Changing Seasons – Autumn DepressionArfaq Hussain
Seasonal Affective Disorder
During the later parts of the year, the number of cases of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) begins to rise. You can help combat these effects by keeping your vitamin and mineral levels in check!
It took a long time for us to learn more about the changing seasons affecting our moods and mental health, and it’s still relatively new to modern science and medicine to take this matter seriously. Luckily, changing attitudes and a wealth of scientific evidence have helped us to recognise SAD as a genuine illness, and mental health practitioners worldwide know that the changing of the seasons will bring a new batch of challenges.
How do you track your mood?
How can you monitor your mood during this changing time of year?
- Enjoy the seasonal change, instead of finding it a threat or a reminder of passing time, consider it an opportunity to see and experience sights and sounds almost forgotten since last year.
- Walk outside wherever and whenever possible. Enjoy the changing foliage, look for the beauty in your surroundings and relax to enjoy nature.
- Recognise that your vitamin/mineral intake will need to adjust now the heat of the summer sun is behind us. Autumn is the time to increase your Vitamin D and Magnesium intake, particularly if you are prone to depression or mood swings so that you protect yourself against the fewer sunlight hours.
- Beware of allergies! The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of high pollen counts, and you’re well-advised to continue full anti-histamine coverage throughout the autumn months to prevent illness and the depression that can follow a bout of ill health.
What to do?
Find someone you can talk to, especially if you are a regular sufferer of SAD or depression. Ask your GP for an adult mental health or counselling referral, and relax in the knowledge that a professional will be able to listen and give guidance.
Trying to struggle on alone is unwise. Even if you follow the basic rules of diet, exercise and vitamin intake discussed above, you’re still likely to have difficulty unless you find someone to talk to. Professional advice and help is always the best course of action. You could make it an ambition to get through this autumn/winter period with minimal depression symptoms by simply seeking counselling help so that you don’t feel isolated by your symptoms.
Eat as well and as healthily as you can, get outside for exercise, even just for gentle walks, no need to train for a marathon (unless of course, you want to, in which case go for it!). Another thing that’s worth mentioning, is to increase your Vitamin D and Magnesium intake. Talk to someone, preferably a professional. And above all, enjoy the beauty of the changing seasons without feeling a threat to your mental health and wellbeing.
These simple tips to live by should make this autumn a beautiful one for you. I hope you can get out and enjoy the season!