The light is fading, the temperature is dropping and for many so is mood and energy. This time of year it's common to hear folks contemplating the reasons for lower mood and energy, and wondering if they have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
If you don't know, SAD is a medical diagnosis that accounts for depressive symptoms including decline in mood and energy correlating with a change in season - usually fall and winter. It's also a term that gets thrown around in popular culture quite a bit.
But what if there's another lens in which to view your shift in mood and energy that doesn't involve a medical diagnosis?
Maybe your mood and energy are just different than at other points in the year. Is different necessarily wrong?
It's a hard concept to grasp in a culture that tends to label and pathologize the human experience at every turn. But if you take a look outside, you'll see all around us the natural world is slowing down and preparing to go inward during the winter months... meanwhile the pace of human activity and productivity is expected to stay as it would during other parts of the year.
Why and how this came to be, is material for a whole other blog post, but the phenomena often makes me wonder: what would it be like if we could lean in to the slowing, rather than push against it? And even if our lives can't fully accommodate for slowing, just knowing that our bodies and minds are doing what is instinctual can often ease some of the discomfort that comes with a dip in energy.
Next week's post will focus on some strategies to lean in and care for ourselves during the darker months of the year, but also know that if you are experiencing significant distress no matter the time of year, it is important to reach out for support.
Till Next Time,