No matter whether you live in the northern or the southern hemisphere, and whatever the entailing differences in seasons are, the truth is that for many people, the arrival of fall comes with certain emotional changes associated with a feeling of sadness. It is the autumn depression, which is not particularly attractive.
Autumn arrives and long sunny days give way to shorter and grayer ones. With the arrival of this new season, many people experience changes in their mood. Thy start feeling more tired and unhappy than usual, wanting to spend more time alone and eat more food. But is this change normal?
The changes in our body caused by autumn
In addition to changing the landscapes, bringing cooler temperatures and rainy days, autumn also changes our vital rhythms due to the fact that daylight hours decrease. This change, together with the cold, causes a feeling of sadness known as autumn depression. It affects a great number of people regardless of their gender, occupation, family status or even their eye color. Autumn doesn’t care if you have brown eyes or green eyes, it is blind to these kinds of things.
Being exposed to sunlight for a shorter period of time during the day causes our brain to produce less serotonin, which, among other things, is the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood, eating behavior and sleep.
Interestingly, autumn affects people differently. There are people who are more sensitive to these seasonal changes and that is why they may develop a seasonal affective disorder. (1)
Symptoms of autumn depression
The most common symptoms include a lack of interest in things, difficulty falling asleep, low spirits in the face of different circumstances, irritability etc.; it also makes you focus on problems more than you usually would. These symptoms can attest that something is off, and therefore you should do something about it as soon as possible.
Of course, this situation oftentimes occurs temporarily but it is a good idea to diminish the effects of autumn depression symptoms to a minimum. In order to know how to tackle autumn depression, you do not have to run any fun tests but it is important to understand what causes it. The hormonal change that takes place in the body due to climate changes and the reduction of sunlight is considered among the main causes.
Such a climatic change comes with a series of effects that make our body suffer. To begin with, our body starts producing more melatonin, which is the hormone that generates a lack of interest. With an increased amount of this hormone, you may quite often find yourself exhausted and be wanting to spend more time in bed. The problem with that is that you may not be able to get your homework done if you are a student. Luckily, you can always hire some professional ‘write my essay’ service.
Serotonin also decreases with the change of season. With such a decrease, our mood becomes unbalanced and we tend to experience so-called mood swings. With the lack of sunlight, the level of dopamine also lowers, which leads to the loss of attention and interest in what surrounds us.
Activities that help cope with autumn depression
Generally, autumn depression is a transient disorder that we can cope with by engaging in a series of activities.
Spend more time outdoors being exposed to natural sunlight. Try to take walks or meet with people during daylight hours when there is more sunlight around. By doing so, you will notice how your mood and energy levels will increase.
Try to sleep at least 8 hours a day on a regular basis throughout the week. Changing your sleep patterns can affect your mood.
Watch your diet
Energy becomes the key element to successfully cope with this change of season. Try to eat healthy and balanced foods. Make sure to eat legumes, cereals, meat, and vegetables that provide iron and strengthen your body. Nuts are another good ally that will help you replenish your energy reserves. However, you should steer clear of products that contain refined sugar and simple carbohydrates. (2)
Arrange your social life
Try to spend more time with your family and friends. This will prevent you from being all by yourself. Together, you can read a book, listen to music or enroll in some painting classes.
Exercising is always good and will help you recharge your batteries if you do it in the morning for at least 30 minutes. An exercise routine will cause your endorphin levels to rise. Remember that this is the hormone that produces happiness.
Take vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the most important elements that generate happiness. However, you should consult with your doctor first to know whether or not this vitamin could work for you the best when dealing with autumn depression. (3)
If you follow these tips, you will be able to fight those depression symptoms that are associated with autumn.
Ana Miller is a creative writer. Her topics of interest and expertise range from psychology to all sorts of disciplines such as science and news.