Many people look forward to the cooler days, pumpkin-flavored treats, and cozy clothes of autumn. We get to start wearing leggings and cuddling up on the couch to watch our favorite football teams. Maybe the excitement of getting dressed up for your fun Halloween plans is your favorite part of the fall season.
For others who suffer from anxiety, the numerous seasonal lifestyle changes for the fall can trigger something called “autumn anxiety.” Conditions like anxiety affect millions of people and are often heightened during this time of the year.
What Is Autumn Anxiety?
Although seasonal anxiety is not a new concept, “autumn anxiety” is a relatively new term. The fall season introduces a lot of new changes to adjust to that can be overwhelming to process. You may have new classes, a new job, or less free time overall. Knowing what causes autumn anxiety can help you prepare for managing it when the time comes.
Sunlight exposure is one of the key elements when it comes to anxiety. As the days get shorter, we have less time to spend outside. With less time for sunlight exposure, there is a chance of vitamin D deficiency. To fight this, try taking vitamin D supplements.
Sticking to an exercise routine is crucial for anyone suffering from anxiety. Your outdoor exercise regimen can be disrupted by daylight changes or cooler temperatures. You may need to shift your runs to a treadmill in the gym until the external factors change.
Even if you normally do your workouts in an indoor setting, it can still be challenging. Your schedule may require some discipline to get going even when the sun has already set. It is essential to keep your workout routine set in stone in the fall. The endorphins will help combat the anxiety you’re feeling. Whether you go for a 10-minute walk or have an intense weight training session, it’s better than nothing.
The start of a new school year can be an exciting fresh start. Whether you’re a parent trying to prepare your child for a successful year or a new college student, there are bound to be changes to adjust to.
Switching from a carefree summer mindset to managing schoolwork is an adjustment in itself. Adding the responsibilities of balancing work, school, and social life can put a strain on your mental health. Staying organized and realizing a lot of people are also adjusting could ease the mind when it comes down to it all.
How To Cope
There are lots of ways you can cope with your anxiety in the comfort of your own home. In total, around 20% of adults in the United States have some kind of mental illness. Anxiety can severely impact a person’s quality of life. To combat this, practicing mindfulness and incorporating healthy habits can ease your worries for the upcoming fall season.
- Create a routine – Planning your day ahead of time can help ease your anxiety one day at a time. Setting up an idea for what you would like to accomplish and your priorities can keep you organized and motivated to tackle the tasks ahead of you.
- Belly and heart touch – Place one hand on your belly and another on your heart. Pay attention to the movement and feel your body rise and fall. Try releasing all the anxiety you are feeling at that moment. This technique can help escape the negative spiral of thoughts you fall into throughout the day.
- Tune into your body – In times of high stress, take a minute to step out of your mind and back into your body. Start at your feet and move them around, focusing on the feeling. Then work your way up, tuning into every area to check in on your body.
- Get lots of sleep – Anxiety is a significant factor in not getting a good night’s rest. These feelings can keep you up at night, so taking extra action to try and get lots of rest will leave your mind and body thanking you for the next day.
Be Kind To Yourself
Overall, it’s best to be kind to yourself during this time of year. It will take time to adjust to all the changes, but before you know it, your approach will turn into easy daily rituals to follow.