Fall is one of my favorite seasons.
The weather cools, we're given a pass to stay in, to lounge in our comfiest clothes, and to drink delicious hot beverages to our heart's content. Hellllooo, my personal heaven.
But it's not all sunshine-and-pumpkin-spice, it is?
Sometimes fall sucks. We get sick. We get sad. We get fat(ter).
Here are just a few ways I plan to deal...
1. It's cold and flu season
AKA preventative self-care season! Take advantage of the excuse to stay in, have a cup of green tea, and get some extra sleep. Also, don't forget to get your flu shot to support the more vulnerable people around you (think babies, older folks, and those with weakened or compromised immune systems).
2. Seasonal depression is real
During the fall and winter, most of us decrease outdoor activity. Commit to spending time outside, especially while moving your body. For added benefit, include others in the experience. If you notice yourself reaching for more carbs than usual (and who doesn't!?), intentionally add protein, fruits, and veggies, too.
3. People obsess about diets
You over people talking about it? Me too. Avoid being swept away by straight up changing the topic, being empathetic, or bringing the humor: "How's that puppy of yours?!" "I worry about that sometimes too. Anyway, what are you reading lately?" "You're afraid of gaining 15 pounds?! I can't wait—it'll keep me so warm!"
4. Hunger-game-like shopping
Either prepare and shop early like your life depends on it (it might!) or don't. As in...don't go shopping at all! Regift your favorite books, make cookies to give away, shop online (helllloooo, Go Love Yourself Online Store!), or skip gifts altogether in favor of gifting an experience, like a certificate to an escape room.
5. Family isn't always fun
Sometimes family downright sucks. Check out this article on boundaries for everything you need to help you set boundaries and protect your sanity.
6. It's disillusionment season
For many, especially educators, the anticipation and hopefulness of the new year languishes into survival mode and burnout. Know that this is part of the process and that you're not alone. Concentrate on getting through one day at a time and look for small wins in each day that remind you why you do what you do.
7. Tis the season of drinking
The pressure to join in on drunken holiday festivities or to reduce stress by drinking can be overwhelming. Pace yourself with super yummy drinks you can sip all night, or abstain altogether—no one will know there's no vodka in your cranberry! As a preventative measure, try to find at least one person you are super comfortable with to ease the pressure.
8. Not hitting your 2019 goals
See #6. Practice self-compassion while reflecting on your goals. Were they realistic? Motivating? What stopped you? Finally, create an "I did it!" list to remind you of the (many!) things you did accomplish.