You can’t stop the leaves from falling, but you can manage the fallout feelings from the changing of the season.
That’s the hope coming from Marcus Cheung, the head of counselling initiatives at Counselling Alberta which is a division of Calgary Counselling Centre.
As the daylight hours dwindle, along with the changing of the leaves, many people will feel the anxiety of the switch to cooler temperatures. Cheung shares that without support it can adversely impact someone’s mental health. He starts with basic things like getting a routine, healthy eating and exercise.
“Especially with the cold weather coming in, what we often hear from people is that this is one area they feel they have been neglecting. What we know is, when people tend to be more engaged in physical exercise – what that means is a lot of activation, behaviourally and moving around helps to change the mood a little bit,” says Cheung.
The counsellor switches to the shut-in feelings of social isolation that some people experience as the daylight hours dwindle and a gloomy pattern may set in during fall and into winter. He says isolation and depression go together so take the time to connect.
“Sometimes we really have to be intentional and deliberate about it. For example, crafting out time during your day to make sure that you connect with somebody that you know – either a family member or friend. Those minor interactions do not have to be extraordinary; minor interactions with people can definitely change your mood and change your day.”
Also, Cheung recommends if the feelings persist with fall switching over to winter, reach out for professional help even virtually via Counselling Alberta.