Autumn is a beautiful season. It brings stunning colours, crisp mornings and chilly evenings snuggled up by the fire. However, it also brings short, cold days, and a reminiscence of the summer just passed. As the nights get longer, more and more of us will find ourselves waking up for work in the dark. This can be pretty demoralising, especially if it’s dark by the time you get home as well. But don’t let it get to you! Your mental wellbeing is an important factor of your overall health, and letting the autumn blues set it is a quick way to set you back in your goals.
So how do you stop the blues taking over your life? Well, it’s largely about being proactive, and knowing exactly how to deal with it. With this in mind, here are tips to beating off the autumn blues.
It’s no coincidence that people tend to feel glum in the autumn. Light plays a pivotal role in our health, and the shorter days of autumn can trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), often leaving us feeling gloomy and tired. Getting at least 30 minutes of sunlight everyday can help combat this, so go for a walk on your lunch break, and take every opportunity you can to get out in the sun.
Put together a playlist of music that makes you feel upbeat and motivated. Listen to it when you exercise or are feeling a bit down.
If you are an outdoors person, then autumn can be fairly challenging, especially when it’s dark and wet. Find some indoor activities that can keep you occupied when you can’t get out – an active mind is a healthy one.
As we are exposed to longer hours of darkness, our bodies produce much more melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone used to help regulate our internal clock, and when we have a lot of it, there is nothing more comforting then sleep. However, giving into these cravings can have you feeling more exhausted then not! So stick to a strict and healthy sleep schedule – you will feel much better for it.
Making sure your body has all of the vitamins and nutrition it needs can help keep you on top as the darkness sets in. You will feel much more awake, alert and ready to face the world.
The gradual light of dawn can be detected by our eyes, even when we are asleep. This causes the eyes to send out a signal that it is time to start waking up, and as light steadily increases, the body gradually gets itself into gear, helping you feel more awake and refreshed when you wake up. However, if you have to get up in the dark of autumn, your body is jolted into action, and it can leave you feeling groggy and irritated.
To combat this, consider obtaining a sunrise simulator alarm clock. These alarm clocks have a soothing warm light that gradually increases in brightness in the run up to your actual alarm. This allows the body to start gradually waking itself up for your alarm even when it is dark outside – leading to a much more pleasant waking transition.
Laughter is essential for boosting endorphins – those chemicals in the brain that make you feel good. Get a good laugh a day, and you are sure to keep those autumn blues away!
It may be hard to stay motivated when it is dark and wet outside, but research has shown that regular exercise boosts your mood, so don’t give it up! Even better, exercise as soon as you get up – 30 minutes of exercise upon waking can boost your energy levels for the whole day!
Hopefully you won’t feel the effect of the changing seasons, but if you do, make sure to get on top of it! Now you know a few way to manage the autumn blue you should be able to make sure you stay healthy and fit all the way through to next year!