Why does my mood, motivation & sleep sometimes go downhill in the autumn?
Posted on 20th September 2022 at 09:41
The change in season affects us all differently. For some, it's the long awaited chance to cosy up in knitted jumpers, sip fancy coffees and kick through golden crunchy leaves. For others it's the season of change: where the new school year, looming holiday season and tiredness from picking up after others who were off on holiday over the summer all begins to stack up.
What once seemed easy in the summer months, like choosing that healthy salad for lunch or mustering up the motivation for that early run or to walk to and from work every day, just doesn't seem all that appealing any more. The shorter daylight hours and longer dark nights mess with our body’s natural circadian rhythm and in turn this has a direct impact on our moods, exercise and eating habits.
For many, a lower mood and lack of motivation through the autumn and winter months feels normal, along with;
Always feeling tired despite getting more sleep than usual
Losing interest in things you previously really enjoyed
Feeling the constant need to snack on comfort foods like carbs and chocolate
Not wanting to socialise as much
Wanting to ditch the exercise classes for your ‘PJ’s’ and a Netflix series you’ve seen a million times before
Experienced every once in a while, these are just normal signs that your body needs a bit of TLC and recovery time. But sometimes, especially around this time of year, if you are not in a good mental place anyway it could be more. If this is the case please get in touch so we can help.
Is there anything I can do to pre-empt anxious feelings?
Anxiety can be one of those things that creeps up on you very slowly or which hits you like a tonne of bricks. But, if you know that the change in seasons has affected you in the past, here are some tips which may give you some relief…
Don’t be tempted to break your normal routine.
More sleep isn’t always better. Going over the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night can actually make you feel more tired and anxious.
Take 5 minutes before bed to write down all the positives from your day or the things you are grateful for. This will refocus your brain information filtering system (your RAS) onto all the best bits of your day and on doing this your brain will start to filter in more positive uplifting feelings and evidence that will reduce your anxious feelings.
When the sun is shining, don't miss out on an opportunity to get out and do some exercise in the sunshine. This might be walking to your local coffee shop or going for a run. Running or walking boosts our endorphin levels (our feel good feelings) and serotonin gained from exposure to sunlight creates the hormone melatonin which promotes sleep at night.
A good affirmation to journal is ‘Whatever comes my way today I can handle it!’
If you’ve noticed yourself feeling this way for a few weeks now and are finding that autumn is getting you down, book a call with us today. It might be nothing (and if it's something you can solve without our help we’ll always tell you), but we’re always here if you need our help and support.
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