You're feeling a little blah, nothing seriously wrong, just a little less than enthusiastic about well, everything. A bit irritable and feeling less than 100 percent with no obvious cause, you wonder what's going on. Daylight is showing up later and fades away earlier. The evenings are cooler and the leaves are beginning to change color. School's started and the workload seems to be heavier too. Maybe you are experiencing SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder.
When I lived in Boston, the seasonal changes were dramatic, from hot, early sunny mornings came the swift transition to having to switch on the lights and putting on a thick bathrobe when I got up. As I scrambled to get ready to drive to work in the dark, I often wondered what happened to summer when things all seemed easier, and there were more daylight hours to do things. With fewer natural light hours, it took more effort for me to get going in the morning and to focus on the demands of work and life. No wonder they call this seasonal transitional feeling SAD.
Now that we have a name for this seasonal transition, how do we shift out of it? If you are experiencing a serious case of SAD, I suggest you seek professional help. For most of us there are several simple things we can do to bring back that zip, inner peace and happiness. When our equanimity is restored, our creativity, energy, and productivity will hum along at a higher level.
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. -- Albert Camus
Ready to try? There's nothing to lose except your blahs, insomnia and maybe even a little weight -- SAD gets some of us to eat excessively and unwisely.
- Go outside. Natural light, even when it is cloudy, helps reset our circadian rhythm and hormonal balances; both are factors in our moods. Take a walk at lunchtime; go outside in the morning to do a little stretching or exercising. Being outside will give you more exposure to natural light, even when it seems rather dark. This is also a metaphor for life -- there is light and hope even when we can only see the gloomier aspects of the current situation.
There you have it, seven easy ways for you to regain your good humor and productivity, happy autumn!
When all the world appears to be in a tumult, and nature itself is feeling the assault of climate change, the seasons retain their essential rhythm. Yes, fall gives us a premonition of winter, but then, winter, will be forced to relent, once again, to the new beginnings of soft greens, longer light, and the sweet air of spring. -- Madeleine M. Kunin