Although I’m still hoping for our Indian summer this month, the change of season is approaching. The return to school and work and our busy routines kicking in again, can all be quite a shock to the system, especially after the wonderful summer we’ve had!

It can be a bit daunting to have to throw ourselves back into every day life after the holidays, family time and relaxation of the summer. Here are some tips to help you to lift your mood and get motivated, whilst staying calm this autumn!

Re-connect with your goals – it’s nearing the final quarter of the year. If you had set yourself some goals (personal/ health/work) for 2018, now is a great time to check in and take stock of how you’re doing. If you’ve achieved them- great! If you’re not quite there yet you can ask yourself whether these things are still important to you or not? If the goals are still valid then brainstorm the steps to get you further towards achieving them. If not create a couple of new goals to reach by the end of the year. Whether it be to enter a 10K run, achieve something work related, learn a new skill or clear out some clutter; having something to aim for, plan and work towards can really inspire and motivate us to get into action again.

Get moving – As well as improving physical health, the importance of physical exercise in reducing stress, depression and anxiety is widely recognized now.

Exercise actually has a similar chemical effect on the body to some anxiety medications. Cardiovascular exercise, that is the type of movement that gets the heart pumping, causes the body to burn up Cortisol, (the stress hormone) and increases the levels of ‘feel good’ endorphins in the body, elevating our mood and relieving stress.

The power of a song – music can totally lift the mood in a matter of minutes. If you’re finding it difficult to muster up motivation and energy, why not create an uplifting playlist of some of your favourite tunes and pop it on when you’re feeling the need. Notice how your mind set can shift quite quickly!

Laughter – one of the best tonics when we’re feeling a bit down is laughter! Whether it be watching some comedy, reading or listening to something funny or being around people who make you giggle, a good belly laugh can reduce stress and tension and generally lift our spirits. As Charlie Chaplin said “A day without laughter is a day wasted”!

Remember to look after yourself whilst getting back into your routine and I wish you a great September!

This article first appeared in the September 2018 issue of SE22 magazine.