Tuesday, September 03, 2013

NYC Diaries: How To Make The Dullest Days of Autumn Awesome

Happy Fall! Labor Day is officially over, marking the end of Summer 2013 and all the fun activities and events associated with the season. Schools are now opening up their doors, malls are stocking up on pretty boots and sweaters and Starbucks is selling their iconic pumpkin spice latte again. Life is good, right? As much as I enjoy the autumn weather and the gorgeous colors as the leaves start to change, I've always felt that this season brings some bad moments too. There are three types of awful days I find particularly stressful. And I’m almost certain I’m not the only one who struggles with these things. Luckily, I’m prepared for them this year and can take precautionary measures to avoid any issues. So without further ado, I present to you my autumn problems and their (hopefully successful) solutions...
Fat days
After watching my weight all summer so as to look decent in bathing suits and cutoffs, I welcome the more covered-up clothing options of fall. But that doesn’t mean I want to gorge myself on a ton of high-calorie meals and lose the muscles I’ve been working on for the past three months. And autumn brings with it the no-holds-barred candy binge that is Halloween, closely followed by the eating marathon we call Thanksgiving. Holidays like these often add some VERY unwelcome pounds.

The solution: Make workouts and healthy eating a higher priority. I’m upping the number of reps I do of each exercise at the gym, and I’m working in more cardio on weekday-morning runs. I’ve also started keeping a food diary so that I know exactly how many calories and nutrients I’m putting into my body. My Fitness Pal is the website I use to keep track of everything.
Shorter days
You’re not imagining it -- the hours of sunlight per day are already starting to dwindle. Once we’re forced to turn our clocks forward an hour, it’ll be even more noticeable. There’s less sunshine all around, and I’m really sensitive to the weather so that tends to make me a bit depressed.

The solution: Get up at dawn to enjoy as much daylight as possible. That also means you’ll need to adjust to an earlier bedtime, but how great is it to wake up with the sun and relish those extra moments of sunlight? I think it’s worth it.
Busier days
Some of us are going back to school and others are just getting back to a new work week. In either case, I find autumn to be one of the busiest seasons of the year. As the year slowly begins to end, new projects arise and new responsibilities come with them. Stress is usually the result, and we all know that is no fun at all.

The solution: Take time to meditate and/or try a new hobby. I just downloaded a few new mindfulness apps on my iPhone so that I can learn to relax and keep calm. I’ve also taken to baking recently. I find it keeps my mind focused on something fun and creative. Plus, there’s a reward at the end -- who doesn’t love cupcakes?

Let me know what you think of these not-so-fun types of autumn days and if any of the solutions I suggested work for you too.

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--By Caitlin from Stream of Caitlinness

[Photos via Pinterest]

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