No longer are the days of summer where the warm sun is beaming down on you while you’re sitting on the edge of the pool or in your beach chair. Summer has ended and fall has taken its place. Now, fall can be a beautiful time. The leaves are changing, pumpkin patches are coming back, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are being sold, but the cooler and short days can also lead to some emotional changes. I know for me, the change of seasons and getting back into a groove after summer poses an enormous challenge mentally. It has taken many trials and errors to find out what helps me mentally and physically in these cold and dark months. This being said, I have compiled a list of three things that help me during the transition from summer to fall and winter.
- Participate in events and activities that interest you
This one may sound like every other college advice blog that says to get involved in things on campus, but I cannot stress this one enough. During the colder months, I tend to isolate myself even from things that I normally enjoy. My big goal for this upcoming fall and winter is to stay involved in extracurriculars that I am involved in and attend the events. I know how easy it is to just stay in your warm, cozy bed instead of going to different events, but putting yourself out there and remaining active in your organizations can be a good way to prevent isolating yourself.
- Create a schedule and stick to it
A big piece of advice that helped me during the long seasons was to plan out my schedule and follow it. For me, this meant creating a goal to wake up early, go to the gym, give myself enough time to get ready without being rushed, and go to classes. Waking up early was one of the more difficult changes that I had to make, because I was in no way a morning person. I scheduled morning classes in an effort to get myself up earlier in the morning, and it has been one of the best decisions I have made in my college career. Yes, there are those days where I think to myself ‘why did I ever schedule an 8 a.m. class?,’ but in the long run, it has helped me have productive days. If you feel you aren’t able to create a solid schedule, that’s okay. Start by achieving just one or two things that you want to change about your days.
- Go outside
As simple as this one sounds, it can actually make a world of difference. I know when it’s cold and rainy out, all I want to do is stay inside under a blanket and read a good book. While there is nothing wrong with that, use a clear, sunny day to your advantage. Even if the air is a little crisp, getting those rays of sunshine on your skin and fresh autumn air filling your lungs can turn a bad day into good.
Going for a walk or a run on a nice day can also not only improve your mental health, but your physical health as well. So put those sweaters and hats on and get out there!
The fall and winter months can lead to some emotional turmoil, but it doesn’t have to. The cold months can be enjoyed just as much as the warm, sunshine filled days with the right life changes. Instead of focusing on the darkness of these days, focus on the steps that can be taken to enjoy every season.