The changes don’t necessarily affect everyone the same way. But seasonal mood shifts heading from hot to cold often include less energy, feeling less social, losing interest in favourite activities, having cravings for carbs and changes in sleep ― either having trouble sleeping or wanting to sleep more than usual.
Scientists know there are a lot of biological and physiological reasons our moods tend to change with the season. But a big factor in those seasonal mood swings is light.
“The scientific evidence says that length of day, which is shorter in the winter and longest in the summer, is the main seasonal variable that affects mood,” she said.
And since those sunsets are well on their way to getting earlier and earlier as soon as fall begins, it’s not unusual if you start to feel those mood shifts around the same time.
As we start to move out of Winter to Spring here are a couple of cold weather pick-me-ups that really work
If your symptoms aren’t that severe, your fall and winter don’t need to be downers. Here are a few things you can do.
1. Let the sunshine in.
Light ― or more specifically, the lack of it ― is part of what can contribute to your low mood in the first place. So doing things like opening the blinds and taking a walk outside in the sun in the morning can definitely lift your spirits. Try taking off your shoes and going barefoot to feel the earth beneath you feet.
Exercise (even just one workout) has been shown to be a big mood enhancer and stress buster. There are decades of research in people with depression that confirms a little sweat is a good idea.
It’s raining. It’s cold. And you haven’t even dug that heavy sweater out of the back of your closet yet. While a batch of warm brownies may sound comforting, simple carbs and sugars can spike your blood sugar levels in your brain and then send them crashing down, with your mood tagging along for the ride.
Instead, focusing on fruits, vegetables, omega-3-rich foods, proteins and complex carbohydrates ― and drinking plenty of water ― can help keep energy and mood consistently up.
There’s a reason a good chat with your bestie makes your day. Research shows spending time with your friends helps relieve stress, make you feel a sense of belong and improve well-being.
Spending time being social and engaging in hobbies and other activities you enjoy is a proven method to lift your mood. It’s recommended for people battling depression.