A Darker Shade of Orange: How to Thoroughly Understand and Effectively Manage Autumn Anxiety

While some people enjoy the changing of the seasons (I happen to be one of them), I will say this: it’s not always an easy transition. You can often feel down – at least at the subconscious level – without even realizing it. It’s not always easy to comprehend, much less simple to identify the reasons why you feel the way that you do. If you’re anything like me, you somehow rationalize it and often dismiss it.

But that’s just pulling the wool over our own eyes, isn’t it?

If we actually took the time to research whether this is a legitimate condition or not, we’d realize that the answer – according to the experts in the field – is a reverberating yes.

Understanding the Science Behind it All

Before attempting to tackle the issue head on, it’s important to understand the issue in its entirety, starting from its true definition. According to Dr. Clare Morrison, the medical advisor at MedExpress: “Autumn anxiety is the tendency for people to suffer from anxiety and low mood during the autumn months.”

So, the next logical question is: what causes autumn anxiety?

While there are numerous causes (and it can also vary from person to person), here are the main causes that have been identified by subject matter experts:

  • Fatigue and Sleeplessness:
    • This is often associated the changes to most people’s sleeping schedules (e.g. waking up earlier as kids return to school).
  • Anxiety and Worry:
    • This is often a result of: the end of the summer and “vacation mode,” worrying about children returning to school and the busier lifestyle that is associated with it; negative thinking as a result of cognitive distortions; the worry of winter and the additional tasks and inconveniences involved; and the loomnig financial stresses of the holiday season.
  • Lower Moods, Mood Swings and Irritability:
    • Less sunlight directly lowers serotonin levels which ultimately has a negative impact to moods.
  • Reduction in Outdoor Activities:
    • This leads to less exposure to sunlight and reduced levels of oxygen, both of which directly affect our moods and energy levels.

What You Can Do to Help Address Autumn Anxiety

What is important to remember is that autumn anxiety is very much treatable for the average person (please note that this does not necessarily apply to those who suffer from other mental health issues).

So, let’s take a look at some easy-to-apply or quick-to-introduce activities and changes we can make to manage autumn anxiety, shall we?

Here are some key recommendations:

  1. Exercise on a Regular Basis:
    • Whether you prefer the indoor or outdoor option, approximately 30 minutes of exercise on a daily basis can do wonders to your mood and physical well-being.
  2. Get More Rays or Light:
    • While there is no substitute for getting more sunlight, using a light box can often do the trick, especially as the days become shorter.
  3. Change Things Up:
    • Although there are changes that you have little or no control of, explore something new to add a little variety to your schedule (e.g. take new courses or explore new interests).
  4. Make Changes to Your Diet:

We recognize that in many cases, these quick fixes are not the solution and that the only way through is by seeking professional help.

Showing Promise

Despite the negative symptoms associated with autumn anxiety, the fact that there are solutions that most of us can try out makes things look brighter.

That, in the end, is what hope looks like.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , by Farhana Ahmad. Bookmark the permalink.

About Farhana Ahmad

Farhana Ahmad is a Content Marketing Manager at Intelex Technologies. With over 15 years of experience in key industries, she is a customer-focused professional specializing in delivering best-in-class Marketing and Content strategies and programs. Her degree in Environmental Science complements her marketing know-how, allowing her to incorporate her academic knowledge to the real-world applicability of the EHSQ space in general and Intelex in particular.

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