With Summer almost coming to an end, Fall is quickly approaching. This means shorter days, less sunlight, and less time spent ourdoors often leading to a negative change in our mood. This is typically known as Seasonal Affective Disorder with symptoms of feeling down, sluggish, withdrawn, and even depressed. Taking care of and maintaining one's mental health is key during the seasonal changes. Here are some ways to maintain your mental health in the Fall.
Get outside and exercise
Regular exercise, whether it be moderate or intense, is a free, easy, and effective way to help boost your mood and improve your health. Exercising is key to our physical and mental health. Going outside for exposure to the sun is also crucial to maintain optimal mental health. Talking a walk outside during the day helps but at the very least sitting next to a window and keeping the curtains open to allow maximum exposure to sunlight while indoors can also help as well.
Make a To-Do List
Making a list of things you would like to accomplish and get done in the following months, days, or weeks will remind you of the things you enjoy and makes it easier for you to get things done. Planning ahead is key especially since it can be difficult to come up with ideas while we are feeling down. There's nothing more satisfying than crossing off an item off your to-do list and writing down tasks can help reduce these persistent thoughts.
Friends, family, and even strangers at your coffee shop can lift your mood and usually distract our mind from feeling down or sad. With today's advacements in technology, we can video call any one from across the world making it easier to connect with people espeically during these stressful times.
Plan a Getaway, Staycation, or Vacation
People typically don't think of vacations during the Fall, but it may be a good idea to save some of those vacation days during the colder months. Not only would it give you something to look forward to but it would also provide the needed exposure to sunlight and warm weather espeically in locations like Jamaica.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is the time our body gets to unwind and relax from the day. Studies have linked that excessive lack of sleep decreases work performance, wreaks havoc on relationships, and leads to mood problems like anger and depression.
Try a Relaxing Activity
Relaxing the mind and body can often relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and sleep issues. Relaxing can quiet the mind and make you feel calm and peaceful causing your body to respond by making your muscles less tense and more flexible. Some activities include taking slow deep breaths, soaking in a warm bath, listening to soothing music, write about your feelings in a journal.
Talk to a Professional
It might be a good idea to reach out for help and talk to a mental health professional to navigate through uncomfortable feelings, achieve mental freedom, provide tips on ways to combat seasonal blues, and monitor your mood to see if other forms of treatment would benefit. Other forms of treatment include medications, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Electroconvulsive Therapy, or psychotherapy. If you need more information or need to talk to a psychiatrists, give us a call at (714) 867-7037.