get a check-up from your doctor once a year. Now is a good time to do so before the winter holidays happen.
4) Boost your immune system.
Strengthen your immune system before cold and flu season hits. Drink plenty of water, wash your hands regularly, and eat nutritious foods.
5) Buy seasonal foods.
Fall foods are high in carbs and vitamins to help your body naturally get ready for colder temperatures. As the season transitions to autumn, go out and buy squash and those beautiful, smaller pumpkins for cooking. Pumpkin is high in vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant. And, fresh pumpkin tastes delicious!
6) Make small dietary changes.
You don't have to go on an entirely new diet to have positive effects on your body. Think about replacing sugary drinks with fruit, substituting fried chicken with grilled chicken, and eating one new vegetable a week until you find something you love.
7) Take a walk outside.
Fall leaves are beautiful as they change from green to orange, red, or yellow hues. Marvel in the change and break in that new sweater you just bought.
8) Dress in layers when going outside.
It might be cool in the morning when you go for a walk. But, then you get sweaty, or the sun gets higher in the sky and the day turns warmer. Dress in layers so that you can shed them as you warm up. Nothing feels more enjoyable than staying comfortable as you frolic outside.
9) Moisturize your skin.
Cooler weather means drier skin. Find your favorite skin moisturizer and apply it daily to keep your skin hydrated, soft, and supple.
10) Get more sleep.
Adults need at least eight hours of sleep per day. Now that the days are shorter, make sure you turn in earlier to get more sleep overnight for better overall health.