Falling in love with fall

When seasons change, it can be tough. Here’s to looking on the bright side.

I don’t know about you, but my body seems to struggle every time the seasons change. There’s my skin — which suddenly decides it’s congested and/or peeling. There’s my hair, which decides it’s now more dry than it was in the summer.

Then there’s my mood.

I find fall the trickiest time of year to deal with. Aesthetically it’s my favourite season: everything seems to hit its most intense point: the leaves on the trees are more vivid in colour, the air is crisper — this is what I enjoy the most. On the other side of the coin, I tend to feel more irritated and get upset quite easily. Most of this can be attributed to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is more commonplace than most people think.

I am fortunate to have reached a point in my life where I am able to manage my symptoms: I try and read more books, make my favourite tea, go out for walks, pet a dog (or two!) and happily accept hugs.

It took a while to get here though: it took almost a decade to figure out what was best for me. It was hard. I talked to a couple of doctors, both of whom wanted me to try light to moderate doses of medication. I personally didn’t quite feel comfortable going for medication just yet, and I was honest and disclosed I hadn’t been exercising enough and eating as well I could have. (Big time disclaimer: if you feel like you need medication, that’s absolutely okay. I just felt that in that particular time and space it wasn’t for me because I wanted to try a few other things. When I tried said things, I was brutally upfront with myself and my doctor, which allowed us to come up with a program that worked best for me and my health needs.) We eventually figured out that my symptoms were mild enough that I needed to change a few things in my life.

Instead of eating out all the time, we focused more on what I could cook at home; instead of lying around after dinner, I’d try to do more stuff around the house after a meal (and after dinner was usually when my disappointment would hit).

Any time you’re transitioning from one season to another, one of the most valuable things you can do for yourself is to take joy in the things you experience each day.

Is it a sunny fall day? At least you’re not walking around in the rain. Is it raining? At least the air and the ground around you is getting a little refreshment. Having coffee with a friend? Catching up can be great. Struggling to get through a day at the office? Keep pushing forward to the evening — you may have a yummy dinner (or a couple of delicious drinks!) ahead.

It never hurts to look for the beauty in the season, and for me, that’s what I try my hardest to do during fall.

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