For some people, fall is a time for excitement. Those of us in the South, fall means bearable weather. It means air that doesn’t smother us on a daily basis. Breathing clearer is a reason for excitement. Fall means comfy clothes, hot drinks, shorter days and not complaining at all about quiet nights at home.
For some people, fall is the gateway drug to certifiable holi-crazy. Once the Halloween decorations hit Walmart and CVS, it’s all over. The next 3ish months are times of stress, manic mood swings, family pressures, cooking Pinterest fails, way too high expectations, and that stupid Christmas song that has been playing since September.
So how can we find the fun and tone down the frazzled?
I have no idea.
But here is what has worked for me in the past.
Don’t roll your eyes. Here is the chain reaction:
- stay up late too many nights
- don’t get good sleep 4 out of 7 nights
- notice some grumpyness to go along with those grumpy pants you had to pull out of the Goodwill “too big” pile
- survivor snacking on all the sugar and salt
- chugging all the caffeine drinks
- skipping the workout to “rest” and spend that time yelling at the kids/dogs/husband instead
- find yourself in the doctor’s office with colds, infections, flu, etc.
So..keep or adopt a better sleeping schedule.
2. Keep promises to yourself. Some of them.
During these last few weeks when things happen, schedules change quickly, last-minute obligations pop up, make a point to keep some routines in your life. Healthy routines. WRITE THEM DOWN. Make a schedule that includes 3 healthy dinners a week. 3 workouts a week. Drink more water every. single. day until Jan. 1st. (That one is a gamechanger. I was not a believer but I am now).
It may seem counterproductive to expect yourself to keep a few non-negotiable things in your life when the Thanksgiving turkey is giving you a beady stare, but when you do things for yourself that make you feel GOOD about yourself, you’re less likely to find yourself in a tattered mess after the trees come down.
3. Be proactive about your health.
I’ve talked about sleep and that’s a HUGE must. Beyond sleep, if you believe in vitamins and supplements, freshen up the old stuff and replace with new stuff. If you are not sure about that mumbo jumbo, then believe what I say and take 3 things: a multi, Vitamin C, and a probiotic. I also take fish oil, D3, and calcium since I’m now old.
If you have wondered about essential oils, stop wondering. Get yourself a diffuser and some Thieves (Young LIving) or On Guard (DoTerra). I don’t sell it but I have serious evidence it works on me.
While you’re one step away from a full blown hippie, go ahead and get some of this stuff. Take the Umcka at the FIRST sign of a sniffle, body ache, headache, cough, etc. Read the directions for dosing. This is homeopathic stuff so you’ll have to order online or check the nearest health food store.
The Elderberry syrup is gaining popularity in anectodal reports. You can find this in mainstream stores and drugstores. Sambucol is the name brand. Many people (like me) get sicker taking Tamiflu than just dealing with the actual flu. Elderberry came out of the shadows last winter when the flu became very widespread in my neck of the woods. I was too late into the flu to start taking these preventative measures, but when more and more people rave about them, I’m taking no chances this year.
For those who just glazed their eyes over this hippy dippie stuff, at the very least try the following things to help keep your body as healthy as possible.
- sleep. SLEEP. sleep.
- Workout in some form with walking, yoga, simple stretching, or whatever your current physical workouts look like. Aim for 3 times a week. Pick what you LOVE to do. Bring in music or netflix. Buy a new workout outfit on Black Friday sales to motivate you NOW instead of waiting for January.
- Drink water. Drink a LOT of it. Drink MORE of it on nights when you’ll be chugging the spirits bright. Drink it as a hot tea with lemon. Find a festive water bottle to perk up boring water. Get some sparkling waters and add fruit slices for mocktails to go with your healthy dinners this week.
- Eat….PLAN…write it down on the fridge menu… 3 nights of very nutrient-dense meals during the week. Weekends are for tailgating and parties. Think of dark greens like kale, cruciferious veggies, high-fat foods like salmon, avocados, almonds, higher protein foods that satisfy and feed your muscles.
4. Meditate, pray, Gratitude journal
If you’re not religious in any form, try meditation. There is some power in meditation. Look into doing a Thankful month for November. This is much better than No-shave November, in my opinion. There are even pre-printed gratitude journals out there. When you spend just a few minutes each night, morning, or any consistent down time recording things in your life that bring you peace, contentment, joy, etc, you are training your brain to seek these things. For some, noticing the negatives is easier. The glass-half-empty folks really benefit from gratitude journaling.
These are just a few ideas to keep in mind when the days start spinning faster and those Christmas cards are staring you in the face even while wearing a Halloween costume. Take self-care seriously. Take your mental and physical health seriously. Protect your family from those germs and bugs. Eat good food. Sleep away the day’s stresses.