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27Sep

This week marked the official start to Autumn and for many of us, the change in season brings lots of new changes and challenges. The days get shorter, which means less sunlight and vitamin D, and the weather gets colder and wetter.

You may have heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) where you feel low and more susceptible to illness during Winter months, but Autumn anxiety is also very much a real thing and it can affect you more than you think.

For parents, the start of Autumn brings with it lots of commitments, such as Halloween, Christmas and so on. This can put extra pressure on you, especially if you work throughout the day and feel stressed or guilty trying to organise extracurricular activities and social gatherings with other parents.

If you’re at school or college, you will be beginning a new term and starting to work towards exams and new coursework deadlines. Do you experience social anxiety? Starting a new class with people you may have not spoken to before can also be very daunting, not to mention meeting new teachers and tutors and adapting to their teaching style.

The start of the fourth quarter can also bring added pressure for businesses and you as an employee or business owner.

All of these things can quickly add up and get on top of us and cause you to suffer from burn out.

So how do you overcome Autumn anxiety?

Here are a few ways you can start to embrace the weather and feel less anxious during Autumn.

1 Get a good night’s sleep

Sleep is one of the biggest health areas that many of you ask for support with, and with good reason. Sleep is so important but with our busy days and hectic schedules, but for some reason, we don’t seem to prioritise a good night’s sleep or we don’t even know how to relax anymore, our bodies are in constant stress mode.  

To get a better-quality night’s sleep, try the following:

  • Switching off any devices and stop watching tv an hour before bed
  • Starting a small bedtime routine like getting into bed and reading for 30 minutes
  • Tidying your bedroom (picking up clothes off the floor, making your bed etc.) and lighting some candles to make the environment more inviting and relaxing
  • Writing a gratitude journal including three things you’re grateful for that day

Finally, writing a to-do list before bed can be relaxing to clear your mind and seeing the number of tasks on paper can feel less daunting. However, this can also stress you out further so only do this if you think it will help.

Sign up now to our free mysleep support programme to get helpful guidance on sleep, which is launching this October 2019.

2 Try a digital detox

In addition to turning off your devices an hour before bed, a digital detox can really help you overcome anxiety. You can start small by doing things like deleting social media apps and emails from your phone or having set times such as family mealtimes where no one uses their device.

Find out more about how to get started with a digital detox

3 Get more light

Spending as much time outdoors while it is still light can work wonders for your mental health. Although it’s darker in the morning, try and expose yourself to light as soon as you wake up, whether it’s natural or a bright lamp in your home. At lunch, try and leave the office to soak up as much light during the day.

4 Look at your diet

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Eating processed and artificial food can really upset our body and food that’s full of sugar and salt can give us extremes of highs and lows. So, while grabbing a can of coke or a chocolate bar can offer a quick buzz, eating well throughout the day, e.g. adding protein and vegetables to each meal will help stabilise your blood sugar levels and will make you feel fuller and more energised for longer. It can also drastically improve your mood and mindset.

5 Drop one thing from your list

Do you keep adding all these little tasks to do your to-do list when you already have a million and one things to do? It can be really overwhelming when you take on too much and can trigger all sorts of mental and physical stress. Write a list of everything that you consider absolutely essential and commit to dropping one thing. It’s surprising how relieved you will feel!

6 Do something for yourself

Once you’ve dropped things from your list, you will hopefully have some free time to fill with things you enjoy. Try joining an exercise class or going for a job to improve your mood or even just taking the time to have a relaxing bath or going for a coffee and reading a magazine.

7 Wrap up warm & cosy

There is no better feeling than coming home from a busy day and putting on something comfortable, is there? Especially when it’s really cold or raining outside. Treating yourself to a big blanket and simply relax in the warmth will help your mind and body feel so much better.

Did you know we have a free well-being support programme? Sign up now and get weekly emails packed with support and guidance to help you live a healthier life.

  

talkhealth

This is the talkhealth blog spot, where we post on a wide range of health conditions, topics, issues and concerns. We post when we see something that we believe is of interest to our vistiors. Our posts do not reflect any particular view or stand point of talkhealth, but are merely to raise attention and awareness.

5 Responses to How to overcome Autumn Anxiety

  1. Silwni

    Not sure how going for a job is going to improve your mood as this is really stressful. Coming home in the warm is great but I could not relax with a blanket unless I had a shower first. Only once I have washed the dirt and dust of the day off and done all the basic chores; post, feeding the cats and wildlife etc, can I relax and have a nap before the rest of the stuff I have to do in the evening.

    • jasmine clarke

      I agree; I like the article but I’m the same as Silwni I’d have to do all of my bits and bobs and freshen up and then I feel I can relax which often leaves little to no time.

      Maybe I should go with the flow more but it wouldn’t feel right leaving what I would call essentail day to day tasks undone; its a fab article though x

  2. James McDonald

    I noticed that you didn’t mention melatonin anywhere in your advice, this hormone can help many people during the change of seasons, I personally take it as soon as the first day of autumn arrives and it helps and it was also the subject of many studies Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) have found that melatonin, can relieve the doldrums of winter depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. The study is publishing online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. See one study https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060501113832.htm

  3. Simon Neale

    I would NOT light candles in the bedroom to help you relax. It’s dangerous and irresponsible; if you fall asleep with them lit, it’s a massive fire risk. Ask any fire officer. Please, don’t light candles. Use a scented oil like lavender to fragrance the room instead.
    A good night’s sleep is one thing. A funeral is another.

  4. Tina

    Candles in proper holders are not a danger. Watching flickering flame can be very relaxing for some people. Each person has differing needs and anxieties.

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