Try not to be SAD this autumn

Judging by the title of this article, you might think that it was written by Donald Trump. Sure, he is frequently using capitalized SAD to express disagreement and he usually adds three exclamation marks to it. Yet, SAD also stays for “Seasonal affective disorder”, in other words a persistent bad mood mostly connected with autumn. So, no matter your views of US politics, if you feel a little blue these months, please read on for a few tips on how to cope with it.

Try not to be SAD this autumn
Causes of the autumn blues

First let’s have a look why we feel different in autumn. The scientists are not 100% sure what causes SAD, but it is widely believed that it is somehow connected with lower sunlight exposure typical for shorter autumn and winter days. It seems that such a lack of sunlight leads to falling levels of the hormone serotonin that affects our mood, appetite and sleep. At the same time, less sunlight causes increased production of another hormone – melatonin, which can make you feel sleepy and depressed. There of course seem to be other possible causes such as genetic predisposition and changes in our behaviour, because with deteriorating weather we tend to spend more time at home and do less physical exercise.

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Are you SAD?

Given the above information about sunlight, it’s quite natural that almost everybody feels somewhat unsettled by autumn. So, it is advised to follow some of the precautions described further on, especially if you regularly – year after year –experience some of these symptoms:

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What to do

While there is no magic bullet, no shortcut to blossoming spring, we are not powerless against murky autumn. On the contrary. We can fight off autumn blue by focusing on three areas, which can be summed up by 3 words: light, lifestyle and talk.

Try not to be SAD this autumn
Light
#1: Light

Do try to spend more time outdoors in order to get as much natural sunlight as possible. You can even incorporate a short walk after lunch into your daily routine (sure, providing it’s not raining dogs and cats). And when indoors and working, it’s always a good idea to sit near the windows and make the environment as light and airy as possible. Some experts also recommend light therapy which consists of sitting by a special lamp that simulates natural sunlight 30 to 60 minutes every day. These lamps are called light boxes and there are also ones that gradually light up in the morning to mimic the sun going up even if it’s still completely dark outside.

#2: Lifestyle

What also helps is trying to look at things differently. Instead of viewing autumn as a dark and cold period, you can think of it as an opportunity to read more books in a cosy environment of your home. This is called positive thinking and you can find our piece on it here.

Lifestyle
Talk
#3: Talk

Even though the days are shorter and the weather is harsher, you should keep staying in touch with your friends and family. Every phone call or video meeting counts. You can even talk to them about the nuisances of autumn and you might be surprised how many people have a similar perception of the season. It’s always reassuring to see that we are not in this alone.

In case you feel that your autumn blue is a bit too dark or you just don’t want to bother your friends with it, remember you can always turn to us. mynd can almost instantly provide you with a professional coach on the phone, who will take into account your specific feelings and needs. Thus, you will receive truly personal tips and tricks on how to make your autumn a little brighter.

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