Changing Seasons - How to not waiver when Fall hits hard
Growing up a #PNWgirl Fall always lured over me with its approaching gloom. Arriving like an angry ex. Throwing open the door of 40 degree morning cold, spitting rain, and hormonal weather patterns for at least a solid two months. I would let it take hold and knock me down hard.
Seasonal depression is real. It's clinical. It's positively terrible. We're riding this dreamy high of summer sun for months. It greets us happily with hours upon hours of its presence. And then SMACK. Fall takes that happy little sunshine right out.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a common disorder that hits about 4 to 6 percent of us, with it affecting women higher over men. And SAD trends higher as you move north towards Washington (insert eye roll and obvious DUH!).
For many years, I have experienced a mild case of SAD. I sort of loathe everything, I don't want to get out of bed, my parched skin cries for help, I put on the dreaded 7 pounds of pre-holiday stress weight (followed by another 5 of actual holiday weight), and I probably yawn more often than I smile. The lack in sun and Vitamin D drops my energy levels and the cold makes my body ache. I mean, who wouldn't want to be around me?
I've had enough. This seasonal change doesn't deserve to take my best self. I don't owe it anything. And, neither do YOU! Let's embrace this seasonal change together. Here are some suggestions to ensure it doesn't take you and I out!
// Do a closet clean out - if you have sweaters and Fall/Winter pieces you didn't wear last year, remove them. Make room for some cozy newness and then go out and treat yo self! There are so many great new Fall pieces for under $50!
// Pinterest your favorite dishes that bring you comfort, but not at the risk of bringing you the extra 10 pounds. I opt for easy crock pot recipes with little ingredients and low sodium, and lots and lots of soups!! BONUS! Your house will smell UH-mazing!
// Get in to a morning routine with a warm drink to help you enter into the dark, cold with peace and comfort - hot lemon water with raw honey and grated ginger is one of my go-tos. It helps naturally awaken your body along with boosting your immunity
// Talk to your doctor - get some advice on changing your supplement routine OR cruise the idea of starting a anti-depressant. Probably the best decision I have made for myself
// Seek out a counselor, therapist or find a new church you can settle in to - catch some good vibes
// Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake to avoid the major slumps the next morning
// Increase your H2O intake! Your skin will thank you!
// Get a gym buddy
// Create a morning meditation routine
// Open your blinds or curtains as soon as you can to take in the day light
// Create an upbeat music playlist to dance to on your morning commute
/// Diffuse some essential oils - see this blog post about how essential oils changed my everyday
// Ladies - visit your favorite beauty supplies store for a makeover or consultation on new beauty products that help your skin stay hydrated and radiant thru the fall/winter months
// Go get yer hair did - a fresh cut/color is usually the best way to enter a new season!
// Reflect on the "change" - what does it mean to you? What can you lean on God for in this season?
// Go jump in a leaf pile.... no, really, do it.... it's seriously FUN!
Having awareness of my energy and attitude during these transitional seasons is the difference between giving people my best self or firing off and then sulking in regret.
One thing I've additionally come to realize is that in order for me to get to my 'best self' I sometimes have to be a little selfish. But it isn't at the expense of someone else, my health, or finances. It's simply being selfish with my time. Being aware of what gives me LIFE. It's the few minutes it takes to remember my breath and focus on it. It's the effortless task of gifting my body with morning stretches, a roll-on of my favorite essential oils, or the sound of the blender concocting the most delicious protein shake. Most of all, it's remembering that He makes all things new with the transformation of the seasons. These efforts are small, yet effective in coping with the seasonal changes. They help me see God's intent in renewing the earth, beginning a new phase of life in all things. ALL THINGS. That includes YOU + ME! As I TAKE TIME to look over the leaves that wear all of the colors of all of the seasons, as I close my eyes and embrace the cool, crisp air that's pushing through the summer warmth, I wonder where He will lead me. What does He have in store for all of us as this new chapter unfolds? And that is where my depression of the season change does an about-face in to peace and motivation. Tomorrow's not promised, but today is here. No sulking allowed.
I wrote a poem in high school that I still recall, and it resonates today.....
The seasons will change, and so will I
Like the moon that rises and falls in the dark night sky
Life is around us with each new dawn
Look up, be grateful, for tomorrow could be gone
- Melody Todd