You’ve probably already heard of the term Fall Blues – those feelings of sadness, tiredness, lack of energy, and the inability to enjoy the things we used to with the same passion, are common companions of short days and cold nights.
The reason for this is simple: the reduced amount of sunlight causes our serotonin levels to drop. And if you’re wondering why that matters so much, you should know that serotonin is commonly referred to as the happiness hormone.
It’s no surprise that we feel better when we have ample sunlight, though – this is simply the more scientific way to explain it. But the good news is, as always, that there’s help for these seasonal blues!
Here’s some tips to make you feel better when the days are dark and gloomy.
Tip #1: Bring Light Into Your Life!
And we don’t just mean that figuratively! Even artificial light can do wonders for Fall Blues. Get the closest thing to natural light that you can – we recommend putting those sunlight-imitating light bulbs in every single room in your home and leave them turned on as long as possible during the day. This will help raise your serotonin levels, and that’s especially important in the mornings.
So if you wake up before daylight for work, school, or anything else, turn on the light as soon as you open your eyes!
That’s maybe a bit much.
Tip #2: Fill Up Your Calendar
Not like that!
When we’re feeling down, going out and hanging out with people, or doing anything that requires even the smallest amount of energy can be a real struggle. That’s why planning different activities in advance can help – it gives you a sense of responsibility towards other people, and even yourself.
Just don’t go overboard! Planning a gazillion things is neither doable nor helpful – you’re bound to end up feeling exhausted and skipping them. Start small and build up as you start feeling more energetic. Whether it’s dinner with friends, hitting the gym, or simply watching a movie by yourself, you should plan it all out to make sure your free time is spent somewhat actively.
Tip #3: Eat Well
You’d be surprised how much energy a balanced diet can give you. The first important thing is – never skip breakfast! If you do, you’ll be low on energy and start your day off the wrong way. With that being said, adding some sort of fruit for breakfast is a must – it has fructose, which is a healthy sugar, and it’s great for boosting your energy levels early in the morning!
There’s another neat trick – certain foods help increase your serotonin levels due to their natural components. Just make sure to vary your diet instead of switching to, say, cheese alone (yum)!
We know it’s tempting.
Tip #4: Exercise Daily!
You’ve probably heard a bunch of times how exercise helps boost your energy and feelings of well-being, but that’s easier said than done, right? The last thing you feel like doing when you’re down is those burning squats!
So if you feel you won’t be able to motivate yourself for this, include a friend. Arrange with them to go jogging three times a week, visit the gym, or even do yoga together! That way, much like our tip about filling up your calendar, you’ll be feeling a sense of responsibility towards it. Plus, your friend is bound to drag you out of the house even if you’re not feeling like a jogger on some days!
Tip #5: Become a Scandinavian!
Okay, we don’t mean that literally… Rather, adopt their attitude when it comes to dark days. Most places in Northern Europe only get four hours of sunlight a day when autumn/winter approach, so they’ve had to learn to deal with it (otherwise they would have probably gone mad!).
In Denmark and Norway, for example, they have something called hygge – simply said, it’s a mood of coziness. Although fall and winter may not be the best time in the world to go sunbathing, these seasons come with other great qualities that we tend to overlook. For example, you can’t exactly slip into thick, soft, comfortable, warm sweaters in the middle of summer! Nor can you curl up in front of the fireplace with a book and some hot chocolate (if you can, we applaud you – and urge you to check your body temperature!).
The point is, if you keep on thinking of this time and weather as just something to be endured, you won’t have any chance of enjoying it. But if you look at it as a time of year with its own unique possibilities, we promise you’ll find a lot of hygge in it!
Tip #6: Don’t Idealize #Holidays!
You know how it goes. It’s not even October yet, and they start popping up – the #FallVibes instagram posts. You’re suddenly being bombarded with pumpkins, lattes, decorations, sweaters, comfy socks, couples on romantic getaways…
And you start thinking – why don’t I have/feel like that?
Here’s an uncomfortable truth: most of them probably don’t, either – at least not all the time. It’s all for show, for likes, and for the aesthetic of it. As we mentioned before, you can definitely embrace the comfy feels and make the most of them; but if you’re feeling pressured to do so because the internet (or your sister, or neighbor) is telling you to – it’s not going to work.
After all, the holidays are just like any other time of the year – all that matters is how you feel and how you want to enjoy them.
We can’t all look like that!
We hope this will help with any Fall Blues you’re having. Leave a comment and tell us if you’ve liked these tips! And if you feel you need more help, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Coaches for a FREE first consultation – they’re truly professionals in the field.