Fall depression is a major disorder characterized by a profound change in mood related to the year’s season. Fall or Autumn depression is a real thing that happens to many people who live in areas with four seasons.
Depression comes with lots of symptoms, often reducing energy and motivation. This article will cover how to manage and overcome fall depression.
There are many reasons why people feel depressed during the fall season. It starts with the shorter days, making people feel sad and lonely as they spend less time with family and friends. The lack of sunlight can also affect the body’s natural rhythms and lead to fatigue.
If this sounds like you, then you’re not alone. Research has shown that between 0.5 and 3 percent of individuals in the general population suffer from the seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which manifests during the Autumn and Winter months.
SAD is a form of depression caused by changes in seasons, so it doesn’t just happen in Autumn – it could be triggered by Spring or Summer as well.
Depression is one of the most common symptoms of SAD, but there are other psychological changes that can occur too.
- Low self-esteem – Those who suffer from SAD feel worthless and unimportant, even though this isn’t necessarily true. They may isolate themselves from family and friends because they don’t want to burden them with their problems.
- Sadness – As well as feeling worthless, those with SAD often feel incredibly sad. Many people prefer to stay home alone rather than socialize with others because it feels safer. They may even develop a fear of going outside or doing physical activities as a result.
- Anger – It’s not just depression effects that those with SAD experience – they might also feel angry all of the time. The constant lack of energy means that getting angry is easier than usual, and it can be challenging for those around them to keep on top of their moods throughout the Autumn and Winter months.
Even when we don’t know what is causing us to experience fall depression, there are some ways we can recognize its symptoms and use them as cues to help us cope with what might be going on in our lives.
If you suspect experiencing fall depression — if things in your life aren’t going well and you feel like you can’t handle everything that is happening — below you will find some ideas on how you can approach this.
- Put on your “happy face.” – Your face reflects everything you feel on the inside. So if you’re feeling blue, no matter how hard you try to hide it, it will never work. You can’t fool other people with your fake smile if your heart is not in it. The only way to keep up with all the activities and feel like yourself is to wear a happy face no matter how tired you are.
- Get outside – We tend to hibernate during fall and winter. If you want to get rid of that fall blues, do something fun! Go for a walk, play some sports or take up gardening. Anything that will get you out in the fresh air and give you some exercise will help lift your spirits. Take advantage of nature’s beauty, take photos, make memories, spend time with family and friends; whatever it is, get outside!
- Eat right – When you feel down, it’s easy to eat poorly because you have little self-control when hungry, so try to resist eating when you’re feeling blue. Focus on eating healthy foods high in protein and fiber because these foods help fill you up and keep you full longer without causing cravings later. If you have trouble sticking with this plan, start with just doing one thing to improve your mood.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown that a full night’s rest can help you deal with stress better, and it will also help you maintain a healthy weight.
- Start a physical activity routine at least once a week. Researches have proven that an active lifestyle helps maintain a good mood and provides energy throughout the day. So start exercising at least once a week if you want to maintain a good attitude.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Healthy eating habits help you lose weight and give you more energy, which will boost your mood and mental health during the rest of the day.
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself from falling into a dark depression is to stay connected with the people who love and support you. If you feel depressed, don’t hesitate to reach out for help before it becomes a significant problem.