Anxiety and the Change of Seasons
Anxiety can be related to the season. When I was younger, I remember that when summer started to turn into fall, the days ended, and nights started earlier, and the weather began to get cooler, I would experience a change in my mood that I now recognize was related to my anxiety. I would often find that I felt down and unsettled, and this overall feeling of discomfort that I sometimes couldn't attribute to anything in particular. I didn't realize that the season changes contributed to my anxiety.
When I would feel that way, I found that I had a tendency to withdraw. As a natural introvert, this was something I was accustomed to anyway, but I noticed that this tendency was even more present during the fall and winter months. I could never really explain why I felt the need to behave this way or why I felt my overall mood was low.
Additionally, I would find that I felt increasingly irritable, easily agitated, and not quite interested in the things that I would normally enjoy.
How to Cope with Anxiety When the Seasons Change
Some of what I've described might sound somewhat like seasonal depression; however, while some of the symptoms might be similar, there would also be some symptoms that are more characteristic of anxiety.
For example, that "unsettled" feeling that I would feel is characteristic of anxiety for me and something I have noticed is quite prominent during times of high anxiety. I would also feel restless and tense, but at the same time constantly tired, as well as sad without a specific reason.
After some time and after learning more about the reasons that the change of seasons contributes to a change in mood, I learned that this was related to anxiety. I also began to work on learning how to manage what I was feeling, both mentally and physically.
This included exercise. When the seasons changed, it was darker outside, the weather was cooler, and I found it even harder to engage in physical activity. But, I worked on changing my mindset about exercise and going out to do so, even when I didn't feel like it. Eventually, what I found was that it helped improve my mood and would almost completely neutralize that unsettled feeling that I would feel.
Additionally, because I knew that my energy levels were affected by the change in seasons, I found it important to eat foods that helped my energy levels stay consistent rather than ups and downs that I didn't need more of.
Lastly, I learned to counter the natural tendency to want to isolate. I would make a point of interacting and engaging with others instead of pulling away from them.
Are there certain strategies you use to help you feel better and cope with anxiety when the seasons change? If so, share them in the comments below.
Bermio-Gonzalez, R. (2023, November 9). Anxiety and the Change of Seasons, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, March 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2023/11/anxiety-and-the-change-of-seasons