Personal Advice: How to Beat the Blues During Fall

With every season there are ups and downs, and fall is no exception. While many look forward to this season as a time of change, whether it be transitioning to college or waiting in excitement for the pumpkin patches and apple orchards to open, there are also quite a bit of days or even weeks that are cold and dreary. They may seem to drone on for some time. I know I’m not the only one who feels the negative impact of that weather on my mood; for days at a time, I feel drained, unmotivated or down for no particular reason.

 

However, don’t fret. 

 

While these times may be challenging for some, there are ways we can overcome them.

 

1. Engage in something that is mentally stimulating. 

Completing a crossword puzzle or reading a book may help ease whirlwind emotions or periodically take your mind off worry or negative thoughts. Plus, there is no downside to reading a good book! Science shows that reading strengthens cognitive development and opens your mind to new ideas and vocabulary. 

 

2. Engage in a hobby or something you are passionate about. 

This might mean pulling out your canvas and painting, listening to music for hours on end or even watching a few classic movies curled up in a blanket. For me, I listen to music or play piano to calm my mind and enter a tranquil state. Whatever comforts you most will be your best friend. 

 

3. Journal out or express how you feel.

As someone who has struggled with mild depression, I can say with certainty that just pouring out your feelings in a giant ramble, or even messy, all-over-the-place writing helps you transition to a more calm state of mind since you’ve let all your troubles out. If you bottle up everything inside, it’s dangerous to keep it all in there.

 

4. Be activeoutside or inside.

Being active doesn’t necessarily mean going out and running for five miles straight. It means doing whatever form of exercise feels most comfortable to you. Even just doing some light yoga in your living room helps you become more mindful and relaxed. However, I do recommend going outside and trying to get as much sun as you can. Vitamin D has been shown to enhance your mood and may lift your spirits. 

 

5. Talk with people you care about, and let them know how you are doing. 

It’s never too early to call your mom and dad. Sometimes just venting to a close friend or someone you love is extremely soothing and they may give you the emotional support you need.  

 

6. Don’t be afraid to spend time by yourself. 

These days, the world expects you to be doing things 24/7. You’re expected to be out and socializing every minute; this strengthens the inaccurate belief that if you are by yourself, you’re  lonely. That belief is wrong. In my personal experience, forcing yourself to be out and about all the time can drag you down and make you feel very fatigued. Take some time for self care, pamper yourself, take a hot bath and light some candles. Sometimes your body just needs a break from keeping up.

 

7. Light up your room or space with yummy smelling candles, salt lamps, or warm colors. 

Warm tones or warm hued sources of light psychologically evokes feelings of comfort. It may even remind you of a fireplace crackling in a warm room, which can be reminiscent of home or the holidays. Having a warm-hued source of light in your room drastically helps with my mood, rather than it being a dreary and blank setting. 

 

8. And finally… know that you are strong, and this will pass. 

Everyone has bad days, or just times when they feel down. Know that you are loved, supported, and don’t be afraid to reach out to loved ones if things feel challenging.