If you aren’t lucky enough to live in a part of the country that doesn’t experience season changes then you are probably getting ready to embrace the fall and hunker down for a long winter. This can be a depressing thought for many of us and lack of daylight and cooler weather can take its toll if you don’t take care of yourself. I think that addressing this matter in a holistic approach is important and for me in my personal experience the most effective. I know that personally I thrived with the holistic approach to sobriety that was used by the long term facility that I attended.
I personally am getting ready for this for the first time in a couple of years, and I am actually kind of excited. I can’t wait to see the leaves change and have my windows open, letting in the cool autumn air. It is something that I missed while I lived in South Florida, where 60 degrees was considered freezing and our winters only lasted for 3 days.
My memory of the fall however, also reminds me that it is important to take care of myself during this transitional season and that it is fairly easy to let myself go; spiritual, mentally, and physically, once the days get shorter and the temperature cooler. And so my mantra for this upcoming fall is self-love in all aspects of my life.
Cooler weather outside and shorter days means that people like myself are more prone to be inactive. In South Florida it was sometimes difficult to make an excuse to stay inside when it was sunny out and 85, but when the overcast fall of the North sets in and it is 40 degrees out, staying on the couch and watching TV becomes more and more of a possibility.
This is something that I am aware of and I know that in order to properly deal with the fall and subsequent winter I have to stay active and continue to exercise. Doing these things is important for my overall well being and will help to offset some of the seasonal depression that I am disposed to.
Some people believe that seasonal depression is not real, but most psychologists will disagree with this and they say that it has to do with inactivity and a lack of daylight. The shortening of the days and the barren nature of the landscape lead to a bleak feeling overall and many people can start to feel trapped by the weather. Exercise and staying active is a great way to avoid these feelings because not only does exercise increase serotonin levels in the body, but also contributes to an overall feeling of wellness.
Going along with exercise it is important to have a healthy diet going into the fall transition, and believe me I understand that this seems like an impossibility. During the holidays we are all known to overindulge just a bit, what with family around and all of the great food, but having a healthy diet can help to offset many of the negative feelings that the change in weather or daylight may bring about. It is suggested that the following foods are the best to eat during this time year:
- Lean Proteins
- Food with Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Food with Folic Acid
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
- Dark Chocolate
Having a exercise program and a healthy diet can go a long way in order to thwart the fall back to school blues and can help to keep your life in balance as the seasons change, but it is also important to take care of yourself spiritually as well.
With the weather getting colder it is sometimes easy to slack on your spiritual program, whether that means that you stop going to church or if you are in involved in 12 Step meetings, you don’t go as often. During this time of year it is important to continue to do the things that fill you spiritually and that may mean having to go out in the cool night in order to get to a meeting or church group.
Balance between the spiritual, physical, and mental is important for dealing with the fall and it is what I am striving for. I don’t want to spend too much time inside, I don’t want let my diet fall to the wayside just because I have the excuse of the holidays and cold weather, and I don’t want to neglect my spirituality.
That being said I am also really looking forward to when it gets cold out and I can nestle up in a chair inside and read a good book. There is something so peaceful about the thought and who knows, maybe I am just romanticizing memories from the past and come two months into the fall I’ll be sick of it, but as of right I’m really looking forward to it.
So if you find that you are dreading the upcoming change in weather, try to flip that thinking upside down. Think about all of the positive things that you can do for yourself and get started on an exercise routine, healthier diet, and dig into whatever spiritual practices you participate in. There is no need to wait until spring to start these things and by just implementing a few simple changes into your life, you can experience fall in a completely different manner.
I for one do not plan to hibernate, but am going to make the most of the upcoming season. I’m going to keep exercising, eating healthy, doing yoga, and meditating, so that come springtime I’ll still have balance in my life.
Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.