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Tackle Autumn Anxiety with This Simple Checklist

Autumn is a season that often lends itself to anxiety. Although we may look forward to cooler temperatures and the coziness of the holidays, we also leave behind the lazy leisurely days of summer and face a busier school and work season. The decreased duration of daylight and colder weather may impact your activity level and consequently your mood as you spend less time with friends or outdoors.

Check in with yourself and see if you may be feeling any symptoms of autumn anxiety like:

  • Worry
  • Panic attacks
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Digestive issues
  • Muscle tension

And tackle some of those worries and fears with our emotional wellness checklist below.

1. Walk outside during daylight hours
Find time in your day whether it’s before work or during a lunch break to take a leisurely walk or jog outside to soak in the light. The combo of exercise and light is a great mood booster. If you can’t get away from your desk or home for that long, sitting by the window for just 15 to 30 minutes can help lessen the impact of seasonal change.

2. Add more omega 3 to your diet
Resist the temptation of comfort foods for every meal, even on those cooler nights. Healthy omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon or walnuts have been shown to help reduce anxiety.

3. Use a light therapy lamp
A decrease in sunlight during this season can trigger the blues. Using a light therapy lamp as directed can help alleviate the stress of shorter days.

4. Pay attention to your thoughts
It’s important to check in with yourself on a regular basis. Monitor irrational thoughts of worry that can lead to anxiety and instead replace them with more realistic thinking. If you’ve got an overwhelming to-do list, focus on what you can get done today or even in the next few hours.

5. Spend time with family and friends safely
Summer can be filled with beach days, bike rides and other fun activities. When colder weather and shorter days come, you may not be connecting with friends and family as often. Try to fill your calendar with hobbies and activities that include other people at a safe distance. If you can’t get together in person, make sure to keep up with phone calls and video chats.

Remember, behavioral health resources are always available via telehealth services if you need someone to talk to about any stress or anxiety that comes with changing seasons.