Does Autumn Make You S.A.D.?

2 min read
Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash
Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

Does the dimming of the summer’s sun, the shortening of days, the beginning of the end of another year depress you? Sadness in autumn can be seriously debilitating for many people. “Seasonal Affective Disorder” (S.A.D.) is real.

Reduced sunlight can disrupt your circadian rhythm (your internal “biological clock)” and reduce the serotonin level in your brain, triggering depression. Melotonin levels can drop, making you moody and wrecking your sleep pattern. You might want to see your doctor(s) for phototherapy (light therapy), special seasonal medications, or even psychotherapy to help you beat the “winter blues.”

The Mayo Clinic has lots of suggestions for treating S.A.D. as well.

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

— Albert Camus

Don’t forget to look up at the annual spectacle of autumn leaves just over your head.

The dramatic visual contrast of the brilliant colors of autumn leaves – bursting yellows, oranges, and reds, brilliantly bright and deeply saturated – triggers a subliminal feeling of sea-change and meaningfulness in most people.

The distraction of the turning of the leaves while taking a stroll in the woods reduces stress and induces a sort of spiritual mindfulness. It’s a very special personal therapy that doesn’t cost a thing. The witnessing of the awesomeness of nature in transition takes us out of ourselves, replacing our petty stresses with a feeling of being one with the world and everyone in it.

“…Nature, who is superior to all style and ages, is now, with pensive face, composing her poem Autumn, with which no work will be to be compared.”

– Henry David Thoreau

But there are ways to tame S.A.D.-ness.

We can be happy for pumpkins (& Jack-‘O-Lanterns!) & pumpkin spices in everything, for the World Series & football (college & pro!), and for our two wonderful holidays free from religious or political undertones: Halloween and Thanksgiving! Costumes & candy and Family & turkey!

And of course, those wonderful leaves that first put on such a show, then fall to earth to be raked into great piles to be jumped in! Do not “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Look to the heavenly leaves and just chill for a while.

Thanks for reading along with us this autumn.

Share your strategies for keeping it all together with us and your fellow readers. We want to hear from you.

  1. Does the transition into autumn, or any of the seasonal changes, have a severe effect on your thoughts and feelings?

  2. How do you cope with the negatives, so you can enjoy the positives?

What's your take?

We read every single response and will include your thoughts in upcoming articles.


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