Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

What Exactly Is Autumn Anxiety?

Autumn Anxiety: As summer comes to an end and autumn approaches, we confront longer nights, cooler days, and less sunlight. Autumn is a time of comfort, sweaters, and pumpkin-flavored things for many people. The vivid hues of fall leaves, along with the cool, crisp air, provide a sense of transition. This transformation, however, is not necessarily beneficial to everyone. Youngsters are returning to school for both virtual and in-person programs, and the holiday season is quickly approaching, adding to the stress. Many of the summer activities we enjoy come to a halt as October arrives, which can be emotionally tiring.

Fall anxiety is similar to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), although there isn’t always a clear external trigger, according to physicians. It was found by the therapist after patient after the patient began to walk through her door with similar nervous feelings throughout the September months. She eventually coined the phrase “autumn anxiety.”

Symptoms of Autumn Anxiety

Fall worry normally lasts only a few weeks before dissipating as Halloween arrives. Autumn anxiety symptoms include:

  • Depression and a low mood
  • Anxiety 
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Disinterest in activities

Do I have Seasonal Affective Disorder? (Self-Assessment)

When the evenings become darker, the weather may alter your mood and sleep patterns. Take our test to determine if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Causes of Autumn Anxiety

Understanding the causes of fall anxiety might help you face your fears front on.

Reduced Sunlight Exposure

Less exposure to sunshine is one of the most prominent causes of autumn worry. Vitamin D is obtained from sunlight. A person’s body may suffer as a result of fewer hours of sunlight in a day. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to anxiety and depression in studies. Taking vitamin D pills and spending time outside during the day can help you overcome a vitamin D deficiency.

Allergies Due to the Season

According to a study, combating allergies has a similar effect to what a person goes through when they are depressed. Anxiety and despair have been linked to longer pollen seasons. Allergies assault the immune system and our bodies, causing inflammation that affects the brain. This translates to mild depressed symptoms, melancholy, drowsiness, and possibly enhanced clinical depression. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, managing them may help you treat your melancholy and anxiety.

Less Exercise

Shorter daylight hours, chilly weather, and a full schedule are all classic reasons why many people exercise less during the autumn months. Daily exercise is vital for living a healthy lifestyle, including preserving mental health. Even if you prefer going to the gym over outdoor exercise, juggling a fluctuating schedule might be difficult. It is critical not to disregard your exercise routine. Only 30 minutes of exercise per day can improve your mood.

Excessive mobile device scrolling

Often, research has shown that scrolling through your phone or tablet can wreak havoc on an individual’s mental state by making us feel nervous. Scrolling through numerous photographs of happy fall days on hayrides, apple picking, and fall wedding photos may be a formula for disaster, causing people to compare themselves to others on social media. It is important to understand how you feel after spending time on social media. It is essential to take a break if it is causing you stress. Set aside 1-2 hours per day for your device.

Pic: Autumn Anxiety

How Do You Handle With Autumn Anxiety?

If you’re prone to fall anxiety, here are some simple things you may take to relieve it:

1. Spend time in the sunshine.

Spending more time in the sun will help you overcome your fall anxiety. Spend some time in the morning watching the dawn. If it’s dark in the morning, you can replace natural light with artificial light by employing light treatment boxes. The goal is to expose your body and mind to the light, whether it be natural or artificial.

2. Keep Exercising

You should also continue to exercise physically. A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise every day can help keep the autumn blues at bay. The best aspect is that when the colder winter approaches, exercise can become more enjoyable.

You would no longer have to sweat during your routine! You can enjoy the warmer tones of the season by exercising or cycling.

3. Maintain Your Diet

Another thing to consider with seasonal changes is what you eat. In the summer, we eat foods that assist keep our bodies cool, but in the winter, our bodies require a different diet.

Take advantage of this time to acclimate to a new diet. Try that new soup recipe you’ve been eyeing, or make some dishes that will keep you warm both inside and out.

4. Start  A New Interest Or Join A Group

Consider this: fall is a season for new beginnings, so why not start a new hobby? Just because you’re starting a new semester, a new job, or a new season doesn’t mean you can’t join a new group or try anything new.

Make use of this time to arrange your home, care for your garden, or begin a new activity. There is no better moment than the present!

5. Reframe Your Opinion

Instead of dwelling on the pessimism and dullness that fall brings, try to shift your attitude. Humans are predisposed to be preoccupied with loss and mourning. We lament the loss of extra sunlight in the case of fall concern.

Instead, concentrate on what you have! Consider, “I’m staying indoors because it’s so warm and comfy.” You can also accomplish this by making adjustments to your home. Incorporate some autumnal touches, such as throw blankets. The goal is to accept the loss by reframing it.

6. Get Expert Help

It’s okay if the strategies listed above don’t help you deal with your fall worry. You can always seek professional assistance. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most effective approaches to dealing with fall anxiety (CBT).

This therapy has been shown to aid in the treatment of anxiety and even seasonal affective disorder. If the severity of your symptoms is severe, your therapist may recommend antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs.

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