3 Ways to Greet Fall With a Smile Instead of Sadness


The change in seasons means a change in emotions for many. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) begins and ends at about the same time every year. For most, this means symptoms begin to manifest in Fall and continue into Winter. Those who struggle with SAD find that they have less energy, are moody and feel depressed. If the coming Fall season has you feeling down, consider the following tips to keep your mind out of that dark, emotional cave.


  • Did you have some positive experiences over the summer? With Fall fast approaching, you may feel down if your summer did not meet your expectations. Instead of deciding that it was no good, give yourself some time to think about all the nice things you did do—even if they weren’t summery. Sometimes, a change of pace is helpful, and recognizing this could be what you need to feel better. Remember: the change in leaf color does not need to mean a change in mood color. Don’t set expectations for the season, but rather focus on gratitude and try to revel in as many enriching experiences as possible: game night with friends, visits to eccentric museums, catch a comedy show, take a cooking class…


  • Did you stay cool? Once again, appreciating what you did right during the summer could work wonders for your psyche. If you managed to stay cool all season long, even if you did not get out as much as you would have liked, that is okay! Staying cool is a major contributing factor to managing mood—if you manage to do so, pat yourself on the back. You can now look forward to cooler temperatures and beautiful colors surrounding you outside.


  • Did you get outside? If you managed to get out of the house at least a few times, then count your blessings. This means you got a chance to experience the world, in all of its glory. Perhaps, instead of reflecting on where you wish you went, reflect on things you enjoyed when you did get out and about. A change in seasons means a change for you too! Make this season a different one by focusing on positivity. And just because the temperatures are cooling doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get outside—fresh air and sunlight work wonders to counter the negative effects of SAD, so have lunch on your patio or get out for an afternoon walk when the sun is at its warmest!


Of course, if these subtle tweaks to your attitude don’t help, then you may be dealing with a more serious issue. If so, consider speaking with your primary care physician or consulting a psychiatrist about engaging in talk therapy or taking some antidepressant medications. For many, this is just what they need to get over their slump. Getting yourself out of the house, even for therapy, is a big win. Consider the multifaceted benefits of attending regular sessions before conceding defeat.

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