It is October and when you look outside you might notice the differences between summer and autumn. It is getting colder, darker and the sun is shining less. I love autumn, but sometimes I am feeling down in autumn (and winter) because it is getting dark so early and I am also missing the sun. I know I am not the only one. I know that seasonal affective disorder is a real thing. A good thing is to know you are not the only one. You are not the only one who is craving more daylight, especially when the days are getting shorter and shorter. But there are things you can do to make it a little bit easier
5 tips for feeling down in autumn
There is not much daylight in autumn, so go outside when it is still light. Go out for a walk and you will feel a little bit better after a long walk. Exercising is always a great idea when you are feeling down because it releases endorphins (feel-good hormones). You might not be in the mood to go outside because you are feeling down and tired but just try it. And if you are lucky, the sun is shining too. If not, just bring an umbrella. Try to spend half an hour outside every single day. It is good to get some fresh air and vitamin D when the sun is shining.
And while you are walking around in the woods or just in your neighbourhood, look around you. I love autumn because of all of those beautiful colours.
Do something fun/treat yourself
It is not great to sit on your couch because before you even know it you will start thinking about how sad you are. Sometimes distraction is a good solution. Plan something fun every single week or maybe even every single day. It doesn’t have to be big. Maybe you can make your favourite lunch or dinner, you can start baking something or watch an episode of your favourite Netflix series.
I remember when this seasonal depression affected me and I regret I stayed in bed most of the time. I know it is tempting but you don’t want to think “I wished I had done this or that instead of laying in bed’. I am not saying you can have a day for yourself, that is good too. But staying in bed every single day is not helping your depression and eventually, it gets even harder to get out of your bed.
Read a book
Summer is great to do all sorts of things outside. I didn’t read a lot of books in summer because I was spending a lot more time outside and I was being more active. The colder months are perfect to get cosy and reading books. Light a candle, get a blanket and a book and sit on your couch en just enjoy your book. When you read a book, you get a chance to go to a completely different world. You forget about everything around you. I would recommend reading something romantic and maybe something that is set in the middle of the summer but that is up to you of course. You decide what kind of world you want to step in.
Focus on the positive things
Okay, before you say ‘that is easy for you to say, hear me out. I know what it is like to feel down in those darker and colder months. And I know that this one thing works for me too. When I am constantly thinking about terrible autumn is, it won’t make me feel better. So I started to think about beautiful things. I am not saying that it is easy. You have to practise it before your mindset shifts. Buy a journal and write down the things you are grateful for that day.
There is one thing I want to mention. And that is that you shouldn’t force it too much. When you think ‘I don’t want to have negative thoughts, you will get more of those thoughts. I mean, try not to think of a pink elephant. That is now impossible, right? Don’t be too hard on yourself. Even the most positive people still get negative thoughts.
Take care of yourself
And the obvious one is to take care of yourself. Make sure you get enough veggies and fruit. I notice that I eat a lot more junk food in the colder months. Maybe because it is easier to make, but in the end, eating is healthier. You need to get enough vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin D. So I would also recommend starting taking extra vitamin D supplements. Take a hot bath whenever you need it. Take it slow when you don’t have a lot of energy. Listen to your body what it needs. And don’t forget to drink enough water.
Do the colder and darker months affect your mood? If yes, how do you deal with it?