The anxiety of autumn days
As the days begin to shorten, do you feel autumn anxiety? How do you know if the seasons affect you? What steps can you take to feel better if you notice a regular pattern developing?
People who suffer from autumn anxiety notice a yearly increase in anxiety as the evenings draw in and leaves begin to fall. Unlike other types of anxiety, autumn anxiety often creeps up without warning, causing low mood and discomfort.
We know the days of summer have once more passed, and colder weather lies ahead. This can cause aches and pains not felt in the warmer seasons. Eating hot food as well as a daily exercise routine (as I explain more about later) can help prevent depression during these times.
Signs of autumn anxiety
The signs of not having enough sunshine can include:
- anxiety and excessive worry
- low mood and depression
- lethargy, sleepiness, and fatigue
- loss of interest in everyday activities
Sometimes, the body has an unconscious awareness that we are entering a tough time again. As we watch the sunset earlier each day, sometimes it might serve as a reminder that some of us are entering this phase of life themselves, causing regret towards the things we haven't achieved.
You might have had a fantastic summer and feel sad to see it go
Whatever you are feeling, you can always do something to help your anxiety levels. So, let's explore some thoughts together in the second part.
Ideas to set us up for autumn
Rather than associating autumn with negative experiences, Why not reframe your mindset? We can become very focused on loss at this time of year (heat and light) so why not turn your attention to the indoors and make life cosy? We can all create well-lit areas and find a nice comfy blanket.
We can take what feels like a loss and improve it. Autumn is a great time to make your favourite seasonal soups and warm meals you didn't get to eat over the summer. Enjoy what you can of the good days getting out when you have the opportunity to do so.
Do you know that exercise is critical for mental health disorders? Every study shows improved mood after practice; brisk walking can do wonders for your state of mind on an autumnal day.
Everything has a flip side. Just as autumn brings new things, how about making it a season of fresh starts? Many education courses start this time of year. How about seeing what part-time or evening classes are running in your area this season? When we keep the mind occupied, it helps in so many ways.
If you find sadness and or anxiety not easing, it might be time to engage with some professional help to reduce the mood swings. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has proved excellent in improving outlooks on life for many.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is more about feeling low with depression. But whether it's autumn anxiety or SAD, it's important to arrange some help. Don't wait until things get terrible.
If you feel anxious or overwhelmed, take positive steps to improve your mood today.