I always begin fall with a very idyllic picture—warm sweaters, cozy nights around a fire, and long, lazy meals. But then everything kicks off in September and two months later I realize I still haven’t caught my breath. Do you feel this way?
It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of responsibilities and projects and lose sight of what’s important—whether that be the space to share coffee and a crisp walk with a friend, or our usual rhythms of health and wellness. But if you feel like you’ve lost your way a bit this fall, here are five tips to help you get back on track.
1. Watch your favorite evening shows while walking on the gym treadmill.
We get it: fall is an insane time of year. Every program, activity, and project is in full swing. And unlike the busyness of the holidays, fall is busy in a way that can be as mentally exhausting as it is physically exhausting. Boost your physical energy and give your mind a rest at the same time—catch up on your favorite shows while walking on the treadmill or spinning on a stationary bike. As a bonus, you’re likely to workout longer when you’re distracted by an interesting plot or fun storyline.
2. Embrace the season and invest in some reflective/light-up gear and warm layers.
This season can be cold and dark, making it that much harder to motivate ourselves to throw on those running shoes. But instead of shrinking back under a warm blanket, invest in some fresh gear. Choose a few reflective or light up pieces that will keep you safe and visible, and find some layering pieces that can be adjusted to the day’s weather. Don’t forget a light pair of lightweight gloves, and a headband to protect your ears from the brisk wind.
3. Save your chores for the evening.
For many of us we can lose our motivation as the day wears us out. Couple that with an earlier sundown and it’s a recipe for throwing those pajamas on right after dinner. Instead of trying to combat your desire to hunker down in the evenings, swap your productivity schedule. Push your mindless chores—folding laundry, paying bills, cleaning out your work bag—to later in the evening and then use your earlier free-time for a quick workout.
4. Make it social.
When our schedules are overly full the first two things to go are usually exercise and our social life—but both are vitally important to a healthy self. Rather than choose one to squeeze into your schedule, prioritize both. Join an evening workout class or a rec league for your favorite sport and invite a friend along. You’ll feel both physically and emotionally recharged—likely leading to a better night’s sleep and a brighter morning.
5. Embrace the home workout.
It’s easy to become discouraged when our usual routine goes haywire. But rather than give up, find something—anything—that works in your day. You may not be able to hit the gym, or go for an hour run, but we can all carve out time for a home workout. Check YouTube or one of the many free workout apps (I like the Nike Training app) and bookmark a few great workouts that match your fitness level, goals, length of time, and available equipment. Rather than calling the whole thing off, keep yourself active and your motivation high with a fifteen-minute ab video or a half-hour video-guided yoga session.