24 Oct Understanding the Autumn Slump: Beating the Fall Fatigue
Fall is upon us, and while the season ushers in cozy sweaters and pumpkin-spiced everything, it also brings a sense of tiredness and low mood that some of us can’t shake. It’s what I like to call the “autumn slump” – a real thing that impacts many of us as the days grow shorter and the temperatures dip. If you’ve been watching my Instagram stories lately, you might have noticed that I’ve been sharing some of the strategies I’m using this year to keep that fall fatigue at bay.
Why Does the Autumn Slump Happen?
The “autumn slump” can be attributed to a variety of factors:
Serotonin and Vitamin D Deficiency:
The autumn slump can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the change in season brings shorter days and less sunlight exposure. This decrease in sunlight can lead to lower levels of serotonin and vitamin D in our bodies. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter crucial for mood regulation, and vitamin D plays a significant role in our overall well-being. These deficiencies can result in fatigue and low mood, often referred to as the “winter blues.”
Reduced Outdoor Activity:
The colder weather that accompanies autumn often discourages us from engaging in outdoor activities and exercise. We tend to spend less time in nature, and this reduction in physical activity can lead to a drop in our energy levels. The less we move, the more we may experience feelings of tiredness and lethargy.
Changes in Eating Habits:
As autumn arrives, our eating habits tend to shift. With the drop in temperature, we may find ourselves gravitating toward comfort foods, which are often calorie-dense but nutrient-poor. In addition, we may consume fewer fresh fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamins and minerals. These dietary changes can further contribute to fatigue and have a significant impact on our overall health.
Dehydration and its Fatigue Factor:
During the fall season, we might not feel as thirsty as we do during the hot summer months, but staying hydrated remains crucial. Reduced water intake can lead to dehydration, which is known to cause fatigue and low energy levels. Even mild dehydration can leave you feeling tired and less focused.
The Post-Summer Blues:
The transition from the sunny, carefree days of summer to the darker, cooler days of fall can be a bit of a bummer for many. The shift from one season to another can have a profound effect on our mood and well-being. It’s quite normal to experience a sense of nostalgia or longing for the brighter days of summer.
Holistic Strategies to Combat Autumn Fatigue:
Soak Up the Sun:
To combat the vitamin D and serotonin deficiency, try to get some sunshine whenever possible. Even a quick walk during your lunch break or simply sitting by a window while working can help you soak in that essential natural light, which can do wonders for your mood. Talk to a professional about supplementing with Vitamin D to ensure you’re getting adequate amounts (FYI 1000 – 4000 IU’s is often not enough for Canadians).
As the temperature drops, going for outdoor activities might not sound too appealing. Instead, why not explore some cozy indoor options like yoga, pilates, or even give indoor rock climbing a whirl? If you’re up for something fun, there’s always Pickleball—a personal favorite of mine. Regular physical activity is key to keeping your energy levels up, so it’s worth finding alternative ways to stay active. Or, for nature lovers, consider hitting the great outdoors for an invigorating hike or a refreshing nature walk. It’s a beautiful way to exercise and connect with nature at the same time.
As the season shifts and your dietary habits change, focus on consuming seasonal fruits and vegetables. Additionally, incorporate healthy fats and lean proteins into your diet to ensure your body receives the necessary nutrients to combat fatigue and maintain a balanced mood, energy levels and metabolism.
With the days growing shorter, it’s important to remember that nature is signaling us to tune in with the season. As the nights become longer and the days shorter, it’s perfectly natural for our bodies to crave more rest. So, it’s crucial to prioritize sleep and make sure you’re getting enough quality rest. Quality sleep is like a reset button for your body and mind, ensuring you wake up each morning feeling refreshed and energized.
In challenging times like these, self-care becomes even more important. Embrace self-care practices, including taking time to relax and de-stress. Enjoy soothing self-care activities such as bubble baths, hot tubs, saunas, red light exposure, castor oil packs overnight, wrapping yourself in cozy sweaters, and indulge in warm, soothing beverages like hot teas. You can also try flower essence remedies to support in managing the autumn slump.
Additionally, this year, I’ve been more mindful than ever about what I put into my body to combat the autumn slump. I’ve been sharing my personal regimen on social media, which includes more meditation than normal, conscious breathwork, lots of vitamin D, B12 (10,000 mcg), moringa, ashwagandha, and, of course, spending quality time in nature.
I’ve also made some adjustments to my daily routine, such as cutting back on coffee and sweet treats, enjoying long hot tub sessions, spending time with friends as often as possible, taking daily walks, and focusing on getting plenty of rest. I don’t watch the news – I haven’t for more than 10 years – and I’ve found that limiting exposure to screens and any tech especially before bedtime, has also had a positive impact.
This year has been particularly challenging, perhaps because I’m so accustomed to feeling vibrant and energetic. When I don’t, it’s especially noticeable. However, I’m determined to tackle the autumn slump head-on, and these strategies have proven effective for me.
As you embrace the changing seasons, I invite you to try out my nourishing Autumn Chickpea Stew, a delicious autumn dish to help combat fatigue and keep your well-being in check.
If you’re looking for additional products and resources to support your journey to optimal health during this time of the year, explore my PURE Store where you can find a collection of helpful resources and products for staying vibrant and energetic.
As you navigate the changing seasons, remember that it’s entirely normal to experience fluctuations in energy and mood. By adopting these holistic approaches and introducing small yet meaningful changes into your daily routine, you can successfully combat the autumn slump and enjoy the beauty that each season brings.
Here’s to vibrant and energy-filled days all year round!