How to Stay Positive During the Change of Seasons

 

 

Fall is one of my favourite seasons; the beautiful changing colours of the leaves, the layers of sweaters, fuzzy socks and the beginning of hot chocolate weather. Although, fall means we’re one step closer to winter, which can be a hard time for a lot of us. If you’re someone who experiences seasonal depression––or, if you’re like me and you get seasonal depression stacked on top of your regular depression––the transition out of summer can be a tough one. It’s important to find ways to try to stay positive throughout the cooler months, but if you’re struggling to find ways to start, here are a few of mine.

Make sure to keep up with hobbies and things you enjoy doing. Whether it be reading, creating art, playing an instrument or even watching a movie, it’s important to take a break from your mandatory tasks. Often when I’ve gotten into a fall slump I find it hard to keep myself motivated to do school work. I take much-needed breaks throughout the days, spending some time painting or reading a few chapters of a novel I’m reading for leisure (not assigned class readings of 18th century poetry). This allows me to recharge and come back to my school work with a fresh mind and some motivation and also helps to make sure I don’t lose track of the activities that bring me joy.

white teacup in fall bedroom Photo by Elora Allen from Unsplash

Make time for yourself. It can be easy to lose yourself in negative thoughts and neglect taking care of yourself when doing so is the most essential. Eat a meal with your morning coffee––it took me a long time to realize that just caffeine is not breakfast, and no, you should not have to balance your unsteady hands trying to complete assignments. Fit in a little bit of exercise. During a regular school year, I get most of my exercise walking around campus to get to and from classes, or even walking to the local shops on Princess Street. It’s difficult right now trying to make it to the gym––you know, with a pandemic and all––but going for a few short walks a day does wonders to boost your mood. Even if it’s just walking to your mailbox at the end of the street and back, it’s worth it. Finally, try to get a decent amount of sleep! Although one of the most difficult, a proper sleeping schedule is one of the most important practices of self-care. You don’t have to binge five hour-long episodes of that TV show until 3 am, I promise. When you fall asleep earlier, you can wake up earlier. I used to be in the habit of staying up all night and getting out of bed well into the afternoon, which would make me feel gross and tired and unproductive all day––this only contributes to the slump.

Woman laying down on a couch covered in a blanket. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Connect with friends and family. This one can be more of a task during a pandemic, but it’s extremely important nonetheless. When I’m in a bout of depression, the last thing I want to do is reach out to anyone. If anything, I tend to isolate myself. All this does is make me feel even worse. Watch a movie with your mom. Plan a Zoom call with some friends you haven’t seen in a while. Mail a faraway friend a handwritten letter catching them up on your life. These may seem like small things, and they are, but they make a world of a difference. Surrounding yourself with people whose love warms you from the inside out is one of the best things you can do for yourself during these cold autumn months.

The Lalatea Mugs Cozy Sweaters Her Campus Media

For me and a lot of people I hold close, the transition into autumn is one of the hardest times of the year. The days get shorter, the weather gets colder, and the inevitability of snow lingers in the air, getting heavier day by day. Although, any time of year can be bearable––even enjoyable––if you’re spending each day putting just a little bit of effort into enjoying it. I hope you’ll incorporate some of these tips into your daily routines, or that reading this at least gave you a bit of motivation to start thinking about change. Put on some fuzzy slippers and drink some tea. It’ll be alright, I promise.