While some people may live for sweater weather and pumpkin spice lattes, others may begin to feel the shorter and colder days are an unwelcome change from the warm and sunny skies of summertime. During this change of seasons, many people begin to notice a lack of energy, changes in sleep patterns, an increase in anxiety, a creeping sadness, a decreased desire for social interactions, and perhaps a nagging feeling of overall “blegh”. If you are feeling any of these things, you are not alone! There is factual evidence that links the changing seasons to our changing moods! It is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short! How ironic.
As the days grow shorter, there is less light. According to the Mayo Clinic (2022), this lack of light can disturb one’s internal clock. The lack of light can influence the body’s production of melatonin and serotonin. These hormones play a large role in both sleep quality and mood. No wonder you may be feeling all the feelings! Here are three ways to help shake SAD away:
Since SAD is most often caused by lack of light– Try light therapy! Light therapy involves daily exposure to broad-spectrum ultraviolet light. It typically requires sitting for 20 to 60 minutes each morning in front of a light box that produces much more light than ordinary indoor lighting. You can do this while you are working, drinking your morning coffee, or having breakfast.
Give yourself permission
It is okay to not always feel okay. Read that again! Accept that the shorter days can be hard for you. Give yourself permission to take a break from always having to feel on top of everything including your emotions. Journal about how you are truly feeling, and let your feelings be. When we repress our emotions they often come bubbling back up making us feel even worse.
Psychotherapy has also been found to be effective in treating SAD. A 2016 randomized study found that psychotherapy may be the superior treatment as the results suggested greater durability and resistance to SAD not just for one winter but two! A therapist may provide a safe environment to process your emotions and discover positive coping strategies to help you get through the darker months.
If you are struggling with SAD, book here for a free consultation!
Therapists at Grow Psychological are here to support you.
Meet the Author
Kenedee has a variety of specialties, including supporting children, teens, and women, and all the things that come along with the pressures of womanhood AND she is passionate about supporting the LGBTQIA+ community!