If you are starting to feel anxious, and you notice that your mood drops as the days get shorter and the sun loses its power, you most likely suffer from autumn depression. It is a common form of depression that affects many people worldwide. But what exactly is autumn depression, and how do you ease its symptoms? You will find the answers below.
What is autumn depression?
Autumn depression, sometimes called autumn anxiety, is an annual issue that a lot of people begin to experience in the fall. It continues in winter and ends once spring begins. Loss of interest in everyday activities, irritability, fatigue, low mood, and anxiety are common symptoms. One of the causes of autumn depression is a reduction in sunlight that reaches your skin. This causes serotonin levels to drop, as well as decreased vitamin D production, which is linked to depression.
Natural autumn anxiety remedies
The good news is that you are not alone, and there are many natural remedies for autumn anxiety:
- As mentioned earlier, a lack of sunshine — and thus a lack of serotonin and vitamin D — is probably the most common cause of autumn anxiety. So make sure you take regular walks in the park, go for a jog more often, or get up early to soak up the morning sun. Even when the sun is not shining, being outside and taking in daylight gives a positive boost to your mood.
- During the autumn days, we spend a lot of time indoors. Some even experience it as if they are 'stuck' inside. Instead of focusing on the fact that there is little sun and you do not go outside as often as you would like, try to think of being indoors as cozy. You can do this, for example, by adding brightly colored accessories and warm blankets to your home. The same goes for clothing— clothing in bright colors lifts your mood and puts you in a cheerful spirit.
- Singing can also calm you down. When you sing, you stimulate your vagus nerve. This nerve connects your brain to organs such as your heart and lungs and affects your mental health. For instance, mental health problems like stress, anxiety, and depression are reduced if you stimulate the vagus nerve. One way to do this is by singing. This nerve runs through your throat, so by singing or humming, you are stimulating it.
- Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. Activities like going to the gym, taking a walk, or going on a bike ride are some examples. During these types of exercises, your body produces endorphins. These endorphins reduce your perception of pain and generate a positive feeling in the body.
- Last but not least, breathing exercises also help relieve the symptoms of autumn depression. Deep breathing exercises, for instance, slow down your heart rate, provide your bloodstream with a good amount of oxygen, and eventually signal the brain to relax.
Bonus tip: practice the Wim Hof Method
By using the Wim Hof Method, you not only learn the special Wim Hof Method breathing exercises, but you will also understand how cold therapy helps ease the symptoms of your autumn depression. Learn more about the method and its benefits in our free Mini Class.