A couple of months ago I wrote a post mourning the end of summer. In it, I wrote that I don’t understand how so many bloggers were so excited about the end of summer at the end of August. For me, it felt like everyone was willing away the last few weeks of longer, brighter, warmer days, and I just couldn’t get my head around it.
I know it’s because for many, autumn represents the elusive pumpkin spiced lattes at Starbucks, pretty red, orange and brown leaves falling from the trees and snuggling up under blankets. And I get that. I do see the appeal, to an extent.
I think my mourning is because I automatically associate any season other than summer with feeling a bit lost and a bit down. With feeling like I don’t want to leave the house unless it’s for a really, really good reason. Sure, there’s better TV in autumn and it’s nice wrapping up warm on the sofa or venturing out in boots and wooly scarves, but to me that is nothing compared with being able to walk outside with bare arms and just the sun on your back for warmth and feeling like you can spend the whole day and evening in the fresh air.
After reading an article on GQ’s website recently, I realised I’m guilty of actually self-sabotaging autumn and winter. I’m telling myself they’re going to be depressing, therefore they are. Basically, I associate grey, rainy days with a negative mental state and I need to work on changing my perception of that.
A lack of vitamin D probably doesn’t help and I’ve written in the past about what a difference my SAD lamp made for me. I haven’t managed to find it since we moved in the summer but I need to dig it out and start using it again!
Whether or not you think you have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) though, Vitamin D deficiency apparently affects one in six adults in the UK and you’re more likely to be affected if you have dark skin. The symptoms include tiredness and fatigue, coughs, colds and a low mood.
The government recommends everyone takes a daily Vitamin D supplement during autumn and winter. The recommended daily supplement for adults is 3000IU.
As well as taking a daily dose of Vitamin D, do things to take care of yourself. Have long baths with your favourite candles and a good book. Invite your friends round for films and cook lovely, hearty meals together. Embrace your inner kid and go for a walk in the park, jumping in puddles and kicking the leaves. Wellies optional.
In honour of Vitamin D Awareness Week – who knew? – here are some posts, including the GQ one, that I’ve stumbled upon recently which give some more great ideas on improving your mental health in these seasons:
- Why is this time of the year so depressing? And how can you make it better? – GQ
- 7 ideas to get more sunshine in autumn – Hello Hygge
- How to beat the autumn blues – Net Doctor
- When You Love Autumn, But Your Mental Health Doesn’t – Hannah Gale
- Autumn Self-Care: Take the Self-Care Challenge – Blessing Manifesting
I hope they help you to see autumn in a brighter light and to take care of yourself. You’re important.