Affected by seasonal changes? How to avoid feeling sad this fall!

Anne-Kathrin Walter
Affected by seasonal changes? How to avoid feeling sad this fall!

Are you always feeling sad when the fall season starts and the days become shorter and more cold? In this blog, we provide tips on how to avoid this.

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Are you highly sensitive and do you experience changes in your mental health once it becomes September? Do you struggle to understand why you are feeling sad? Perhaps, you are suffering from something many people struggle with during this time of the year; the seasonal dip. 

The seasonal dip is this gigantic monster that enters your life once the days become darker and more cold. It makes you feel miserable, while everything in your life seems perfectly fine. Accordingly, you cannot put a finger on why you are feeling sad all. the. time. 

Time to kick the seasonal dip in the b***! In this blog, I'll explain why most people feel more sad once summer has ended and how you can tackle this year's seasonal dip.

What is a seasonal dip?

In order to know how to fight your 'enemy', it is important to know what we're dealing with here.

There is a more scientific term for a seasonal dip, which is called 'seasonal affective disorder (SAD)'. This is a seasonal depression, where the person suffering from it struggles to function properly, has low energy and shows a large amount of other symptoms related to depression. In this blog, we are not adressing people suffering from a severe form of SAD, as this is a serious health condition that should be addressed by a health professional.

However, if you have a tendency to feel less cheerful once summer is over, wish to stabilize your energy levels all year round and desire to prevent feeling sad this fall, keep reading. Chances are high that you use to experience a mild form of SAD each fall and winter. Let's have a look at why you are feeling this way:

What causes a seasonal dip?

According to the NHS, SAD is a result of a lack of sunlight, which affects the part of the brain (hypothalamus) responsible for:

  • Melatonin production: this is the hormone responsible for making you feel sleepy. People suffering from SAD produce it in higher levels than normal.
  • Serotonin production: this hormone affects your mood, sleep and appetite. A lack of sunlight results in lower serotonin levels, which can cause feelings of depression or feeling sad.
  • Body's natural rhythm: sunlight helps your body to time functions such as waking up. Less sunlight disrupts your body clock which might result in symptopms of SAD.

How to avoid feeling sad during fall?

Now that we know what causes symptoms of SAD, we can look at ways in which to decrease these symptoms. In the extensive list below, you will find tips on how to avoid feeling sad this fall!

1. Bathe in sunlight

As mentioned above, the main cause for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a lack of sunlight. Therefore, the number one technique to fight your seasonal dip, is to get out in the sun whenever it is there. Every single time you have the chance to go out in the sunlight, grab it. Bathe in the sunlight and recharge your energy with its powerful beams. 

Besides, the colours of the fall are so beautiful! Enjoy them while you are out and feel instant happiness!

2. Meditation

When you are feeling sad, try to meditate to relieve some of your sadness. Not only does meditation help you to feel less sad, but science proved that it also reduces stress, increases your sense of well-being, improves your focus and enhances your immune system. If these aren't reasons to immediately sit down and go into your zen-zone?

You might want to give this meditation a try:

3. Gratitude

If you are feeling sad and experiencing negative thoughts, gratitude might be your lifesaver. Gratitude is a simple practice; grab a pen and paper and write down everything you are grateful for. Do this when waking up and/or when going to bed and try to make it a daily habit. Most likely, you will soon notice a shift in your mind and the negative thoughts will decrease.

Science proves that gratitude has multiple benefits. For example, gratitude increases positive emotions such as happiness, improves our social network and helps to improve sleep quality and reduce blood pressure.

4. Fall bucket list

Highly sensitive people are known to notice subtleties and are therefore able to enjoy even the most simple beauty of life. Therefore, another way for highly sensitive people to prevent a fall dip, might be to create a 'fall bucket list'. Fill up your bucket list with tons of wonderful fall activities such as dressing up for Halloween, carving a pumpkin, trying new fall recipes or simply walking through the forest on a warm fall day. Lots of fun and relaxation guaranteed!

5. Nutrition

You are what you eat, literally! Therefore, if you feel low on energy and exhausted, you might want to consider switching up your diet. Try to eat more food that gives long-term energy and cut down on the sugar. Once you take care of your diet, you will definitely feel more energized!

6. Exercise

Besides nutrition, exercising is great in order to feel more energetic. Most of us have a tendency to become one with our couch in the cold months. As a result, exercising isn't on top of many people's priority lists. However, exercising is the key towards feeling more fit and energetic in the long term. Besides that, exercising makes you feel happier, helps you to lose weight and reduces pain.

7. Self-care

If self-care isn't a daily habit of yours yet, try to make it one asap. Especially for highly sensitive people, who become exhausted more easily, it is important to have a steady self-care routine. It helps you to recharge your energy and increases your self-value. You deserve to put yourself first.

Self-care can be performed on many levels. If you need inspiration, you might try one of these 111 self-care ideas.

8. Go on a vacation

If you really, really, really want to escape your fall dip, you might want to book a vacation in fall time instead of during summer. Find a destination that is offering tons of sunlight, relaxation and fun and escape the fall madness for a while! 

Not only will you give your body the boost it needs, but you will also have something to look forward to on cold days.

9. Personal development

"Whenever I am sad, I stop feeling sad, and start feeling awesome instead" - Barney Stinson, How I Met Your Mother

This quote is definitely a great way to look at life. Looking at the positive aspects of your life is such a great approach to stay healthy. Along with this comes personal development. When you continuously work on improving yourself and growing, you will feel more happy about who you are. Moreover, you will be more resistant towards thinking negative thoughts.

Try ordering books that you think will inspire you for fall and dive into them once the days become darker.

10. Wake up lights

Did you know that there are wake up lights to help you regulate your normal sleep pattern? During summer, waking up early is much easier compared to in the dark winter months. For this issue, you might want to buy a wake up light.

A wake up light wakes you up with a gentle natural light that simulates sunlight. In this way, waking up will become much easier! Awesome, right?

Ready to tackle the seasonal dip?

After reading this article, you are all set to prevent feeling sad this fall. Try to implement these techniques as soon as possible. It is easier to prevent a seasonal dip than to cure one, remember that!

Anne-Kathrin Walter
Written By

Anne-Kathrin Walter

Co-Founder of HiSensitives
Anne-Kathrin Walter is a writer, social media expert and the co-founder of HiSensitives. HiSensitives is a personal growth brand for highly sensitive people and empaths. Many highly sensitive people and empaths still see their trait as a weakness, and HiSensitives wants to change that. Therefore, Anne-Kathrin and her partner Riny have made it their mission to make the world a better place for highly sensitive people and empaths. With HiSensitives, they want to inspire HSP's and empaths worldwide to invest more time in themselves and their personal growth.