Let’s face it, 2020 has been a mixed bag for us all- and as the new season progresses, it’s more vital than ever that we regroup, regather, and refresh our self-care regime. Autumn brings its own challenges when it comes to health and wellbeing- the shorter days, darker evenings, colder temperatures- and this year in particular looks set to be markedly more difficult. So with all of this in mind, here are just three little tips for optimum health and wellbeing this autumn. Please do share in the comments the tips and tricks you’re finding helpful right now too. Let’s support and guide each other through these un-precedented times, and let’s get through this together,
Eat well, and in season
Good nutrition is always important, and never more so than during a pandemic. What you choose to fuel your body with has a direct impact on your physical and mental wellbeing, and cannot be underestimated. Food can be medicine, so take some time to ensure your next meal is balanced and well thought out.
Eating in season is one of the best ways to ensure that your body is in sync with nature and operating at optimum health. After all, the produce available at this time of year is in perfect harmony with what your body needs during the autumn. It makes sense to choose the foods that are not only readily available, but that are going to best serve your health and wellbeing. Go for foods such as carrots, pumpkin, and beetroot – all great sources of antioxidants, iron, and vitamin C, essential for boosting your immunity, and not to mention delicious!
Steer clear of processed foods, caffeine, and alcohol, and don’t be afraid to add a little spice when you’re cooking – for added minerals, anti-inflammatory properties, and a warming kick too.
Embrace the cooler temperatures and shorter days
After the clock change in autumn, lots of us start to feel a little drop in our moods- and there’s a very good reason for that. Cooler temperatures and shorter days, often beginning and ending in darkness- this can all contribute towards a lowering of serotonin levels which can affect our happiness levels greatly. There is no way around this very big change in the season, but there are plenty of ways that you can adjust your mindset to embrace it, rather than dread it.
Spend as much time outdoors as you can and get the heart pumping with a brisk walk or a gentle run. Exercise is a natural mood booster and helps to make those shorter days a lot more pleasurable too. Sleep is also important – embrace the darker evenings with an early night curled up with a book, or take a long bubble bath with candles and a mug of camomile tea. Take the time to work with the season, rather than fighting against it.
Acknowledge and accept your feelings
All too often when we feel a little under the weather or experience a low mood, we try to fight against it. We don’t have time to be poorly and we hate to admit that things are feeling like they’re getting on top of us. But the thing is that physical health is directly linked to emotional wellbeing and if one is off-kilter the other can quickly unbalance too. Taking a holistic approach is essential if you want to maintain good health- but be aware that nobody ever feels 100% every single day. It really is ok to not be ok.
Acknowledge how you’re feeling (write it down in a journal, chat with a friend, talk to yourself in the mirror… just don’t bottle it up!) and accept it. Once you reach that acceptance, you can stay there for a while. It’s ok! We all have down days, we all suffer from illness or depression or anxiety from time to time. It’s what makes us human. Follow your self-care regime and allow yourself time to heal and recover. Be kind to yourself and remember that tomorrow is always a new day.