How are you taking care of yourself lately?
October is Emotional Wellness Month – and it’s the perfect time to conduct an emotional health check and measure how you are doing. It’s also a great time to incorporate habits to create balance and improve your emotional state of mind.
Life has no shortage of challenges – from work to our social lives and health to home life situations, there is usually something going on. When our thoughts are toxic as we deal with these challenges, they can block our path to confidence and natural beauty. And worse yet, these negative thoughts and unmanaged stress put a burden on our adrenals and nervous systems, which creates a number of hormonal imbalances. All of this takes a toll on our mental health and wellness.
The good news is that we can take steps to achieve a healthy mindset. During this time of year, the plants prepare for winter. Leaves fall – and we too have the opportunity to drop negative, limiting thoughts and beliefs that we no longer need. The fall season is what helps us prepare for what is ahead in the coming months – the winter season.
To keep our mood elevated, we want to shift our mindset practices for emotional wellness. Our focus can turn inward as we reevaluate our projects, recall what’s truly important, and clean up our to-do lists. As we watch leaves change and the outdoors transform, it’s important to take note of the transformation happening inside of us too.
Here are seven mindset and lifestyle shifts you can make to improve emotional wellness in the fall months.
1. Spend time in nature
Studies have shown that time in nature (when people feel safe) helps alleviate stress, increase self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and improve mood. Stay connected with nature even when cooler temperatures are upon us and plants are less abundant. We may not feel motivated to step outdoors, but our bodies still crave this connection with nature. Creating a routine and having the right gear can help set you up for success. When there is less daylight available, make sure to get out in nature during the hours when sunlight is available.
2. Let it out in your journal
Journaling is a great way to release your emotions. Review and record thoughts and emotions that may be holding you back. This will help you release them from your life. Think of this as an opportunity to press the reset button and reprogram your belief system. If your thoughts
feel heavy, they’re likely holding you back and can interfere with your journey toward improved health – including emotional health. Why carry around that extra weight when you can move forward more easily without it?
Here’s a quick activity you can do to let go of those thoughts. On a piece of loose paper, make a list of everything in your life that feels like a burden, a weight, or an obstacle in your life.
Write each item down and notice how your body feels. Do you feel heaviness, pain, or discomfort? Where do you feel it? Once you’ve written your list, shred the paper and feel those burdens lift away.
Then, take time for reflection. In your journal, evaluate your life in the current moment. Do this without judgment as if you’re a neutral observer of your life. What did you notice in your body and mind while shredding your burdens list?
3. Practice breathwork
Breathwork helps us restore balance, quiet the mind, and create a sense of calm. One simple nostril-breathing exercise is to exhale all the air out of your lungs, one nostril at a time. Here’s how to do it.
- With your right-hand ring finger, close the left nostril and inhale through the right nostril.
- Close the right nostril with your right-hand thumb. Exhale through the left nostril and then inhale through the left.
- Close the left nostril with your ring finger and exhale through the right.
- Repeat ten times.
4. Eat seasonal foods
Food has an impact on our emotional wellness. The fall harvest brings produce that is long-lasting and heartier than summer’s – and there’s less opportunity for spoilage.
Consume nutritionally dense foods to support the immune system as we move into winter. Choose foods high in zinc, vitamin C, vitamin A, and B vitamins. This includes leafy greens, bell peppers, and cruciferous vegetables.
You can get recipes for fall in my new book, Natural Beauty Reset: The 7-Day Program to Harmonize Hormones and Restore Radiance.
5. Practice meditation or prayer
Prayer and meditation are opportunities to quiet negative internal dialogue and improve our sense of well-being. If you already have a practice that works well for you, that’s great! If you don’t, I encourage you to try a few options. Regardless of your religious or spiritual belief system, you can benefit from taking a few minutes of time for a prayer or meditation practice.
A prayer can be as simple as asking for guidance and expressing gratitude. Mantra meditation can start with silently repeating a positive sound, word, or statement, such as “peace” or “I am enough.” It can also be a sacred word that ties into your religious or spiritual belief system.
Start by setting an intention before your practice, sit upright in a quiet, comfortable place, close your eyes, and repeat your mantra until you feel a sense of quiet in your mind.
6. Connect with your community
Connecting with like-minded people can help ease stress and give you a sense of belonging. Feeling isolated and alone can suppress your immune system, so it’s important to spend time with others when you can. Getting together outdoors with friends and family can offer the additional benefits of connecting with nature.
7. Make light exposure a priority
Light exposure impacts our moods and our sleep. Since fall is darker than summer, it’s important to look for ways to bring more light and nature into your home during this time of year.
The best time of day for light exposure is early morning.
To help your light exposure, you can go outdoors in the morning or stand near a sunny window. Natural light is the best. However, if the weather is overcast, you can also use artificial light from a sunlamp. A light therapy lamp mimics outdoor light by emitting a broad-spectrum ultraviolet light.
My new book, Natural Beauty Reset, shares many more tips you can use for emotional wellness as the seasons change all year long.
And here’s the most important part…
The choices we make each day are what help our authentic beauty evolve and shine – and these choices play a big part in our emotional wellness and physical well-being. We can choose to be kind, compassionate, authentic, bold, and loving to ourselves. It may not be easy, but this action alone can play a big part in maintaining a positive mindset and mental health.
Hormones, Health, and Harmony
Share this article with your friends and spread the word to promote harmonized hormones and natural beauty!