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The transition from one season to another can be a challenging time for many. While the exact causes of seasonal sadness are not entirely clear, Stuart Luther, a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling, suggests that “decreased sunlight” can be a contributing factor to seasonal blues.
“Decreased sunlight has been seen to impact individuals’ production of brain chemicals, such as serotonin,” he notes, pointing out that serotonin helps to regulate a person’s mood.
Luther adds that the arrival of Fall/Winter can also bring about changes in routine, which can lead to increased stress and less time for social activity. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources available to help you welcome in the new seasons with an open heart and an open mind.
Using Luther’s insight as a guide, we’ve curated a list of ways to help your transition into the colder months seem less stressful. Keep scrolling to find out how to update your routine with tasks that inspire happiness, create memories, and hopefully inspire a feeling of peace and gratitude in your life.
Maintain A Consistent Schedule
“Waking up and going to sleep at the same time each day is vital—even on the weekends,” Luther notes about the importance of keeping a consistent schedule. “Oversleeping and undersleeping can contribute to symptoms of low mood during the seasonal transition including lower energy levels.”
To keep yourself on schedule, we suggest trying the Hatch Alarm Clocks. Known as the bedtime sleep guide, the clock wakes you up with a gentle sunrise alarm that supports your natural circadian rhythm.
As important as it is to wake up on the right side of the bed, it’s also important to get a good night’s rest. The clock’s bedside light allows you to set a dreamy mood with a light color like lilac or warm white to cue your body for bedtime. Need some extra help? It also features sleep sounds to soothe your mind before your slumber.
Find What Makes You Happy
The Autumn and Winter signify the final stretch of 2023 and what better way to end the year than on a high note? Set goals to cook more, go on walks more often, create a playlist to dance your worries away, and go on a solo date— this season is all about finding what brings you joy and enjoying every minute of it.
During this journey of self-discovery, Luther encourages you to give yourself grace, much like we would for a good friend. “We often are harder on ourselves when we need self-compassion. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge all that you accomplished,” he reminds us.
Take Time To Write Down Your Goals
Writing down positive intentions and practices every morning can serve as a great habit for setting the day’s tone and kicking off your Fall/Winter regimen. While not every day can be perfect, jotting down your goals can instill a sense of achievement into your daily routine.
Fall/Winter offers a variety of seasonal activities, from apple picking and hayrides to pumpkin painting and holiday shopping. Whether you opt for a seasonal activity or simply sign up for a new fitness class, the conscious choice to remain active during the Fall/Winter season will uplift your mood and allow you to embrace the seasonal shift by introducing a fresh perspective into your daily routine.
Look Your Best, Feel Your Best
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Can we agree that the Fall/Winter color palettes are the dreamiest? The warm, cozy shades of oranges, reds, beiges, and browns are sure to win you over.
Yes, it’s cold and the motivation may not always be there, but it’s time to take off your pajamas and allow fashion to boost your mood. As they say, when you look your best, you feel your best. Even an at-home manicure can do wonders to lift your mood.
Snuggle Up And Limit Screen Time
When it’s time to unwind, rather than endlessly scrolling on social media or binge-watching the same show you’ve seen multiple times, snuggle up with your comfiest blanket and indulge in a captivating book. Allow your mind to work and immerse itself in the world of literature.
“Grant yourself the permission to unwind and let go without the incessant thoughts of all the other things you ‘should’ be doing,” Luther suggests. “Making time for yourself isn’t a luxury; it’s a vital component of maintaining your well-being.”
Drink More Herbal Tea And Avoid Alcohol
If you’re in a seasonal rut, Luther explains that avoiding caffeine and alcohol can minimize your anxiety because they ultimately increase the negative feelings you’re trying to address. Rather than overdoing it with the PSLs (Pumpkin Spice Lattes) and Red Wine, spend the night with a hot cup of tea or simply raise a toast to the season by sipping on some non-alcoholic options.
If you haven’t tried Blume’s Golden Mylk Latte, you’re missing out. Infused with turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom, this delicious powerhouse is the perfect drink to warm up those brisk days. Plus, it has a ton of health benefits.
Remember, It’s Okay To Ask For Help
While many people may experience seasonal-related mood changes, some experience these more intensely and persistently. If these feelings are persistent and experienced many days of the week, Luther recommends seeking help from a qualified and licensed mental health professional. This type of support is also helpful for those with less severe symptoms.
Need support now? If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.