As the days grow shorter and temperatures begin to drop, many people find themselves grappling with what is commonly known as the “end of summer blues.” The transition from the carefree, sun-soaked days of summer to the routine of fall can be challenging. However, there are effective ways to remain upbeat and inspired and that is by making the most of the changing seasons. Luckily, here in Türkiye, not only are there a number of traditions to help make it through this transition, but there is also a plentitude of ways to put good practices for the autumn and winter months into play.
Get more sleep
More and more studies these days are suggesting that sleep is not only vital for feeling healthy and happy, but the lack of sufficient amounts can result in detrimental physical effects. It should come as no surprise that people sleep less in summer. Not only are daylight hours longer, but warm temperatures and an increase in evening activities can make getting a deep and long sleep challenging. Adhering to our body’s circadian rhythm provides the ultimate sleep schedule, which is easier to adhere to post-summer. So, wake up early and get some direct sunlight in your eyes to set your circadian rhythm straight and then strive to get to sleep as early as possible and just watch how your energy and mood improve.
With cooler temperatures, this makes for a great time for some self-care, which could mean putting on face or hair masks or getting a massage, preparing healthy foods, a detox, or getting yourself to the gym, spa or even better, the Turkish bath. Going to a hammam is both an exhilarating and relaxing experience, and it actually ticks two boxes: self-care and new experiences.
An adventure to say the least, at a Türkish bath, one can have their body scrubbed to remove dead skin and be massaged amid bubbles of soap. While you may lose your tan, the fresh feeling of being squeaky clean will inevitably feel amazing.
Go on an adventure
While the summer holiday season may be winding down, this is actually very possibly the best time of the year to travel. For locals living in holiday destinations, we pine for this time of year when the crowds subside, but the sunny weather remains. So, if you are feeling down in the dumps, why not plan a little journey somewhere such as taking a hike on the Lycian way, visiting archaeological sites or taking part in a yoga or holistic health practices retreat? An adventure does not necessarily mean you have to hit the road either. It could simply be discovering the sites nearby or getting out in nature. Either way, the point here is to evoke a sense of awe at the wonders of the world or to create social bonds with others – or both!
Prep the pantry
For most Turkish communities, the fall season is actually one of the most anticipated times of the year, because this is when households come together to prepare and preserve certain pantry products that will be consumed for the remainder of the year. From red pepper and tomato pastes to pomegranate or grape molasses, drying out tomatoes, eggplant and pepper casings, making preserves, erişte noodles and tarhana soup are all customs that will take place at this time of year and are customarily done together. This means that not only does this give households the staple ingredients for their kitchen prepared at their prime, but it is also an opportunity for people to socialize.
Create social connections
Studies show one of the fastest ways to change our moods is to bond with someone else, whether it be over the challenging issues at hand or simply seeking some light-hearted laughter. Either way, being with others is an effective way to feel happier. If you don’t have a support system per se at the present moment, then taking a course, learning a new hobby, volunteering at a charity or joining a walking group or even a gym can be ways to interact with more people.
Laughter, music, dance
Laughter is the best medicine, they say, and this month there are a number of English-language comedy nights (check out Tuz Biber English Comedy) that could brighten your mood. Stand-up comedy is admittedly on an upward trend here in Türkiye, and there are also regular performances in Turkish, but if going out isn’t your thing why not watch some of the hilarious comedy cinema of this country? From the ’70s remakes of Hollywood sci-fi classics to comedy films featuring the character Şaban, there are ways to bring laughter into your home and heart. Music is another element that can easily alter your state of mind for the better. According to neuroscientist Andrew Huberman, listening to just nine minutes of mood-lifting music, will do just that, lift your mood, while sad music if tuned in to when feeling the blues can actually be a cathartic experience and thus a healing process. Dancing at either live music events or with a community at for example some of the Lindy Hop or Balfolk organizations will not only get you exercising and learning a new skill, but will be a fun way to become part of an engaging community.
Exercise is everything
Let’s admit it, one of the greatest challenges for those living their routine lives in urban settings is that in summer it becomes near impossible to exercise as it is too hot to walk or go to the gym in daylight hours. The fact that we will soon have the opportunity to exercise at any time of day is in itself one of the most exciting factors of fall setting in.
So, if all else fails and you still end up feeling down, just go for a walk, or simply wander the streets and those dark clouds will inevitably lift your spirits. Consistency will give you confidence, which can push you to take on even more physical challenges such as joining a gym or setting goals for yourself such as participating in a marathon.
Source: Daily Sabah
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