Your Therapy

Summers-End (Ready or Not?)

The change in seasons can trigger unique reactions in different people. For some, leaving summer behind causes feelings of sadness, longingness and even dread for the upcoming cooler months. For others, the seasonal change brings about feelings of renewal and an opportunity for a fresh start. Whichever camp you fall into, there is no doubt that weather and seasonal changes have the power to affect our mood, energy and overall mental wellbeing.

If seasonal changes are challenging for you, know that you’re not alone. For many people, the transition to fall is tough.

Why can transitioning to Fall be challenging?

  1. Daylight Savings Time – The time change associated with “falling back” means that we are spending more of our daytime hours in darkness. This results in decreased access to Vitamin D, increased feelings of tiredness and often dips in happiness and hopefulness.
  2. Cooler Temperatures – Coupled with the time change, cooler temperatures often tempt us to sleep in and forgo our typical morning routines, whether that be exercise, a meditation or quiet time to take in the news or have a cup of tea before the bustle of the day begins.
  3. Pressures of Getting Back to “It” – Be it the return-to-school routine, a more regimented work schedule, fall sports, activities, or the many fall and winter holidays, very quickly our “to-do” lists can get out of control and trying to do it all can lead to exhaustion and disillusionment.

While we can’t change the weather or the many things that come along with the new season, we can do some things to ease their effects on and safeguard our wellbeing:

Six ways to help you transition from Summer to Fall:

  1. Try to get access to plenty of natural light by spending time outside every day or by using a lamp that simulates natural sunlight.
  2. Take care of your body. Exercise for at least a short time every day (it doesn’t have to be intense or lengthy), eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water.
  3. Keep to a consistent waking and sleeping schedule.
  4. Make a list of priorities for the season and try not to over-extend yourself. Protect some time for restoration and relaxation.
  5. Stay social. Human connection is critical to staying well and buffering feelings of loneliness and depression.
  6. Check-in on yourself. If you experience high levels of stress or depressive symptoms that are persistent or if they keep you from doing the things you usually would, reach out to a healthcare professional to have a conversation.

As with any change, the transition from one season to the next can be stressful on your mind and body. Hopefully with some of these strategies, you are able to more easily adapt and stay aligned with your wellness goals despite the change.

Your Therapy is a safe, welcoming counselling therapy practice in the Greater Toronto Area. Thanks for reading, and, as always, please feel free to reach out with questions about talk therapy or other mental health issues. We offer depression therapyanxiety therapy and more.

Emily Atkinson is a registered social worker and psychotherapist at Your Therapy. 

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