What To Do When You’re Feeling Sad In Fall?

We all know that fall is the season of change. It’s time for pumpkin spice everything, football games, and Halloween! But what happens when you’re not feeling so happy about it?

 Every autumn, my mood dropped as soon as it started to rain and the air temperature setter down. Familiar situation? Sadness rolls over, and I can’t hide from it under a blanket, especially now when I have two kids.

How do I deal with my fall blues? In this article, I’ll share some tips to make your transition into fall as smooth as possible. 

But first, we have to talk about one crucial question: is it autumn blues or seasonal affective disorder?

beat fall blues

Seasonal depression or just fall blues?

According to public opinion polls, the peak of autumn depressive states occurs in mid-October, which means now is the time to figure out what it is, a seasonal blues or a natural depression?

An unstable emotional state manifests autumn blues; this is a temporary phenomenon associated with the onset of seasonal changes in nature. It is not a mental illness, unlike depression. 

Autumn is both the end of the annual cycle and the end of the summer vacation period. Thus, we simultaneously begin to sum up the past year’s results and plan the coming year during this period. The outgoing year brought not only successes and achievements but also losses and disappointments. So, it is necessary to consider its lessons and make plans for the future in new circumstances.

Add an increase in the workload; everything that was not completed and missed in the summer must be terminated immediately in autumn. As a result, overwork gradually increases, and the mood becomes unstable; bouts of irritability and anger replace the state of apathy. 

However, the fall blues does not become chronic and can go away on its own without the help of specialists.

When I talk about depression, I mean that it has typical symptoms of depression in general, regardless of the season. Seasonal affective disorder or SAD can happen to anyone at any age.

And above all, this is the classic triad of depression:

1. Depression of mood not associated with an external, traumatic situation, the predominance of feelings of grief, sadness, melancholy, hopelessness.

2. Inhibition of intellectual processes, lack of spontaneity of thinking.

3. Weakening of motivation for activity, fatigue, decreased activity.

A depression that began in the fall often continues with winter, spring, and summer because the change of seasons was the “trigger” that stimulates the depression.

All these symptoms can be observed for a relatively long time, which is a reason to seek help from a specialist immediately.

seasonal depression

What causes autumn anxiety?

The explanations for fall blues are simple.

  • In the off-season, chronic diseases are exacerbated. In the summer, many people forget about their illnesses and relax. It is what happened to me every spring and fall; usually, I have more pain and tension in the off-season. So, it isn’t a doubt why fall scars me a little bit.
  • The abrupt transition from sunny days to cloudy days can also contribute to the appearance of a decadent mood and blues. There is a sharp deficiency in the sun and with it vitamin D.
  •  Lack of exercise can be one of the most important causes of low mood and sadness. Especially in autumn, when the first coolness and rains do not cause any desire to move even around the room.
  • It is getting hard to wake up early because it’s dark outside anyway
  • The pressure of the future year and lost opportunities in this year. 
beat autumn anxiety

Tips on how to beat the fall blues.

1. Accept the fact that autumn is coming, and it is inevitable. Trust me; you will need this energy of regret for more productive tasks.

2. Shift the focus of attention to the positive moments. I know you probably heard it many times, and it sounds boring. But the habit of seeing and noticing only the bad plays a cruel joke with you, adding more stress and sadness. There is Pollyanna’s method, after the girl from Eleanor Porter’s children’s novel. With her optimistic outlook on any negative, Pollyanna could change the life of a small dull town for the better. Why don’t we try it too?

3. Movement is life. In autumn, nature freezes, and we slow down, become sluggish, lazy, and, as a result, often sad. Since we will not be able to fall asleep until spring, there is a way out of the sad state. It is movement. Exercise releases endorphins which help combat mood swings

4. Be mindful of what you’re eating. Nourish your body with tasty warm food. Liquid and semi-liquid, hot, rich in flavors of the food – what you need now. And make sure to get enough protein. Avoid cold, monotonous, “heavy” foods.

5. Hobbies. Exciting information and active thinking excite our consciousness and quickly raise our mood.

anxiety full feeling

6. Cook warm energy drinks with ginger, lemon, honey, spices. Mmm, I love these hot drinks. Hot tea, blanket, and good show, what could be better! I have an excellent blog post about healthy coffee substitute . Check it out.

7. Short workout with favorite music in the morning. For me, it is always hard to wake up in darkness and to start my day immediately. So now I get up with my favorite mantras, and in 10 mins, I put disco music in the kitchen. And voila, I’m dancing at 6 am even if it is dark outside. Of course, short exercise or morning stretches will help too.

8. Good book, movies. Usually, in autumn, we have more free time, and it is a perfect moment to read an intellectual, inspirational book or watch endless series on tv.

9. Extend your summer. If you have the opportunity, visit southern countries and warm seas. A solar charge will come in handy on long winter evenings. I followed this advice five times and really loved short summer in the middle of fall. 

10. Plan out your fall wardrobe and buy some new clothes that make you feel good. Plus, you can add colors to the interior and do autumn manicures or make-up. 

11. Memories. Look through videos and pictures of your summer. It is your positive emotional resource accumulated over the summer, which you can use during gloomy rainy times. 

12. Go for a walk in the park before it is too cold. Typically, we don’t visit parks on cold days as often as in summer. However, fall trees are beautiful, and let’s enjoy them.

13. Schedule some self-care. Take an hour each day to do something nice for yourself or indulge in one of your favorite activities (e.g., see a movie, get ice cream). 

14. Hugs. Almost the last on the list, but among the first in importance. Even if you are 100% introvert, hugs are great. People are collective, social beings for whom it is essential to be accepted by close and significant people, including through physical contact. Thanks to “hugs,” all the same endorphins are produced. Hugs teach us to love, feel comfortable and protected, and even guard the immune system.

15. Mindfulness. Autumn is unavoidable; it is vital to understand the depth of the changes at this time of the year. The withering of nature is like death, and the human psyche is unconsciously afraid to come into contact with this state. Allow yourself to feel negative emotions. The fact that they are is normal. Hiding them is harmful. Does the autumn of nature lead to death? No. Nature transforms and falls asleep.

But after the dark stripe, there is always a light one, and after the night, there always comes a day.

Related articles.

52 ideas on how to be happy this winter.

7 Steps To Better Self-Care. Plus Self-Care Ideas.

A Quick Way To Beat Negative Thoughts.

Why Is Emotional Health Important?

fall blues


When the leaves start to turn brown, people’s mood starts to change. It can be difficult for some individuals when they are dealing with fall blues. This is why you need to take care of your mental health during this time so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by sadness and depression.

I recommend finding an activity or hobby that will help keep autumn from feeling like a burden on your mind. Do you love fall? What do you usually enjoy doing in the autumn season? Write in comments.

If you liked my article, share it with your friends. I appreciate your attention.

About Mello Woman

Thanks so much for stopping by. I am passionate about all things wellness and positive growth. Hopefully, this post (and the others on Mello Woman) will help inspire you in a positive way.

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