Friday, October 7, 2022

 Don’t Let Seasonal Change Get You Down

By: Lisa Clemens

The time change is slowly making its way, as the clock continues to tick, soon to fall back.
Porch lights start coming on as early as 5 p.m. The weather is turning just a bit more chilly;
and you start asking yourself, where did I put that hoodie that I bought on clearance for the fall?Holiday decorations are begin to make their debut on the shelves of retail shops and department stores.
Pumpkin Lattes  replace the delicious iced coffees; that were enjoyed during those hot summer days, and oh no! Bye-Bye flip-flops! They too get put back on the top shelf until Spring. Moods begin to shift and for some of us, instead of relaxing and enjoying the transition, the stress, depression, or other factors such as weight gain come along with these changes. At some point in our lives, we have all faced the challenge that comes with
one season beginning and the other coming to an end. 
What triggers these changes? One factor can be brought on by Daylight Savings and our
body’s reaction to the switch. Even though “falling back” means getting an extra hour, it
also means spending a lot more of our days in the dark! Our routines get disrupted,
whether it be our own, our colleagues, family and friends we all have to wake up “earlier”.
The time change also decreases our daily intake of Vitamin D, also known as the Sunshine
Vitamin. Studies have shown insufficient intake of Vitamin D which has been linked to
seasonal depression.
The winter months can leave us feeling more tired and less hopeful, even if you are not usually 
depressed. The cold weather, and the lack of daylight, may alter our appetites changing our
food intake and hunger levels. Weight gain during the holidays can be caused by the mixed
signals coming from your brain, and not just coming from the abundant holiday treats and tempting
goodies that we all enjoy.
Managing Stress as the Season Changes
There is good news! Stress is not inevitable because of the changing seasons . Stress is
sometimes caused by the many ways of how we choose to live. Which means, it’s
changeable! For people overwhelmed by the effects therapy can be a powerful resource.
This year, make a list of priorities for the season change. Don’t give into pressure. Do the
things you really enjoy and forget about the rest!
                                            Helpful Ideas to Conquer the Seasonal Stress
● Get access to plenty of natural light by spending some time outside, open the
curtains/blinds or sit under a sun lamp.
● Maintain a regular schedule, even when cold temperatures tempt you to sleep in.
● Taking care of your body. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day; at least five days per
week. Eat plenty of healthy foods and get enough sleep.
● Occupy your mind; take up a hobby, join a book club, volunteer or meditate.
● Catch up with a friend
● Most importantly, practice self-care; Keep Your Mind Healthy.
Make a transformation this year, even if in the past when the turn of the seasons was
difficult for you, this one can be extraordinary! Take time to protect your mental health.
Drive out to the country and see Fall in all its glory, with the changing colors of green to the
brilliant hues of reds, gold and orange. Drink hot cocoa out of a thermos, jump into a pile of
leaves. Sit back and relax. Watch and enjoy the transition to autumn and winter become
your favorite time of year!

Penckofer, S., Kouba, J., Byrn, M., & Ferrans, C. E. (2010). Vitamin D and depression: Where
is all the sunshine? Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 31(6), 385-393. doi:10.3109/01612840903437657
Seasonal depression. (2016, October 07). Retrieved from
Strickland, A. (2017, March 10). Daylight saving time can be bad for your health. Retrieved

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