Preparing for Fall 2020

By: Beth Gillem
| October 13, 2020 |

Although the change to the fall season can be invigorating and quite beautiful, it can also negatively impact our emotional and physical health. With the added social distancing measures happening and the constant craziness that’s been ongoing this year, preparing for fall 2020 is not a bad idea. Let’s begin thinking now of things that can make life easier, help our bodies stay healthier, and our souls stay happier. Below are some things to consider when making your plan…

Light It Up!

The days get shorter and the air much colder. The lack of daylight hours and the fact we stay inside more and get less sun on our face can cause something called seasonal affective disorder. It can be quite serious but for me, I simply feel “blah” and run down. If you add in social distancing and the fact that many events where we interact with others may not happen, we can be especially prone to feeling off and unhappy. Preparing for this can make a huge difference.

To combat the lack of sunlight, try using a “happy light” also known as a light therapy box. My friend that lives in Alaska (think only a few hours of sunlight all day long!) recommended it. A happy light is a light that you sit next to (not directly in your eyes) and it mimics natural sunlight. It helps regulate mood and sleep. 

Since it gets dark earlier in the fall and wintertime, it can be gloomy to look out your window and see nothing. How about adding a lighted fountain (solar-powered maybe?) or some string lights outside? I hung cafe bistro lights outside my backdoor and put them on a timer so they come on at dusk every day. It creates a cozy feeling when we are outside and also looks great out my windows when it’s too cold to hang outside. 

Preparing for Physical Health

With all of the stressors going on right now, I don’t plan to try any MAJOR changes to my health at one time. I know when I have done that in the past, I felt really bad and reverted back. This fall I plan to do smaller things that can add up to bigger good changes in my life. 

Maybe you want to drink more water? Get a cute cup or thermos that will encourage and make it a little more fun to get that water in daily. I have a water bottle with lines marking hours on it that helps me make sure I am drinking water throughout the day. I also love to add lemon, fresh herbs, or other fruit juices to keep my water interesting!

Fall season or not I never have been a good sleeper. My mind keeps me awake no matter how tired I am but I found that decreasing caffeine by around 2 (replacing it with that water!) helps and also drinking a glass of Natural Calm magnesium supplement. I love the raspberry lemon flavor myself. I didn’t love the gummy version of this supplement. The magnesium helps settle my mind, helps sore muscles heal, and benefits my digestive tract. Be sure to ask your doctor/pharmacists about adding it to your routine. 

When it gets colder it makes it harder to get out there and walk. This fall we need to make sure we are preparing to keep our bodies moving. There are so many good workouts on Youtube that are free, have different skill levels, and can be as long or short a workout as you want. How about trying to do one workout a week? Take small steps remember?

KyraPro on Youtube has some great dance workouts set to popular songs from Disney like Hamilton, Mulan, and a Disney Princess edition. If Disney songs are not your thing, there is a 90’s dance workout that looks like fun. I also like Yoga with Adriene on Youtube. There are different skill levels and also workouts focused on different body systems. The point is, find something that will keep your body moving if even just a little bit. 

Find A Project

A spike in home improvement projects combined with shipping constraints made it difficult in many places to get supplies during Spring. I am not recommending preparing for a major remodel during the fall but is there something that really bugs you in your home that you could change rather simply? Maybe something that you look at every day? A gallon of paint can do wonders for your mental health when you are at home a lot. Is there a corner in your home that is NEVER organized? Make a list of what you may need to purchase before it gets too cold out and get everything ready. 

Maybe home improvement isn’t in your skillset but crafting is! Find something that brings you peace and make a point to set aside time to work on it. Lauren’s Crochet blog and her shrink magnets are some ideas we have already shared here on the Journal. Here is a link to some super cute Christmas ornaments you could make and give as gifts! 

Have you ever kept a gratitude journal? A few years ago I committed to Anne Voskamp’s challenge of writing down 1000 things I was grateful for over a year. (about 3 a day) It changed a lot about how I looked at life. In addition to the normal blessings I have in my life such as friends and family, I learned to look at my sink full of dirty dishes and name it “ugly beauty.” Ugly because it was no fun, but beautiful because it meant I had food to eat and share with others. Maybe committing to a gratitude journal would help you get through the craziness of fall!

Take It Easy

I know I have thrown a lot of ideas at you but don’t get overwhelmed. The transitioning seasons of Fall and Winter are difficult on a lot of people and combined with Covid-19 and social distancing may be even harder this year. The point is to make a plan and choose a couple of small actions that you can be intentional about doing that may make the fall and winter a little easier. 

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