Beating the September Blues

Five tips to a better seasonal transition.

Transitioning from the lazy days of summer to a hectic fall schedule can be stressful. It’s not uncommon to feel “blue” about getting back into a busy work or school routine. Those with a child going off to kindergarten, high school or even college for the first time may experience such feelings. Even retirees may face some symptoms.

Here are five tips for tackling the blues:

  1. Avoid overscheduling. Ease into active days slowly.
  2. Give yourself permission to say “no.” If you’re feeling overwhelmed by sudden changes in routine, allow yourself the option to say “no” to unnecessary commitments. Pace the amount of activities you take on.
  3. Prioritize getting a full night’s sleep. A minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep per night helps regulate mood, decreases anxiety and depression, and improves concentration.
  4. Stay socially connected to friends and family. Maintaining relationships with those we love helps to combat stress, depression and anxiety.
  5. Seek professional help if the blues linger. Depression can be effectively treated.

When feeling blue, we function with a mindset that we will bounce back fairly quickly. If the feelings linger longer, interfere with daily functioning and disrupt daily rhythms, it might be something more serious. Common symptoms of clinical depression include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased feelings of guilt
  • Indecisiveness
  • Changes in sleep and appetite
  • Changes in weight
  • Lack of pleasure in usually enjoyable activities
  • Feeling more irritable and agitated
  • Excessive crying
  • Social isolation

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