It is during the fall, and winter seasons you feel so many changes. Like any of the four seasons, there are differences; however, during the fall and winter months, you experience earlier sunsets along with colder temperatures. It is with these variations you can experience what some may call “The Winter Blues.”
These shorter days, along with reduced sun exposure, have been connected with a decline in serotonin levels and can lead to major depression with this change in seasons. This level of less sunlight in fall and winter can cause what is known as winter-onset “SAD (seasonal affective disorder).” A decrease in sunlight can disturb your body’s internal clock and lead to feelings of depression. Whenever there is a drop in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that affects mood, it might play a role in “SAD.”
Your sleep can also be impacted with these seasonal changes. This can be due to less sunlight in the fall and winter months, affecting your level of melatonin. Let’s understand that everyone can deal with sadness sometimes. It’s important to recognize that feeling of sadness lasting a long period of time and becoming too hard to live with can affect your overall good health.
Colder temperatures can lead to more time indoors. It can become a time of hibernation and detachment from the outdoors and normal activities in general. This, too, can impact feelings of depression and isolation.
Let’s keep in mind, fall and winter “Sad” can lead to:
- Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates -Weight Gain
- Tiredness or Low Energy
**Please see your doctor: If you begin to feel down for days at a time and you are not interested in doing normal activities that you usually enjoy. Pay attention, especially if sleep patterns or your appetite changes, if you find yourself drinking alcohol for comfort or relaxation, or if you are having feelings of hopelessness or think about suicide.**
As I thought about what to share, I really believe this is an important topic to become more aware of, especially that we have entered the Fall and Winter months. It is amazing how less sunlight, shorter days, and colder temperatures can really impact our mental health. It is important to stay mindful of how you and those around you are being affected. Please make sure you tell your loved ones when you feel changes in your mental health and get the necessary help you need.
I would love to hear from you. Tell me how these colder months impact you. For so many, these months bring joy as there are changes in the beautiful leaves, as some may be tired of the hot summer days. They look forward to upcoming holidays and enjoying moments with friends and loved ones. However, let’s also remember for others the fall and winter months can make them “SAD.” Make sure you take care of yourself, include moments of gratitude, continue to include exercise, and please get a good night’s rest.
**Please note I am not giving professional medical advice. Also, this may be a sensitive topic to some readers.**