While fall is the favorite season among many people, others struggle with it because of how it affects their mental health. You might be one of the unlucky people who have a hard time with your emotional state in the fall, dealing with worsened anxiety and depression. Here is more information about why this might happen and what you can do about it.
What is Autumn Anxiety?
The first mental health change you might notice in the fall season is your anxiety. Many people have noticed that their anxiety seems to peak around the start of the season; others after “falling back an hour” – but why? This is sometimes referred to as autumn anxiety, a type of anxiety that is triggered by the fall season. This is because the change between summer and fall can often feel like a drastic one. Your days get shorter, the weather changes, your routine is different, holidays are coming up, and it just feels like everything is different and more stressful.
Dealing with Seasonal Depression
You might also be someone who has worsened depression in the fall, which can happen for a number of different reasons. However, the most common cause is from seasonal affective disorder, (or SAD). SAD is often the result of the changing seasons, particularly with the gloomier, darker, colder, and rainy weather common during the fall and winter, then you are likely to get it this time of year. Unfortunately, it can give you all the same symptoms as other forms of depression, including mood changes, low energy, lack of motivation, lethargy, and simply feeling blue.
What You Can Do About It
While it can be difficult getting through the fall season with anxiety and/or depression, you are not alone, and there IS help available to you. Here are some ways to get relief from your anxiety and depression this season:
Light therapy for SAD – If you suffer from SAD, one of the best options for you is light therapy. Naturally, light therapy, called phototherapy, is the way to go. There are a host of “light boxes” you can use indoors to provide a bright light during the day to reduce your symptoms.
Writing in a Journal
Journaling is a simple daily practice that can help with minor forms of anxiety and depression.
Practicing your breathing (or meditation) exercises – Breathing exercises are quite helpful when dealing with anxiety. Being consciously aware of your breathing allows you to be mindful for a few minutes, toward focusing your attention on intentionally relaxing your mind and body. This method is a fantastic option for getting through a panic attack.
Seeking professional help – If your symptoms become unbearable especially if you fear leaving your home, please do not hesitate to reach out to your licensed medical professional – family doctor, or psychologist if in need of medication or talk therapy. There is so much they can help you with when your anxiety or depression becomes too much to handle. If your symptoms are more of a nuisance, then consider us for your spiritual life or holistic wellness coaching, or even private yoga sessions to help you hold it together until Spring. 😉