The Anxious Author

How Autumn Affects Anxiety

This is just my casual observation, but I’ve noticed that a lot of people I know who have anxiety really enjoy autumn. Citing the prospect of bundling ourselves up in blankets, indulging in a plethora of hot beverages, and reading books/watching movies when it’s cold and dark outside, we apparently love the change-over to this season.

I say this as someone who doesn’t suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or depression, as this time of year can be difficult for anyone who does. If you do, I hope you have a gentle experience this year – and every year!

While it might seem strange, there definitely feels as though there is a link between anxiety and autumn, and I’ve got a few theories as to why this is:

We Get To Stay Inside More

Being outside is infinitely more healthy for us, mind, body, and soul. But I find anxiety is eased when we feel we have a little more control over our immediate environment, and our homes are where we have the most control.

When it’s lovely and sunny outside, I personally feel compelled to go outside and enjoy it, and I do. But that doesn’t remove the unpredictability of the outside. Of course, unpredictability is still an element inside the home, too, but it doesn’t feel that way. The prospect of staying inside guilt-free while the weather worsens outside is pretty comforting.

Blankets Are Virtually Mandatory

I love to wear shorts and strappy tops and really feel the sun on my skin, it’s fabulous. But it also leaves you feeling a bit exposed, which can aggravate anxiety a little. An excuse to put on a big jumper or wrap ourselves up in blankets is welcome on our more fraught days.

On top of that, the feeling of blanket warmth is a unique sensation that just can’t be replicated. Who wouldn’t want to spend two whole seasons wrapped up in a cocoon of warmth and security?

Escapism Is More Accessible

Again, because we’re spending more time indoors, we get to spend more time reading, watching the next awesome Netflix series (Tiger King 2, anyone?), or playing video games. I’m giving sedentary lifestyles a bit of a shout-out here, and yes, we should always get up and go for a run or do some yoga, but comfort-activities are important, too.

Because we’re still dealing with the current “panorama”, holidays aren’t really an option right now, which makes self-escapism more important. In my opinion, this is especially true if we have anxiety. For this Anxious Author, escapism is important for good mental health while the world is in the state it’s in, and autumn goes some way to facilitating this.

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