Fall is a time when we’re all partied out from summer vacations, and we start to think about the future. It can also be a time when we lack motivation, as the days get shorter and colder. If you’ve got a case of the autumn blues, here’s 10 questions to ask yourself and get back on track.
#1. Are you worn out, physically or psychologically?
If the answer is yes and everything from work to school and family are getting on top of you, it’s time to take a break. Try taking a deep breath for five seconds, holding it for one, and then exhaling for eight seconds. Repeat for around 10 minutes, focusing only on your breathing and keeping your thoughts quiet.
#2. When was the last time you slept?
Ok, so you probably slept last night, but was it a good sleep? Make sure you’re getting eight hours, because both mind and body suffer when you’re tired. If you’ve got to make a big decision with a tired brain, ask someone who slept well — they’ll help you see things differently.
#3. When did you last have a drink of water?
If it was more than half an hour ago, go grab a glass of water and take five minutes just to breathe and relax (and hydrate!).
#4. When did you last eat something?
If it’s over three hours ago, pick up a snack. You’d be surprised how much an empty stomach can affect your mood.
#5. When did you last work out?
Even if you’re feeling low and exhausted, inactivity will only make you worse. Hitting the gym, going for a run, or even a brisk 30 minute walk will get your blood flowing, release those feel-good endorphins and make you feel a million times better.
#6. When was the last time you ate some fruit (or a vegetable)?
If you’re not eating right, you’re going to feel rotten. You won’t feel instantly better just by picking up an apple, but taking care of yourself and being mindful of what you’re putting into your body will help you feel rejuvenated inside and out.
#7. When did you last feel a sense of achievement?
It’s easy to feel down if you don’t see results from your efforts, so instead of focusing on your failures get out and create your successes. Finish a small project, whether it’s making a playlist, texting someone you’ve forgotten about, or tidying a room, and give yourself that sense of fulfilment.
#8. When was the last time you praised yourself?
It’s easy to wait around for praise and appreciation from others, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t give yourself a pat on the back when you deserve it (even if it’s difficult). Remember what you like about yourself, or a time you worked hard, and give yourself a compliment.
#9. When did you last say something nice to someone else?
If it’s been a while, find someone you know and give them a thoughtful, genuine compliment — and see how amazing it makes you both feel.
#10. And finally, have you hugged someone in the last few days?
Hugs are pretty much the cornerstone of happiness, and without them it’s easy to feel a little sad. Don’t be shy to ask for a hug from a friend or loved one, or grab your dog and have a big snuggle.
Take care of yourself.