Hey September - Why so Blue?
The weather is still pretty nice, Summer isn’t technically over and you’re on the verge of busting out your favourite Fall fashion….but you’re still not feeling like yourself? You’re not alone! The September Blues are real.
Even if you’re not back in school and facing down another year of tyrannical teachers, September can bring about an ennui that may be difficult to comprehend. The sun is shining, you’re still posting pics from your epic Summer getaway and your tan lines are clearly visible. So why so glum?
Well, first of all September means holidays are (probably) over and you need to re-engage your usual routine. This can be unsettling and leave you with a feeling that your next opportunity for ‘fun’ is months away. We also tend to associate September with the dreaded ‘BTS’ and even though you may not be the student, it does bring some additional anxiety. There are added challenges for parents of school age children such as conflicts over homework, early mornings and the dreaded making of lunches.
Weather can also play a role in mental health. Although the sun may still be out - the impending change is literally in the air, which may be the precursors of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The main theory behind SAD is that lack of sunlight impacts the proper functioning of the hypothalamus, reducing levels of serotonin.
So what can you do? As the great Sir Frances Bacon published in 1597 ‘knowledge itself is power’. Identify that you may have an issue, and talk to someone about it - a friend or a medical professional to provide clarity and tools to tackle your feelings. Mindfulness is often your greatest ally. If managing a more robust schedule is causing concern, write it down on a planner to visualize what you have to do and when. Make adjustments to insure you aren’t over-commuting yourself or your family, and clearly identify time for relaxation, socializing and maybe a little alone time.
Finally, get all the vitamin D you can while you can get it! The sun has a remarkable effect on our state of wellbeing. Depending on the environment you live in, your time outdoors may be limited in the winter months - so apply your favourite SPF and get out there to soak up every last bit!
Never forget the importance of identifying if and when you need help. Utilize your resources and ensure that you are taking care of yourself - inside and out!
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