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Well here it is, fall is upon us. As Canadians we make sure to enjoy the hell out of our summer; dinners on the patio, long weekends out of town, days at the beach with friends. September is here now, and just like kids getting new backpacks and running shoes, we needs to spruce up our routines as well. Those with mood disorders know that the fall can be a rough time; Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) can mean the fall and winter blues set in quick when the days get shorter. This is the perfect time to make some New (School) Year Resolutions to keep positive mental health habits moving forward into the fall. The following are my top three for this year:

Eat Better

Summer means patios, BBQs and ice cream. All summer long we indulge at restaurants and back yard parties more than we do in the winter. Not only does this get expensive, it is also hard to get a complete meal in these situations. For me, regular, healthy, whole meals are very important to mood stability. So my first resolution of this new school year is to make sure I make all my breakfasts and lunches at home for the work week. The day gets off to a much better start with some home made eggs than with a sausage-like-sandwich-substance.  It reduces stress knowing that I have a cheap, fast, guilt free and delicious meal waiting for me in the work fridge at the lunch hour too.

Stay Active

A great thing about the summer is how active Canadians become. We get out and enjoy our beautiful country in a way we just don’t in the winter. Walking, time at the dog park and trips to the beach make us more on the go in the summer without needing to go work out as separate activity. However, the short and cooler days will be upon us before we even know it so it is time to get back to the gym. I pay for my membership whether I go or not, so I’m going to start making it worth it! My goal is to continue to walk to work, plus three gym trips a week. It is always fun to try a new activity too; I suggest yoga for anyone struggling with anxiety or something high intensity like boxing when you’re trying to pull yourself out of a low mood.

Stay Social

Summer brings people together. Whether it is over burgers or beers, we spend more time with friends when the sun is shining. My third resolution is to keep those connections alive over the winter months. Depression can turn us into hermits; it is easy to justify staying on the couch at -40 degrees, but the winter has fun social activities to offer as well. Here comes the time for hot chocolate dates, skating rinks and maybe a night of Risk. Those friendships are what will get you through those dark winter nights.

My three resolutions surround the foundations for mood disorder health; food, activity and social life. For more tips on making your fall healthier and more productive check out this article “Twelve Healthy Ways to Brighten up your Fall Back-to-Work Attitude.”

My favorites are “Dare to Enter the Nap Zone” and “Be in the Moment”


About Sarah Lindsay

Sarah Lindsay is in her mid-twenties and lives in Toronto with her boyfriend and their dog (who also has some anxiety issues). Sarah was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2005 at the age of 16 and is still trying to figure it out. Follow Sarah’s story on HMC’s Supportive Minds Blog, or additionally you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook or check out her new website: SarahsMoods.com

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