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Sad Girl Fall: Getting Ahead of the Fall/Winter Blues

*Deep Sigh*

It’s happening. Fall is upon us. I am not pleased.

I know all the Fall Heauxs are breaking out their pumpkins, earth tones, and thick cardigans *eye roll* but I am not ready to say goodbye to a full day of sunlight, short shorts and flip flops.

While everyone is making a mad dash to show off their new pumpkin spice pulled pork recipe or whatever the hell, I am dreading the “Fall Sads” soon to be the “Winter Blues”.

I’m talking about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The Mayo Clinic defines it as a mood disorder characterized by depression that occurs at the same time every year. It usually occurs in climates where there is less sunlight at certain times of the year.

Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue

  • Depression

  • Hopelessness

  • Social withdrawal

Last year’s COVID quarantine certainly did not help many of us who are single and living alone avoid SAD, so this year I think it’s time we get ahead of this beast and beef up our self-care strategies for the emo-blizzard that is sure to come.

Check out these 5 tips I’m using to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) this year:

  1. Exercising Regularly

You guessed it! I’m making it a point to exercise at least once a day everyday. Now granted, I am a Fitness Instructor and I exercise everyday by default when teaching my virtual classes, but I know that I could do more to really wring out those extra feelings of anxiety with a personal workout that challenges me a little more. I’m setting a goal to get at least 30 minutes of gym time daily.

2. Eating 80/20 (and sticking to it)

We all know that when you eat crap, you tend to feel like crap afterwards. Another goal I’m setting is to make sure that 80% of the food I eat is nutrient-dense and comes from my own kitchen! I do that by prepping my lunch & dinner weekly. Having my food already prepared leaves less room for overeating during holidays or emotional eating something I may regret later and surely sabotage my fitness goals.

I have an Intro to Meal Prep guide if you need help getting started.

3. Journaling

As a single person living alone, this tip is CLUTCH for getting all of the spiraling thoughts out of my head and onto paper. I usually feel lighter and gain a better perspective after I’ve written it all out. Bonus if you grab some nice pens and a cute journal!

4. Yoga

Okay I don’t count this one as exercise because when I take a yoga class, the sole intention is to clear my mind and focus on what’s in front of me. For one hour, I’m only focused on my breath, my body and those yummy stretches that feel amazing towards the end! I started taking a virtual yoga class last year during quarantine with Body Art Noire. The owner, Ashley, is an AMAZING Instructor who hosts donation-based virtual Yoga classes.

5. Light Therapy aka “Happy Light”

When I first noticed something was off with me last year, I decided to do what we all do - I Googled! I found information on Seasonal Affective Disorder but I also found ways to relieve symptoms. One of them was a therapy light or commonly referred to as a “Happy Light”. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Light therapy is a way to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and certain other conditions by exposure to artificial light. During light therapy, you sit or work near a device called a light therapy box. The box gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light.

Light therapy is thought to affect brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep, easing SAD symptoms.”

My Mom gifted me this Happy Light and at first I was skeptical, but it definitely gave me energy to get up and start moving around.

In the comments I guess we can get a little festive for Fall, so tell me, are you Team Pumpkin Spice or nah?

Disclosure: This blog uses various affiliate links. If a purchase is made using one of my affiliate links, I receive a small commission which helps support my efforts. You are under no obligation to make a purchase, but you’re greatly appreciated if you do.


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