How to deal with season change

Season changes can be wonderful with so much to embrace; late summer often brings with it an Indian summer and a return to much-needed routine for many. Autumn brings beautiful colours, cosy weather, and an opportunity to light the fire. Winter brings fireworks, Christmas and time for family and friends. However, sometimes season changes bring with them a real difficulty.


Change is not always easy - it can bring up anxiety, fear, triggers, expectations, and pressure, both consciously and subconsciously. Season change is something we experience as a collective, alongside nature, and it can be incredibly powerful in altering or affecting our mood, outlook, and ability to cope with life.

Autumn and winter can often be particularly difficult for many; shorter days, colder weather, and less sunshine affect us on a physiological level. Similarly, certain holidays such as Christmas and New Year are often the toughest times for people. Summer brings expectations, a lack of routine and, for some, triggers around body image.

How can we deal with season change?

Or more importantly, how can we thrive with season change? The first step is to reflect on what season change is like for you.

A few questions to ask yourself are:

  • How do you experience the change of seasons? 
  • What does season change mean to you?
  • Are there times of the year that are harder than others and if so, what makes them harder?
  • What is it you find easier about embracing certain seasons? 
  • Do you talk to those around you about the effects of season change on one another? This might be a helpful point to journal and see what comes up when you sit with this subject. 

The second step is to consider what coping strategies may be useful for you when you are struggling. Our coping strategies may need to be adapted depending on the time of year. For example, you may find it easier to be outdoors in nature, getting fresh air when it’s spring/summer but struggle to do this in winter. You may dedicate long cosy weekends in winter to journaling, baths, and self-care but in summer you’re so busy with social plans that this goes out the window.

Think about what your patterns are with coping strategies and self-care. We all need to cultivate a foundation of self-care and compassionate, positive coping strategies to keep ourselves feeling safe, grounded and happy but maybe these need to be adjusted throughout the year. 

Be kind and compassionate with yourself. Whether you embrace or despise change, it’s going to happen regardless. Be kind to yourself if you struggle with change, take small (tiny, even) steps and remember that big shifts happen through stacking up small changes. Use this mentality during the change in season to support and nurture yourself through it. Give yourself permission to think about what you need from this upcoming time of year and reflect on how you may do this.

Therapy is a great space for this, but you can create this for yourself anywhere, anytime if you take a moment to sit and just be. Remind yourself that season change is a universal experience that is purposeful; nature intended it to be that way, so let yourself flow with it instead of fighting it. There is a different pace to each season that is there for a reason.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London W1U & SE13
Written by Beth Hawley, MBACP
London W1U & SE13

Beth is an integrative therapist working in Brighton, London and online via zoom. Beth specialises in working with clients suffering from eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, substance abuse and unprocessed trauma.

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