fall-preparationNorthern Hemisphere Fall Preparation

If you live in the northern hemisphere, and particularly if you live in the United States, this is an appropriate time to prepare for the coming fall and winter seasons.  The yellow school buses trundling through the streets taking kids to school, the commute has once again jumped up by a factor of two in the Bay Area, and it is definitely getting light later in the morning.

Around this time I start bringing up the topic of the change in season with people I am seeing and I have found that there is often not a good correlation between whether a person feels that they enjoyed the change of season and whether they experience some symptoms  of seasonal depression during the fall. Many people who will talk with great pleasure about the experience of the fall will also start to start sleeping later, feeling more lethargic during the day and begin entering a hibernation mode that can be a precursor to depression.

For most people, September is not yet time to start experiencing significant seasonal mood symptoms, but it is a good time to prepare for the change in seasons.  I encourage those who tend toward depression to purchase a therapy mood light.  You can find links to articles on this topic here.

It’s also a good time to be thinking about how you will remain active with shorter days and less sunny weather.

  • Should you sign up for a gym membership?
  • Have you been thinking about buying an elliptical trainer or a treadmill?

This the time to come up with a plan.

Don’t wait to figure this out when you start noticing your mood change with the season, by that time you may be feeling too lethargic to act.

It may also be time to start thinking about how to avoid gaining weight during this holiday season. In the United States, people lose three or four pounds in the spring and summer, and then gain five pounds in November and December. We would not be dealing with such a problem with overweight if we managed those two months better in terms of diet.

Finally it’s worth recalling that this is also an anniversary of a sort for people who have graduated from college in the last few years.  You might notice feelings of discontent as you reflect on your life now and compare it to when you were in school. Goals and responsibilities are much clearer in college than out in the real world.

For More Information

Seasonal Affective Disorder – Fall Reminder

SAD and CBT by Eric

Stress and the Holidays

The Power of Daily Rituals: A Morning Walk

Let There Be Light