Many people look forward to autumn all year. As the leaves begin to turn, you might find yourself indulging in PSLs, wrapping up in chunky knits, and getting cozy by the fireplace. The idea of setting a new ‘fall routine’ is appealing for many reasons.
But when it comes to routines, if you find it takes more for you to burst out of bed in the morning, gear up for projects at work, or even haul your kids to and from their destinations in the fall, you’re not alone.
Along with this change in seasons, it’s a perfect time to consider a change in your wellness routine to help you ease into this transitional time of year with more intention.
To get you started, we’re sharing seven suggestions to help you be in harmony, by way of wellness, with the new season we’re entering.
1. Switch up Your Workout Routine
There are several reasons to switch up your workout routine, especially if you’ve been doing the same kind of exercise for several months. Altering your workouts has been shown to help break through a weight-loss plateau, build new muscles, renew motivation, and improve brain health.
The changing of the seasons is an excellent time to try running or hiking to take advantage of the fall colors. If you’ve been doing some more moderate exercise throughout the summer, try switching it up with something more intense. On the flip side, if you’ve been hitting the gym hard for several months, you might consider getting outside, slowing down, and taking a more moderate approach as a better fit for your lifestyle in the cooler months.
2. Find New Ways to Move Throughout the Day
With fall comes the start of a new quarter and a new school year for those who have kids. It’s also a time when big projects tend to get tackled as people sprint to hit their yearly goals on time. On top of this, those who have kids have the added responsibility of getting them ready for school and extracurriculars each day.
Even though you may have less time for yourself right now, it can be helpful to find extra ways to move throughout the day. Get up from your desk and enjoy the brisk weather outside. Take a walk and enjoy the fall colors. Complete a business call outside or walk your kids to and from school if you can.
Don’t get bogged down in the busy rush of the season so much that you forget to move and enjoy it.
3. Stay Hydrated
Summer is the time when high temperatures may motivate you to stay hydrated. It’s easy to remember to drink water when you’re coming in from a hot day, but don’t forget to continue the habit into the fall!
Everything is a little dryer with the drop in temperature, so stay hydrated to feel your best. Hydrate inside and out. This will help you focus better at work, keep your skin moisturized, regulate your digestion, and energize your muscles.
4. Reassess Your Mental Health
Although fall is a favorite season of many, not all change is easy. Now is a great time to check in on your mental health and look for new ways to support it. If your workload may be increasing, your schedule is getting fuller, or deadlines are approaching, check in with how you’re doing mentally and give yourself what you need.
Here are some ways to give yourself some extra self-care when it comes to your mental health:
- Declutter your home or workspace: You’ll feel better mentally when your space is clean. Organize and clean on a regular basis and try to get rid of items you no longer use.
- Schedule time with a therapist: If you haven’t spoken to a mental health professional lately, now is a great time to schedule some sessions. Treat your mental health the same as you would your physical health and prioritize routine maintenance.
- Set firm boundaries at work: Even though companies like to gear up in the fall to hit yearly goals, make sure you’re not sacrificing your mental health. Set firm boundaries and protect your time so you can be with your family more and do things you enjoy.
- Stay engaged in your social life: Fill your routine with people who support you and give you energy. The fall is a great time to invest in friendships, old and new, through different activities. A thriving social life can make this time rich.
5. Prioritize Getting Good Sleep
As the days get darker, your body will need more sleep. Find new ways to support your sleep by going to bed earlier and staying consistent in your routine.
There are plenty of teas, foods, and supplements you can try to get better sleep. Try a few and see what works best for you and your routine.
6. Add Supplements into Your Routine
Fall and winter are notorious seasons to get sick. Support your immune system and physical wellness by adding some supplements into your routine. Alesia New, licensed dietitian and nutritionist and Arootah consultant, provides these suggestions:
- B vitamins contain mood and energy-boosting properties. You’ll find them in whole grains, animal proteins, and legumes.
- Vitamin C aids in strengthening the immune system and may decrease the severity of colds. You can find Vitamin C in citrus fruits, yellow or red bell peppers, and green leafy vegetables.
- Vitamin D (especially sunshine!) is an excellent way to improve your levels and boost your mood. Fewer daylight hours in the fall and winter result in reduced sun exposure and increased risk of experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). If a few daily minutes of sunshine isn’t an option, incorporate dairy, fatty fish (like salmon), and Vitamin D-fortified foods into your diet.
- Vitamin E helps keep your skin soft and supple and may reduce skin issues from cold weather exposure (like redness, dry, flaky, and itchy skin). You can find this nutrient in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds.
- Iron regulates your body temperature. It can also reduce fatigue and decrease the sensation of cold hands and feet. Natural sources of iron can be found in red meat, beans, and dark green leafy vegetables.
Just always be sure to check with your physician before adding additional supplementation to your diet, notes New.
7. Incorporate Heartier Foods into Your Diet
While summer is a great time for salads and grilled food, the cooler months are the time to dive into heartier dishes. Try getting some seasonal foods and making dishes around them, including your favorite soups and stews for the fall.
You can also try adding more seasonal foods to your diet, like root vegetables, apples, and spices.
The Bottom Line
As with many other changes that come about in the fall, your wellness routine should change to operate in harmony with the season.
Fall is a wonderful time of year for so many reasons — take advantage of it! While it can be easy to get caught up in the pressures of work or family life, use the fall as a reminder to reset and give yourself some seasonal self-care.
If you need additional help creating a routine in harmony with the changing of seasons, an Arootah coach can support you in creating accountability to stay on track with your goals.