How to deal with SAD: Autumn Depression

by Elia Strange

With the onset of autumn many of us start to feel could hibernate until spring, we are so tired all the time it lowers our mood and can even bring about depression.

So just what is happening here?

Why do we feel as though we have become permanently exhausted or even burdened with life?

If these symptoms sound familiar then you could be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which can occur not only in the autumn, but also with the onset of spring.

Do you know that when we get these seasonal weather changes, many chronic physical conditions also suffer from flare ups.
For example, inflammation of arthritical joints appears to be more common, infections become more widespread, and chronic aches and pains become worse.

Maybe you haven’t noticed this phenomenon but Russian doctors are always aware that with these weather changes come these ailments. (I was born in Russia, hence the reference to the Russian doctors).

When autumn comes and the leaves become rusty and fall from their branches we are made painfully aware that the days are becoming shorter and the low angle of the sun does little to warm you before it sets allowing the cold dark nights become longer and longer.

We are only to aware that for the next six months we won’t be seeing much of ‘Mr Sunshine’, but instead the days will grey, forbidding and sky instead be dark.
Even animals get ready for the coming of winter, changing their coats for the warmer ones and storing food for the winter.

SAD has become a commonly accepted condition for many people, and there are on line forums where they often share with others about their feelings and moods brought on by SAD.

We have accepted it as ‘normal’ that in autumn people start wearing darker clothes, especially items that have grey and brown colours.

If you stop and think about that for a moment you realise we are not helping to ourselves at all when we do that, as the darker colours make us feel even more depressed.

So we are not cheering ourselves up when we wear them. Our diet also suffers the same fate, as we tend to eat heavier, more calorie dense meals, putting on even more weight and feeling even worse because of that.

So what can you do to help yourself?

1) Break the habit of wearing only dark colours of clothing when winter is approaching, you can easily spice up your clothing with bright coloured scarves, hats, gloves, bags, boots, and umbrellas.

Colour is a very symbolic thing and just by wearing something brighter, you can actually lighten up your mood.

2) Don’t stop eating spring greens just because it’s nearly winter, you can make side salads to go with your autumn dishes.

Use colourful veggies and fruits. You can also use bright fruits for a starter or a dessert. Present your meals so that they appear to be as bright as you as you would do in the summer months and have smoothies and freshly made juices to go with your meals.

3) You are not restricted to detoxing only in the spring, do it now as autumn sneaks in.

Eat fruits, seeds and nuts to nourish your body by supplying it with vitamins and minerals. Drink juices, smoothies, and drink more water. Tea and coffee are very dehydrating and your skin, and waist will thank you for that.

Look good on the outside, feel good on the inside and your mood will improve to.

4) Change to brightly coloured bed covers and fit the electric blanket, sinking in into a warm comfortable bed at the end of a cold dark day.
It feels so much better when you can see brighter colours around you.

5) Make yourself smile throughout the day by reading funny quotes and stories, and by looking at photographs taken with your friends and family during summer months.

You have to help yourself to feel more positive in any way you can. Maybe by taking walks in the countryside, you can try and take in as much of the sunlight as is possible during the day.

Socialise with your friends in their or your own house, or you can play games with your family and watch feel-good movies together. It is so easy to feel sad, so challenge that!

Other articles you might like:

I am depressed... What to do? (Article)

Why people commit suicide? (Article)

7 Reasons for our unhappiness (Article)

Signs and Stages of Stress (Article)

How well can you cope with stress? (Test)

How angry can you get?

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