Tips to Manage the Seasonal Change

Signs of the long winter to come are beginning to appear. As the nights become darker and the mornings colder, it’s not uncommon to feel a sense of foreboding. The transition into fall brings changes not only in activity levels but also emotions. This month I decided to “practice what I preach” and integrate for myself some of the things I’ve been guiding clients to think about doing for themselves to manage the seasonal change.


Enrich your time with books instead of watching the next episode in whatever series every night. Or worse, the news. As opposed to numbing, reading is thoroughly engaging. It’s thought provoking and fires up your imagination.


Dig out your CD’s and match your mood to music. Or transform your feelings with your favorite feel good album. Music in the car, while cooking and cleaning, or lounging around the house boosts the way you feel about these sometimes-mundane tasks and creates a fun environment for everyone. You’ll love rediscovering the albums you’d forgotten in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. They’re just as good as ever and it’s fun to remember where you were in life when they kept you such good company.

Don’t Compare

Be mindful about using the internet. Consider a vacation from Facebook, news sites, Craigslist, and thoughtless web surfing. It frees up so much time for other things, creating a renewed sense of sovereignty and making you more productive.

Water not Wine

Abstaining will give you a wonderful clarity of mind. A fog will lift that you may not even know was there.


Focus not just on 2 or 3 “squares” but several smaller meals throughout the day. You’ll feel in touch with your body and more relaxed. A balanced blood sugar level is directly related to mood stability and less anxiety.


Saying “no,” or even “let me think about it and I’ll get back to you,” will help you to recognize your priorities so you can focus on what’s really important. This means more time for yourself and those you really care about. Setting boundaries may sound cliché, but for good reason.


Whether your thing is running, walking, yoga, or another activity, get moving. You’ll feel less anxious, sleep better, and more optimistic when you’re consistent with physical activity.


Connect with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Or invite someone you see occasionally for a more regular get-together. The benefits of meaningful social interaction include a sense of belongingness and more fun.

Time Management

Whether it’s reading, writing, exercising or something else, you’ll experience an energy lift when you’re intentional about how you spend your down time.


As I’ve noted in other posts, you don’t have to wait until you’re suffering to go to therapy. Think of it like parenting a child. When your kid is in the throes of a tantrum they’re not too receptive to your redirection because they’re emotionally flooded and don’t have access to the pre-frontal cortex (the reasoning part of the brain). It’s the same for you. When you wait until you’re undeniably depressed or anxious it’s harder to pull out of it. Therapy certainly helps, but you can make bigger gains faster by being proactive before you’re overwhelmed.

These are all practices that have a direct impact on your wellbeing. Consider making some or all of them part of your daily routine to prevent the seasonal changes from taking its toll. The following is a quote from one of the books I particularly enjoyed this month. Whether you are a mother, father, employee, manager, business owner or otherwise, it’s relevant to you. Especially this time of year when you might normally start to go on autopilot only to realize it 8 months from now.

“The gap starts here: We can’t give people what we don’t have. Who we are matters immeasurably more than what we know or who we want to be. The space between our practice values (what we’re actually doing, thinking, and feeling) and our aspirational values (what we want to do, think, and feel, is the value gap, or “the disengagement divide.” It’s where we lose our clients, our students, our spouses, and our children. We can take big steps-we can even make a running jump to cross the widening value fissures that we face at home, work, and school-but at some point, when that divide broadens to a certain critical degree, we’re goners.” Daring Greatly, by Brené Brown

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