As the colors change …

Worth Living Ambassador Felicia Singh

Hello, my name is Felicia. I am a 25 year old healthcare professional and
counseling / psychology student with anxiety. As well as someone with an unexplainable
yearning to understand mental health disorders. The who, what, where, when, and whys of it all.

As the colors change …

For those of us that are lucky enough to experience all of the seasons, fall can be an amazing
time of year. The leaves are changing colors. The weather is cooler. And for me, the fashion trends
are so much better. Not to mention holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. However for
some of us (including myself), the shift in seasons can take a toll on our mental health.
Seasonal Depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder are mental health disorders that occur the
same time every year.

I LOVE the sun. I mean that literally. For me the sun is more than light. It
represents the beginning of a new day. A fresh start. Fall changes bring with it less sun and
more darkness. The days are shorter and the nights seem so much longer. I personally have a
difficult time adjusting to waking up when it’s still dark outside. I find myself not being as
motivated to do the things I usually enjoy doing.

I am a firm believer in learning from my past and planning for the future based on what it is that I learned. Dealing with a mental health illness should not be any different. Learning our triggers and how to deal with and prevent them is very important to our overall wellbeing. So with that being said here are some tips for getting and staying ahead of the seasonal blues.

1. Stick to your routine. If you work out, meditate, read, or start your day with a morning
coffee, then do that. Just because the weather is different it doesn’t mean you should
stop doing the things you usually do.

2. Have a conversation with the people in your life. Make them aware that this time of year
causes you to be irritable, or maybe you’re not as optimistic and willing to do the things
you would usually do. Keeping the people around us in the loop is beneficial for us all. It
allows them to gain understanding and perspective on the mental health issue you may
be experiencing.

3. Counseling. If you don’t already see a counselor or therapist, then consider doing so
around this time of year. A lot of the time just discussing what’s bothering us and how we
are feeling makes things a lot easier. Support groups are awesome as well. Connecting
with others who are experiencing the same things you are helps to promote a certain
amount of normalcy. And there is nothing abnormal about human emotions.

4. Find activities that are specific to the season. You may not be able to run outdoors or go
to the beach with your friends but you can go on a color tour, visit your local farmer’s
market, go skiing, visit an orchard or a pumpkin patch. Take advantage of indoor
activities as well. Paint, join a book club, get a gym membership, or take a pottery class.

5. You may also benefit from speaking to your healthcare provider about medication options. Making sure you are getting the right amount of vitamins and nutrients can make a huge difference. No sun equals low vitamin d and low vitamin d equals low energy levels.

However you choose to shake off the seasonal blues, make sure that you’re doing it in a healthy
and productive way. Remember if you’re here then you have a life worth living.

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