Do you notice a shift in your mood once the weather takes a turn? If so, you’re not alone. As the fall season begins to change into winter, the impact of those cooler nights, darker mornings, and general decrease of sunlight are powerful on the human body. So it’s no surprise why many people struggle with the change in seasons. But by understanding more about yourself and your needs, you can learn to prepare and manage it better.
Here we outline some common signs that your mood is heavily impacted by the seasons and what you can do to help overcome it.
You Feel Symptoms of Depression
When the fall begins to taper off into winter, start to pay close attention to how you feel. You may see a decrease in how often you engage in activities or interact with others. You may notice you are agitated quickly, have feelings of helplessness, or more pessimistic. As these feelings persist, it can lead to further isolation, perpetuating the symptoms of depression.
Your Anxiety is Heightened
The onset of the cooler, darker weather tends to make us retreat and hibernate more, which can keep us cooped up inside and subjected to more of our internal thoughts. As a result, anxiety can increase during this time, along with agitation. This can feed into our feelings of depression and despair while hampering our ability to cope and tolerate stress.
You Have Problems Sleeping
One of the more obvious signs that your mood is being impacted by the seasons is your quality of sleep. If sleep is something you were already struggling with, then this can be more difficult to identify. However, if it was not and suddenly you’re finding it very difficult to even get out of bed, this is something to take notice of.
You Feel Lethargic During the Day
Do you find it difficult to stay awake during the day or carry out your normal routines? Feeling lethargic and general fatigue throughout the day can also be attributed to the changing seasons.
Changes in Eating Patterns
Since eating can trigger dopamine — our feel-good neurotransmitter in the brain — it can easily turn into a habitual routine that feeds us positive reinforcement. You may notice an increase in cravings. Or you may notice that you have a loss in appetite and not enjoying the foods you once did.
If you can identify with any of these common signs, then it’s likely that you’re being impacted by the changing seasons. To help manage your emotions, there are some simple steps that you can take, such as improving your self-care. This means exercising on a regular basis, staying engaged with others (even when you don’t want to), going to bed and waking at the same time each day, and eating a healthy, wholesome diet.
Talking to a therapist can also be very beneficial in helping you learn more about this condition and how you can overcome it. At Vaughan Relationship Centre, we provide a safe and comfortable environment where you can talk to a qualified therapist and receive the support and guidance you need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.