My Top 7 Tips for Transitioning into Fall!

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I can't believe summer is almost over! It officially ends by calendar on September 23rd. While it is by far my favorite season, I also look forward to fall. The crisp cool mornings, and the cooler breeze I feel gently touching my skin but as the season changes it also means, less daylight, less time outdoors, shorter days and for some it's also a time where depression can creep in.

This time of season is usually a little more difficult for me to transition. While I do feel the effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), I've learned to really manage it so it doesn't affect me so negatively.

SAD is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons. SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, zapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.

I noticed the change a few years ago where I really started to understand what this "icky" feeling was that I was always experiencing when the season started to change.

Here are 7 tools I use to help my body and nervous system transition easier:

1. Exercise! Yes! I make sure to stay consistent with my workouts. Whether it be my cycling classes I teach at CycleFierce, a beautiful walk looking at the fall foliage, or a heavy strength training day in the gym. I really make an effort not to miss a workout especially during this time. Here's why - regular exercise can ease symptoms of depression, especially during the gloomy winter months. When you incorporate moderate physical activity, like walking or biking, for 30 minutes a day you really get those neurotransmitters going! And, this is what we want!

2. Stay Connected! This was huge for me! Especially when I was working with my coach. When you are connected to your loved ones and identifying your support network this can help in so many ways. You being able to communicate with those around you can help create a positive dialogue about ways to combat seasonal shifts for you. Hire a coach! That's what I did and it helped transform my thoughts, behaviors and beliefs around the transition plus many, many other pieces within my life!

3. Sunlight! Make sure you are taking in as much sunlight as possible during the winter months. This can be as easy as opening your blinds during the day or getting outside in the morning. When your body absorbs sunlight it also absorbs vitamin d. If you feel off, or lousy, check with your doctor to make sure your vitamin d levels are okay. I supplement with vitamin d during dark winter months which may help your overall mental health.

4. Light Therapy - I call this my Happy Box! The beams of artificial light mimics natural light. See our eyes are engineered for the lighting conditions outside. The retina has light receptors wired to our brain, responding positively to outdoor light. When our body is deprived of natural light, our body clock falters. When I'm coaching my clients my happy light is always on especially in the winter months and I feel energized and more alert!

5. Journal! Yes, Write it Out! Whatever the season, having a personal journal can be an effective tool to help combat depression or season change. When you are down in the dumps it causes you to lose sight of the positive aspects of your life, but writing your thoughts and feelings down is a good way to keep those positive things in mind.

6. Meditate - Mediation can have a positive impact on your mood because it boosts serotonin levels. This has been a powerful tool for my clients and also me. There isn’t a day I skip meditating. My body and soul craves it! Through meditation, you can calm your mind and move your attention away from anxious or negative thoughts. It really DOES work!

7. Find your new flow! As you set your new routine, consider your responsibilities, health and wellness as well as your favorite leisure activities. I want you to make a list of what is most important to you. Your list might include exercise, sleep, proper diet and nutrition, new foods being introduced with the season change, setting new goals, scheduling down time (my favorite is taking a hot bath), beginning or maybe you are getting back into the routine of meditating, organizing activities, making time for fun and leisure, and establishing a new hobby. I've been wanting to take up dancing so I may just do that this fall! I've found when I find a new flow or hobby and really embrace it helps make the transition easier!

Always remember to design your routine with balance in mind and you’ll set yourself up for success as you transition into the fall season. When we set ourselves up for success anything is possible!

There you have it!

Sending you so much love & light,

Angie Bloom