Welp,  we are officially in the season of autumn. Yep, you got it…and this is the annual territory of mild, seasonal depression stemming from shorter days, longer nights, and cooler temperatures. Lack of Vitamin D and basic limitations on outdoor-nessness can cause a mental, physical, and emotional slump for many of us. It’s easy to feel low when we’re going to work and returning home in the dark. The children are confused because their bodies say that it’s early and the moon says it’s late. Some of us are about to gain an hour due to Daylight Savings Time, but that still doesn’t make up for our anti-everything moodiness during this time of year.

I’ve been there and done that. I am no psychologist, but I do have some practical methods for hunkering down to relatively (sigh) enjoy our summer-to-winter transition. Here’s how you can battle seasonal depression…and win.

Winterize Your Workouts

Dr. Shaunna Gold

CRUSH Columnist Dr. Shaunna Payne Gold

I know that many of us love to be outside. We crave the sun on our faces, the crisp air of the morning and the warmth of the afternoon. We will definitely encounter those days and relish this Fall. However, every day ain’t gonna be sunshine. It’s time to set yourself up for foolproof workouts by always having indoor options when it’s too freakin’ cold to go out. Do you like riding your bike? Set up a bike trainer in your basement or spare room with your favorite music or multimedia already loaded. Do you like running? Get your cool-weather gear together or go ahead and purchase that inexpensive yet sturdy treadmill. Do you like weight training? Now’s a good time to have some resistance equipment and a few weights on hand for an at-home workout. Start bookmarking those podcasts, YouTube videos, and On Demand shows in case you must take those long cardio workouts inside. Ask my boys how fun it is to watch Jackson 5 cartoon DVDs with Mommy while she’s on the bike trainer. Mix it up and make it fun. More motivation: 5 Winter Workout Tips for the Unmotivated

Become a Pinterest Foodie

Yes, I know our bodies are starting to crave those favorite comfort meals. The warm bread. The heavy stews. The sugary sweets. The adult high-calorie, but oh-so-delish beverages that keep us warm. I’m not saying that you must give all of that up, but it’s time to think seriously about tasty, healthier alternatives for most days. Nope – ain’t nobody feeling a salad in fall and winter, but what about a plate of collard greens, kale, or mustard greens instead? Maybe some bread for your splurge meal only once or twice a week rather than everyday. Maybe a broth-based soup rather than a heavy stew, which will still keep your warm? How about warm teas to sip throughout the evening? I promise you, the online autumn eater options are plentiful. Time to try some new things. Like, 9 Favorite Fall Foods to Fall For!


Fall Fitness Shop

Honey chile, lemme tell you. I actually LOVE the fall and winter months for the simple fact that I can start diversifying my activewear wardrobe. Long-sleeved heat shirts. Cute hats and gloves. Waterproof jackets. Cute shades. Warm tights. If an extra-cute winter wardrobe will get you motivated, pick up a few fun, colorful pieces to get you going. Hit up the discount stores, check out the online off-season sales, or trade with a good girlfriend. Look good while you’re out braving the cooling temperatures or simply shuffling between the house and the gym.


Plan Your Positives

Despite the fact that we may need to be indoors a bit more often than not, it ain’t all doom and gloom. Remember to let natural light into your home regularly, use positive aromatherapy to keep your spirits high, and change décor to lighter shades to keep the positive visuals front and center. Make more time for family or friendly activities outside whenever possible, but make your indoor spaces happier despite nature’s changes.

Now, I get it. Everything seems to either slow down or shut down entirely around this time of year. Shoot, even the sun is like – “Forget it. I’m only available on a limited basis.” There is a seasonal shift, but we can find the blessing in our autumn grind too.  Besides, there is no off-season, just different seasons. It’s a shift, not a shutdown. Crush your fall doldrums by planning accordingly!

Dr. Shaunna Payne Gold writes monthly for CRUSH Fitness magazine AND…she’s a U.S. Masters Swimming Certified Coach, Triathlete, Marathoner, Author, Blogger, Educator, & BoyMom, Owner & Founder of SHEro Athletics, LLC

More from our columnist:

What I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self

7 Ways to Embrace the Suck

CRUSH Your Fitness Goals in 2017!

5 Simple Rules for a Healthy Holiday

8 People Who Eff Up Your Fitness Game

From Overweight to “Onederland”

Top 10 Hacks for Mom-Athletes

5 Winter Workout Tips for the Unmotivated

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