With 2021’s autumn equinox come and gone, sunset is starting to creep forward. Soon, it will be practically dark by 5 p.m. — a dispiriting prospect.
For some, the shift from sun-drenched summer to dark and dismal weather is more than a mere bummer, and can herald a period of cyclical depression known as seasonal affective disorder, or (appropriately yet unfortunately) SAD. According to quarterly journal Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry, SAD impacts up to 7.9% of the general population, depending on the study and geographic region in question, and can range from a mild case of the “winter blues” to more debilitating symptoms.
If you start to feel glum, it may be tempting to try and power through the feeling, or brush it off as pandemic fatigue. But the change in seasons is a good time to check in with yourself and loved ones, evaluate how you’re feeling and take some simple, proactive steps to maintain your mental health.