When autumn approaches, the shift in seasons can mean a shift in moods. For some, the change in the colors of the leaves and the temperature is welcoming, while for others it is disheartening and can cause autumn depression. Autumn depression is a type of seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD, and is usually a temporary depression that occurs around the seasonal changes. Summer depression can happen too, but it is less common.
Autumn depression has similar symptoms to major depression, like low energy, social withdrawal, and hypersomnia (excessive tiredness).
What are the Causes?
Autumn depression, like depression, is psychological, and while no exact cause has been determined, there are a handful of contributing factors, including:
- a person’s previous depressive history
- how close or far someone lives from the equator
- a lack of natural light
- levels and regulation of melatonin, serotonin, and Vitamin D
A combination of these factors are viewed to be part of the reasons behind autumn depression, but there may be others as well, like the fact that autumn depression is more commonly seen in women.
Why does the seasonal transitional change from summer to autumn affect people? In a sense, and outside of a person’s psychological depression history, this seasonal affective disorder can be viewed as the body’s natural response to the changing weather. The temperature drops, the amount of daylight shrinks, and so it makes sense to “hibernate” or withdraw for a while to rest up.
The lack of sunlight and warmth, for those who live far from the equator, for example, is believed to actually slow down some of the body’s functions, like the production of serotonin and absorption of Vitamin D. On the flip side, it’s believed that the longer darkness of nighttime can affect someone’s melatonin production, causing them to sleep more and develop hypersomnia.
So, how do you combat autumn depression? Because There are a variety of natural methods and treatments that can be used to target the symptoms and fight the fatigue you’re experiencing.
Getting More Vitamin D
One of the causes of autumn depression can be linked to the lack of sunlight. The autumn season is usually marked by the Fall Equinox, when night and day are the same amount of time. But after that, the days get shorter since the sun sets earlier, and therefore nighttime gets longer. A brisk walk outside and some exercise during the daytime can help with sun exposure and boosting Vitamin D and serotonin levels, but if that’s not an option, there are alternatives. Light therapy, for example, has been used for people suffering from autumn depression and depression alike. Mimicking a well-lit, airy environment can help you to feel more relaxed.
Sticking to a Routine
Another symptom affected by autumn depression can be a person’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock. Again, because the length of the day changes, as well as the temperatures, our bodies can literally be thrown off their rhythm or cycle. This can affect sleep, eating habits, general mood, and even your social life.
The best way to combat these symptoms of autumn depression is by sticking with a routine. This means waking up and going to sleep at the same time, which may be harder to do when the sun isn’t up. You can also introduce meditation or exercise into your routine to help yourself feel more energized and to stay on track.
Treatment with an AIRE Experience
Autumn depression usually results in a spike of negative thoughts or feelings of hopelessness and insecurity. There’s also the chance of increased anxiety, in connection with the severity of allergies that can be triggered by the arrival of the autumn season.
One way to soothe anxiety and the symptoms of autumn depression is to treat yourself to a relaxing experience at AIRE Ancient Baths. Whether it’s soaking in the thermal baths or getting a massage experience, AIRE focuses on using natural ingredients to help relax and restore the body’s health. Since autumn depression can lead to sluggishness or anxiety, a treatment like our Himalayan Salt Experience would be perfect, as pink Himalayan salt helps to de-stress and energize the body, while also clearing the mind. It’s important to treat yourself to try to improve your mood, and those few moments of tranquility can help keep the effects of autumn away, temporarily. This treatment you can take in our AIRE Ancient Baths centers of Barcelona, Sevilla, Vallromanes, Almería, New York and Chicago.