As soon as Autumn rolls around, it’s easy to start feeling down and out. Summer’s good times, perfect weather, and overall great vibes dwindle out and it’s time to start gearing up for the colder holiday season ahead. With less Vitamin D + fewer hours of sunlight, it is alright to feel fatigued and down. Depressed moods are easy to combat for some, but for others, it can be more severe. Lucky for you, our friend Cristin Smith at Saffron & Sage came up with some great ideas for confronting low moods. Here are some coping mechanisms that will help you through the low feelings associated with the turn of the season.

Get Some Exercise

One of the best ways to improve your mood is to get in a good workout. I know, I know, when you’re feeling depressed the very last thing you want to do is go run a marathon. Light exercises as simple as going for a walk, taking a yoga or Pilates class, stretching, or even hiking through the outdoors is effective enough to boost your mood. Choose something active that you thoroughly enjoy to boost your mood and notice how much better you’ll feel after.

Clean Up Your Diet

We are surrounded by artificial, highly processed foods. If you are an emotional eater, the first thing you may reach for when feeling down is a pint of ice cream or a slice of greasy pepperoni pizza. While it may taste good temporarily, these foods actually slow us down and make us feel worse. Eating a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables can help combat depressive symptoms and encourage a healthier lifestyle. Avoid skipping meals at all costs to keep your body fully functioning.

Catch Some Zzz’s

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of keeping your mood and energy up. Seven to nine hours per night is what is recommended, which is especially important to stick to when you are feeling depressed. Pay attention to what time you are falling asleep and waking up at and try to stick to the same routine every day to get your circadian rhythm in check. Yoga, chamomile tea, and deep breathing exercises are other ways to help calm you down and get you to sleep.

Put Yourself First

Life can be busy, stressful, and take a toll on your mental state. Remember that you are your own best friend, and it’s okay, even necessary, to put yourself first – especially when you are feeling down. Don’t feel bad for saying no to anything that doesn’t serve your ultimate purpose.

Practice Mindfulness

Looking in and practicing mindfulness is an effective way to take your mind away from negative thoughts and instead focusing on the present moment. Daily practice will help you focus on all that is right in the present moment and can also highlight the causes of stress and sadness you are experiencing in your life.

Take A Mental Day

Some days, you may feel like there’s nothing you can do to turn your mood around. When this happens, remember that you are completely obligated to take a break from your life for a bit. Take time for yourself to do the little things that make you happy, whether that’s going on a bike ride, taking a walk on the beach, or cooking a colorful meal. Sometimes, it is vital to your mental health to get away from real-world stressors for a bit and give yourself some time to heal.

Next time you’re feeling down, combat your bad mood with some of these holistic approaches for a healthier, happier life.