by Minodora Campeanu
Last updated on 8 October 2019
More and more people have a hard time coping with the transition between summer and autumn. They tend to become anxious and moody, which affects their quality of life. Experts believe that some of the causes include the beginning of a new school year, transition in general, and regrets of not achieving wanted goals during summertime. But, a shorter daytime, less vitamin D exposure, and less time spent outdoors can also affect our mood; that is why it is seasonal. Nonetheless, some people are super excited when autumn kicks in because it throws them back into a meaningful routine. Before you jump to conclusions and diagnose yourself, consider these five tips if you feel a bit down, gloomy, or anxious.
Try to take advantage of sunlight by going out early and benefiting from the morning sunshine. You could also change the time and place of your activities. For example, try to walk your dog before dark, go for a run in the park, meet your friends outdoors, have your lunch break on a bench, walk home if possible, etc. During autumn months the weather is usually bearable. The nature changes in so many spectacular ways that it is a pity to miss it. Look on the bright side and hang out in areas where fresh air and beautiful nature are your main companions. 
It's no secret that a 30-minute workout can improve your mood. A combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercises would be the best solution. The ideal frequency, duration, and intensity of exercise need further research. However, your body should be able to tell how often and how much you can endure without overdoing it. You could start with a light 20-minute jog and increase the frequency and duration after a couple of days. Also, incorporate some short sessions of heavy weight lifting, jumping, or sprinting. 
Now is the perfect time to start indulging in your favourite warm meals and soups. Make sure you choose seasonal organic vegetables and fruits, as well as good quality meat, poultry, and fish products. The latter is particularly important due to its high content of omega3 fatty acids, which go hand in hand with cognitive function and mental health. Fatty fish, eggs, dark chocolate, foods rich in potassium, and chamomile tea are all foods that help fight anxiety and mood swings. Eggs are a very good source of vitamin D. Chamomile has antioxidant and relaxant properties. Dark chocolate helps reduce neuroinflammation. In conclusion, eating a balanced and healthy diet is crucial for mental health.   
A new season is an opportunity for new beginnings. Look up activities which interest you and try a new hobby, or pick up an old one. Start adding appropriate seasonal activities to your schedule. Keeping your mind busy will not allow anxiety to kick in. You need to add mentally demanding activities to your daily routine. Apart from this, leisure activities have a positive impact on mental health in both men and women. Some examples of leisure activities are bowling, curling, golfing, hiking/walking, working out, painting, drawing, reading, listening to music, and meditating. Nonetheless, don't overdo it. Sleep and recovery, in general, are crucial.  
For some of us, autumn brings back unpleasant memories. We even associate it with negative experiences and tough times. Some people have problems adjusting to cold and rainy weather, while others complain about change. The transition from summer to winter might be too much to handle for some of us. If we hate winter, our mind will focus on negative thoughts related to it instead of enjoying the beauty of autumn. The only solution is to reframe our outlook. We should replace negative with positive. For example, instead of focusing on bad weather, focus on the cosiness of your home; instead of focusing on bad memories, focus on the opportunity to make new pleasant ones; instead of focusing on what might happen, focus on the present moment. To overcome negativity CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) might help if nothing else does. Healthy thinking doesn't happen overnight, but it is necessary for mental health.  
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