Turn Over a New Leaf This Autumn

2 years 4 months ago
Posted under Fall

Turn Over a New Leaf This Autumn

Autumn is my favorite time of year. It comes on the heels of the hot, humid summer months that drive many of us indoors. Sun and insects are often not my friends.  Now, with cooler temps and crispness in the air, it is a time to return outside and enjoy life (without those pesky insects).

Autumn is also the perfect time of year to turn over a new leaf, just as the leaves on the trees are changing. Could you use a little motivation to break out of your comfort zone and take new steps to a more joyful and healthier fall?  Try some of these tips:

Help others.

With the onset of cooler weather comes the need for warmer clothing and shelter. Reach out and donate some old clothing, shoes, blankets, or new socks to a shelter or agency that serves those in need of winter supplies and clothing.  What will just stay in the back of your closet this winter will be greatly appreciated by our neighbors who may be in a rough spot.  Watch for sales on hoodies, socks and underwear. Lend a hand and help others with these donations.

Play with food.

 Have you noticed the new seasonal foods in your grocery store? Those autumn veggies and fruits are abundant and sold at great prices. Plan to try a new autumn food recipe once every week or two. Ask a friend to cook with you, if cooking is a challenge. Some of my favorite fall recipes have come from my patients and friends—sweet potato soufflé, steamed turnips with a roast, baked apples, and pumpkin-cranberry muffins. Check out our recipes on My PearlPoint for ideas. You can contact your local agricultural extension service for more tips for finding and using seasonal produce.

Stretch yourself.

If you’ve been indoors avoiding the heat and humidity, step outside this autumn and enjoy the weather. The fall colors, aromas, and milder weather can really help you add physical activity to your week.  Stretch outside in the sunshine each morning for a few minutes. Take a walk around the block or at your local park. Schedule an outing with a friend or find a walking partner to encourage one another. Ask your healthcare team if you are ready to engage in physical activity. Walking and stretching are low-impact activities that may be just what the doctor orders for you this autumn.

Take action.

Do you have a lab test or screening that slipped past you? Did you forget to make an appointment with your physician for an annual check-up or follow-up after treatment?  Don’t delay— make that appointment today that you put off all summer.

Plant hope.

Autumn is the perfect time to plant flower bulbs with flowers you can enjoy in springtime. Get a bucket of your favorite bulbs, a bulb-planting tool, and find a sunny spot to plant them. My personal favorites: crocus, daffodils, iris, tulips. The Old Farmer’s Almanac provides some great information on planting bulbs. Ask a friend or neighbor to help you plant. If you need more help, ask a Local Girl Scout troop or church volunteers. What better hope is there than when spring flowers follow April showers? 

Celebrate autumn this year. Choose a new activity to be healthier, add joy to your week, lend a helping hand, and share fun times with friends.

Margaret Martin, RD, MS, LDN