There’s not much we can guarantee at the moment, but one thing is certain – autumn and winter 2020 will be unlike any we’ve had before.
For most of us, 2020 was not the year we were expecting. And, it might be a bit pessimistic, but I’m preparing for a tough few months ahead.
As well as this, although I love autumn – it is my favourite time of year – I also suffer with SAD, so I’m not looking forward to the short days that are just around the corner. But one way I’m planning on getting through the next four months is focusing on being as fit and healthy as I can.
Part of my reason for this is that, although I’m not racing this year, next year I’m hoping to be taking part in races again and have already booked my spots for the Cardiff Half Marathon and Edinburgh Marathon. So, having a really unsociable autumn and winter 2020 should help me to get my fitness back!
But, being healthy is more than just about exercise, which is why I’m also focusing on eating well, resting and taking care of my wellbeing.
Over the last week I already made a start with cleaning up my diet. I have swapped grabbing a bowl of processed cereal for healthier overnight oats. At lunchtime, I’ve started adding extra carbs (usually pasta or couscous) to my lunches to provide me with more energy and stop me reaching for unhealthy snacks during the afternoon.
I’ve also started cutting back on alcohol as during the lockdown I had a little more gin and wine than I probably should have as weeknight drinking became a habit. But now I’m staying alcohol-free until the weekend and I’m not over-indulging when I do drink.
When the days get shorter and cooler it can be tempting to stay home snuggled on the sofa, but getting outdoors is great for our mental and physical health. Throughout autumn and winter, as long as no restrictions are put in place, I’m planning to use my weekends to get outdoors as much as possible hiking along the coast, visiting country estate and parks, and exploring the local area.
As someone who suffers with anxiety, meditation is an important part of maintaining my mental health. During the lockdown I was meditating everyday, which really helped me cope with the uncertainty, but during summer I got busier and I wasn’t able to mediate as much. Now I’m planning on refocusing my priorities and putting five minutes aside each day to get back into the habit of daily meditation.
Taking time out to rest
Along with meditating I’m also planning to do the one thing that I’m always terrible at – putting time aside to rest and relax. I’m the type of person who is always on the go, but I find being busy all the time makes me feel stressed and increases my anxiety. So this autumn I’m going to allow myself to take time out to read, paint, cook and bake and watch rubbish TV. Giving me the mental and physical break I need to recharge ready for whatever life throws my way.