Managing Autumn Stress

Stress can be particularly high during fall months because those relaxing summer days are a thing of the past, the kids are back to school, and deadlines are looming with the end of the year just around the corner.  With so much going on, September seems to pass in the blink of an eye and the stress just accumulates well into October.  Here are four simple strategies to help you avoid burnout and to keep our immune systems as healthy as possible as flu season approaches.
The first strategy to get a hold of autumn stress is to focus on getting plenty of nutrients. In order to boost your body and mind’s ability to handle current stress and it’s ability to on additional stress without getting sick, make sure you’re eating a well-balanced diet that is rich in essential vitamins and minerals.
Second, incorporate different types of movement into your daily routines to manage your stress. Many types of movement not only help to reduce our current stress but also make us more resilient to the stress we haven’t yet encountered.  Incorporating various elements of flexibility, strength training and cardiovascular exercise will help you relax by reducing stress-hormone levels and increasing sleep quality.  Movement will also help to keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
Making yourself a priority is a third strategy for managing autumn stress.  When we are stressed, self-care is usually the first thing that we set aside for later because our focus is shifted towards external things rather than inward.  We skip meals, don’t get enough sleep, and ignore all signs from our bodies telling us to slow down.  It’s during these times, however, that we need to take care of our ourselves the most. You are the most important person in your life so do yourself a huge favor and take steps towards supporting your own health and well-being.
Lastly, get comfortable with saying no. In order to eliminate additional stress from piling onto your already chaotic life, recognize when enough is enough and politely decline any additional engagements.  Prioritize those things that are most important and save all others for when life slows down a bit.  If something is at the top of your priority list but you can’t seem to find the time to take it on then this is a good time to reach our and ask for help from someone that you can offer something in return.  Either hiring someone to do it for you or asking a close friend to run an errand for you in exchange for you running an errand for them later are a couple of options to consider.  Delegating tasks to others who may be less stressed than you is a good way to reduce your stress load.