The Changing Seasons & Why You Might Be Feeling Down

This is some text inside of a div block.

For many, seasonal transitions are hard. When everyone around you is abuzz about apple picking and Halloween or skiing and snow days, it is easy to feel alone. In reality, Seasonal Affective Disorder (also known as seasonal depression) impacts around 5% of the population. Different and often subtle seasonal changes affect everyone differently, and some SAD triggers may be:

Reactions to Daylight Savings Time

“Falling Back” equates to an extra hour of sleep but also an extra hour of darkness. This may affect peoples’ sleep schedules, routines, and access to vitamin D which is important for many bodily processes and also has been linked to depression.

Inadequate Access to Light

Spending less time in natural sunlight, in addition to colder weather in the northern regions, can alter circadian rhythms. Many people experience and report fatigue and feeling generally less hopeful in the winter months. Light availability also impacts our food intake, so weight gain is common and can be discouraging for many.

Holiday Traditions

There is so much pressure to be happy during the holidays, but whether you have a fully functioning family and or not, the season can be exhausting. Furthermore, seeing a certain person at a gathering may cause conflict, and for others, the time of year alone may evoke painful emotions and memories. Many feel ashamed that their holidays do not look like the perfect ones they see on TV or in magazines.

So, how can one avoid a seasonal funk? For people feeling constantly overwhelmed, therapy and/or medication can be a powerful ally. Some other strategies include:

  • Prioritizing and making a list. Do the things you really enjoy and forget about the rest.
  • Spending time outdoors in the sunlight or under a sun lamp.
  • Maintaining a regular schedule in spite of the time changes.
  • Starting your own traditions, particularly if the holidays are painful and triggering.
  • Exercising at least 30 minutes a day, eating healthy, and getting sufficient sleep.
No items found.

Latest Articles

View All Articles
June 23, 2022

How educators can create an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum that supports the mental well-being of LGBTQ students

One way that educators can promote mental/ brain wellness in school environments is by developing lessons that avoid bias and that include positive representations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, history, and events.

June 16, 2022

Make LGBTQ+ Mental Health a Priority

Discrimination against LGBTQ people has specifically been associated with high rates of brain health disorders, substance use, and suicide. In fact, when compared to people that identify as straight, LGBTQ individuals are three times more likely to experience a mental health condition.

Follow Our Instagram