It’s October already! This means several things:

  1. We’re into the last quarter of the year (where has 2015 gone?)
  2. I’m going to have to put the heating on soon (or wear more jumpers)
  3. I’ve already spotted some Christmas stuff in the shops (groan)
  4. It’s my birthday tomorrow (eek) 
  5. It’ll soon be Halloween time… so carve out the pumpkin! 🎃

October is a really good time to make a change. It makes me think of being at school – this is the term where you work the hardest. Meanwhile, Sober October is in full swing and it feels like more people than ever are doing it. Good luck if you’re taking part.

Whether you’re cutting back, stopping for good or taking a short break, sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference. Here are 5 fun, inspiring and scary things for you to try this month. I hope you have a spooktacular October (sorry)

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Do something that scares you!

Seeing as this is the month of scary things, why not do something that genuinely scares you, in a good way? I like an easy life and sometimes that means I forget to do things that push me outside of my comfort zone. But it’s really hard to make progress with anything in life if you don’t challenge yourself. So get into the spirit of Halloween and do something scary. Make that call you’ve been putting off. Mingle at the party without a drink. Ask someone for help. Reaching outside your comfort zone will remind you how much is possible, and how much can be tolerated if you only breathe, stay calm and keep moving forward. So what scary thing are you going to do? Leave a comment below… I’d love to know!

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Set your goals and make your plan

As I mentioned before, we’re into the last quarter of 2015, so take some time to get really clear on what you’d like to make happen over the next 3 months and then map out how you’re going to do it. Otherwise it’s very easy to just slide into the end of the year, get sidetracked by Christmas and boom – everything gets put off until January. So if you want to lose a bit of weight ahead of the party season, now is the time to start planning how you’re going to do it (cutting back on booze will really help with that one). Maybe you want to get super organised this year so you can relax during December whilst everyone else is rushing round. Being organised might sound really boring, but it’ll give you a fighting chance of looking after yourself.

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Try a meditation app

I know I would have once rolled my eyes at the suggestion of meditating, but these days I reckon you’d be crazy not to give it a go. Meditating is proven to reduce stress, help us keep calm and sleep better too. In short, it’s a great coping strategy. The biggest problem most of us have is figuring out how to actually do it. I’m a big fan of Headspace (“a gym membership for your mind”). They offer a free ten day course of guided meditation, which you can download as an app on your phone. It’s very accessible and the 10 minute sessions are delivered in a very relaxed style. There’s no hippy talk here, just the basics and even the odd joke.  

No.4-min-min-min-minSpend more time outdoors

As the nights draw in, it’s tempting to snuggle under the duvet and stay there until winter is over. But staying indoors really isn’t great for us. There’s something about spending time in parks, forests and gardens that make us feel good. Nature is a great stress buster and one of the best natural highs you can get.  

No.5-min-min-min-minDeal with your demons

Returning to the Halloween theme …. when you’ve finished dealing with trick or treaters, make time to tackle the demons inside your head. I think we’ve all got one or two in there. It’s that little gremlin voice that tells us we can’t do something, that freaks us out and makes us hold back. It’s the one that makes us feel bad about ourselves.

Unfortunately a few sweets won’t be enough to lure this monster away, but recognising and identifying negative thoughts for what they are will really help. There’s a great article here about dealing with negative self talk – I particularly like the idea of giving your inner critic a name!

 

Out of these 5 things, which one are you most excited/determined to try? I’d love to know, leave a comment below 😀

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