Spoiler alert: there are bad and good news for you. Let’s start with the bad news. Summer is over, the sun rises earlier in the day, your vacations are over, and the usual nine-to-five schedule is there waiting for you once again. It’s time to put back your cute floral dress and exchange it with a much heavier sweater. If you’re a summer lover, that indeed doesn’t feel that great. But luckily – and here’s where you get to the good news – fall can make you more productive, creative, and even hornier. Why?
The WHO estimates that more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from what is called “seasonal affective disorder (SAD)” or “seasonal depression”. The weather plays a huge part in their everyday feelings and emotions. If it’s raining, they get melancholic and moody. If the sun is shining bright like a diamond, they get hyperactive and over the top. If you’re one of them, welcome aboard.
Moody & sleepy:
It’s very common for your mood to take a dip when fall arrives. Though the causes are still not certain, a part of the reason is a change in multiple hormones and neurotransmitters, like cortisol. Cortisol levels are linked with sleep-wake cycles and light exposure. Your levels are typically the highest in the morning and then decrease gradually as hours go by. With darker days, some remain sleepy and fatigued during the day due to a lack of that “morning cortisol burst”. Scientists also have demonstrated seasonal changes in dopamine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters that are strictly linked to depression. A remedy to SAD is regular exercise – especially outdoors in the daylight- since it can significantly help brighten your mood.
More social & hornier:
On the other side, you shouldn’t lose all hopes of getting something done this fall. Don’t get your bowl of ice-cream and Netflix-ize yourself losing faith in humanity. Not all is lost. Fall is actually a great season for socializing. You may find yourself on your cell phone chatting with your close friends and family more often. A year-long study of more than 22.600 smartphone users showed that people made longer calls when the weather was colder. They made most of their calls to close friends and family members as compared to their wider social network. And what about real human contacts? Well, looks like fall is also a great season for hanging up with new dudes or dudettes. Leaves fall but your libido-fueling hormone testosterone, as discovered by researchers from Norway, peaks in October and November.
No falls in fall’s productivity:
This might come as a surprise to you, but people tend to be more productive on a bad weather day rather than on a good weather day. So don’t feel guilty, you were not the only one fighting for a whole summer the urge of going out for a walk in the park or spend an afternoon at the beach. Now that it’s time to bring the curtain down over that exciting summer weather, you won’t be tempted by the possibilities of a sunny day. And that’s one of the reasons workers and students tend to be more productive on rainy days, according to what Harvard researchers discovered in a study called “Rainmakers: Why Bad Weather Means Good Productivity” and by examining the performance of 136 students. While weather conditions are uncontrollable, you can now think of those dreary days as an opportunity to shine on your task at hand.
The impact of your diet:
If despite these studies, you still feel lethargic on rainy days, that might be because of a bunch of other reasons. Your general lifestyle and diet, above all. Colder days make you feel hungrier and ready to eat as a family of 4. The temptation to reach for foods that are filled with sugars and carbohydrates is tough to resist. Especially when your willpower is affected by the general melancholy of a sunless day. But these foods make you even more sluggish. Try to consume as many fruits, vegetables, protein, and water in your diet as possible. It will raise your overall health and energy levels. Great seasonal fruits and vegetables you can rely on are pumpkins, sweet potatoes, pomegranates, dates, Brussels sprouts, pears, cauliflowers, apples, kiwis, and many more. Besides, if you already feel too stressed out with your annoying colleagues and exhausting schedule, you can drink warm drinks throughout the day to feel warmer and more relaxed. For instance, tea contains theanine, which researchers argue has a relaxing effect and has been shown to reduce blood pressure. After all, isn’t a blanket, a hot cup of tea, and a movie or book the typical image of fall?
But there might be something more behind your fall fatigue:
Do you feel tired all the time? Do you have trouble sleeping and struggle to find the energy to work and even more to exercise? Your constant fatigue and low energy levels might be caused by a bigger risk to your health. Millions of people are deficient in a crucial mineral: iron. Iron deficiency can impede red blood cells to transport oxygen around the body. No oxygen equals no energy, dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, and other tell-tale signs of this condition. Almost half of girls and one in four women have low iron intakes. Exercise fanatics, vegetarians, and non-pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing anemia. If you feel incredibly tired, have shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and a pale complexion, that might be the best reasons to visit your physician as soon as possible.
How you can remedy all of that:
If you are worried about having anemia or iron deficiency, you can naturally consume more iron-rich foods, such as legumes, liver, red meat, shellfish, spinach, and many more. Another effective remedy to ground-level energy levels is to start cooking with cast iron cookware. What? You thought that you had to spend a big part of your savings over a high-end bunch of pills and supplements? Well, you definitively can, no one will stop you from doing that (except for your doctor). But if you are looking for an instant and hassle-free solution, cast iron cookware can be of some help. This type of cookware is made of 99% iron cast into a pan-shaped mold. If properly cared and seasoned, your cast iron pan can release little bits of iron molecules to your food. The more you use it, the more iron your body can absorb from the food you eat. Of course, moderation is still the key. An excess of iron in your body can cause hemochromatosis. And that’s not fun, too. You should invest in high-quality cast iron cookware by still keeping an eye on your budget. That’s what Velosan has been thinking about since 1896, when they started producing cast iron cookware. They now offer a whole range of products, going from cast iron pans and skillets to cast iron woks and casseroles. Each item is pre-seasoned with a natural layer of fat. No added chemicals or artificial coating that can ruin your meals and affect your immune system. The Velosan cast iron cookware comes at a reasonable price and is made of high-quality German materials.
Now you can stop procrastinating and go back to what your boss asked you to do before Tuesday (actually, last Tuesday). Don’t feel that great that summer is already over? Checking your summer photos and memories can get you what in German is called “kummerspeck”. There’s no direct German-to-English translation, but the word roughly translates to “grief bacon” or “sorrow fat”. This term refers to the emotional eating after a pain-inducing event, like a breakup, or a particularly difficult period. That’s when you can get your bowl of ice-cream and binge-watch all the episodes of “Friends” on Netflix. Just remember to cook your dinner on the Velosan cast iron cookware afterward.