How to help mental health as the seasons change

Although the fall colors are all sorts of orange, red and yellow and the weather has been awesome, daylight savings is getting closer; it is important to address the drastic change it plays on one’s mental health so we can combat it as best as possible. 

Daylight savings is only two Sunday’s away as it falls on Nov. 5. This is often a time period most dread. Going from beautiful fall weather to the dreary change in seasons as winter approaches can play a big role in how we feel on a day-to-day basis. 

It is always hard to see less sun. Getting that vitamin D keeps smiles on our faces and our brains healthy. 

One very common thing that happens after daylight savings is seasonal affective disorder. According to everydayhealth.com, some symptoms of SAD are feelings of depression, feeling tired, having low energy, loss of interest in things of pleasure, changes in appetite and sleeping too much. 

One way to combat this is to get ahead of it in the fall. We need to make sure to make the most out of the seasons leading up to winter. Some things that may help could be setting up routines of hanging out with friends, doing new and enjoyable activities, finding new hobbies and engaging in clubs. Those things can help because they can carry over and be a light during the dark months of winter. 

Once the winter months hit it is key that we focus on ourselves and those around us. 

There are a few things we recommend. 

‣ The first is staying active. Going on walks, runs, stretching or working out can help stimulate the mind and combat SAD symptoms. It is best to do these things outside in the sunlight but often that is tough due to the cold and snowy nature of Minnesota. 

‣ Another thing that may help is keeping a journal. Writing down your thoughts on the old pen and paper can have a positive affect on our moods as it gets negative thoughts out of our systems. Writing down our thoughts can help realize where we are having problems and how to help them. Journaling about priorities we have and when we need to get them done can also help due to the ways SAD affects energy. 

‣ Lastly, opening up the shades and letting in the sunlight is paramount. In the winter months we have little time with the sun. It is hard to get outside due to the weather and the sun goes down so early in the day. Opening up the blinds and letting the sun in may seem like a little thing but it can truly go a long way. 

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