Fall—synonymous with cozy moments, the vivid hues of fall foliage, and brisk walks in the crisp autumn air—it’s a whimsical time of year.
It’s also when days become shorter, and day turns to night in what suddenly feels like the blink of an eye. Along with that, comes decreased exposure to sunlight, the best source of Vitamin D and nature’s way of regulating our biological clock.
Here are 6 tips to make the adjustment a little more enjoyable:
1) Make time to connect with friends, over the phone or in person. The colder temps tend to send us into hibernation mode, keeping us indoors and falling prey to seasonal depression. Reach out and call someone to break up the monotony or make a friend-date and beat cabin fever!
2) Turn your home into a cozy paradise. Indulge in all your favorite creature comforts— from snuggle-worthy blankets and thick warm socks, to the soft glow of all your favorite candles—make your home a place to cuddle up and enjoy the change of season.
3) Switch from cold to warm (or room temp) beverages, one heart healthy glass of room temperature red wine for instance. Stay hydrated with herbal caffeine-free tea, a “stay warm” alternative to chilly ice water.
4) Make sure to get in a few mood-boosting workouts a week. Exercise will boost your serotonin (happiness hormone) and help fight off any lethargy you might be feeling with the onset of winter blues.
5) Supplement with Vitamin D. You know what all the studies say about Vitamin D— it simply cannot be ignored when considering our health. A lack of it can lead to Vitamin Ddeficiency which wreaks havoc on body and mood. Weak bones, lack of calcium, depression/anxiety and various skin and hair issues are just some of the conditions resulting from low Vit D. So, pick up some Vitamin D3 (at least 1000-2000 ius) and start your daily dosing! *Or opt for the natural equivalent and get 20 to 30 minutes of sun exposure (without sunscreen) three times a week (for fair skin)– more for darker skin.
6) Reset your Internal Sleep-Wake Clock. Synchronize your inner clock to the natural environment. First thing in the morning when you wake, get up and into natural sunlight for 30 minutes. Catching early morning rays is vital for aiding the circadian rhythm which works in tandem with melatonin, the sleep hormone.
At night, power down your devices and avoid bright lights at least 2 hours before bedtime so that you can start getting your mind and body ready for sleep. Also, keep your bedroom dark and free from light-emitting electronics so that you can sleep uninterrupted throughout the night. All together these habits will set your daily sleep-wake cycle, with energized mornings and the ability to get a restful night’s sleep at an ideal time.
It’s time to embrace fall— and winter soon to follow!— and try these six tips for a refreshing start to the season.