It’s officially fall! The transition period from summer into winter can make it easy to cozy up, stay inside, and lose track of your health progress. Less sunlight, more rain, and cooler temperatures don’t have to affect your wellbeing.
In fact, autumn is actually a great time to kick your wellness goals up a notch! Your schedule might be a bit less crazy, and there aren’t any summer BBQs that tempt you to splurge. Being proactive about your physical and mental health during the fall will also help prevent the winter blues from hitting hard.
So, from now until December 21st (the first day of winter), we challenge you to boost your health and happiness this fall with these mini wellness challenges:
Meditate every day. Meditation will reduce your stress levels and alleviate anxiety. It will also help you sleep better, feel more productive, boost your mood, and fight the risk of depression. Make it a goal to meditate for at least five minutes every day of fall.
Limit your PSLs. We know, we know – pumpkin spice lattes are all the rage throughout October and November. However, it’s important to know that a PSL a day certainly won’t keep the doctor away. This autumn latte should be treated as an occasional treat due to its high fat, calorie, and added sugar content. Try adding some cinnamon and low-fat milk to your coffee for a healthier choice instead.
Get a flu shot. Everyone should get an annual flu shot. Every year, 200,000 Americans are hospitalized due to complications from the flu. Getting vaccinated is one of the easiest things you can do to protect your health this season.
Go a week without added sugars. Yes, it is possible! Added sugars lead to weight gain and an increased risk of heart. If you’re a sugar addict, the fall is a great time to crush your addiction before you’re surrounded by holiday treats. Check out some of these delicious recipes without any added sugars.
Take a break from social media. A social media detox might be just what you need to boost your mental health. Social media has been linked to risks of depression and a lower self-esteem. Scrolling mindlessly through Instagram and Facebook for hours a day will distract you from your loved ones and limit your attention to what is happening IRL. Try to limit using social media to 30 minutes a day.
Cook a meal using in-season produce. Say hello to healthy fall produce! Using in-season produce is a great way to switch things up and try out some new, healthy recipes. Some of our favorites include sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and winter squash. Check out some of these recipe ideas for inspiration.
Go for morning walks. While the weather still allows for it, go for morning walks. The crisp air and sunlight will give you a jolt of energy and boost your mood. Autumn morning walks are a great way to stay active outdoors before the winter months take over.
Keep track of your mood. Create a mood journal and track your mood throughout the fall. Using a mood journal will help you identify any sources of stress or anxiety, and make it easier for you to be proactive with your mental wellbeing.
Be kind to yourself. Say something nice to yourself at least once a day, every day of fall. Stay mindful of negative self-talk and work on building your confidence. Colder weather and less sunlight make it easier to fixate on the negative. Keep yourself feeling optimistic with daily positive affirmations.
Track your water intake. It’s easier to drink water during summer months due to the heat and sweating. The fall months might make it trickier for you to stay properly hydrated. Start tracking your water intake throughout the day. Try using a free app to make tracking water intake a breeze.
Compliment someone. Making others feel good makes you feel good, too! Compliment at least one co-worker once a day, every day of fall. Genuinely complementing a colleague will help boost your happiness at work, increase office morale, and help you practice gratitude.
Try a new workout. Ever wanted to try a kickboxing or Barre class? Now is a great time to do it! Challenge yourself to try out a new group workout class or a new workout routine at your gym. Indoor workout classes are an excellent way to stay active when colder weather hits.
Participate in a community event. Find an event to volunteer at or participate in a community 5K. Spending time in the community promotes feelings of mental and social wellbeing. You might even meet a new friend, too!
Use this list of mini wellness challenges as a guideline for a healthy fall. Feel free to customize it to fit your personal goals and schedule. Get ready to welcome a happier and healthier you this season!
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