Loving Fall, But Feeling SAD
Happy people feel sad, too.
Read that again.
Happy people feel sad, too.
I'm not sure where the idea that happy people are always happy came from, but I am here...again...to assure you that this belief is not actually a fact. As human beings, we experience feelings because we possess an amygdala. Therefore, even the happiest of people experience sadness.
Although I'm a summer-baby, I've always loved the fall. When you grow up on the east coast, you experience the beauty of leaves changing colors, crisp air, pumpkin patches, and perfect sweater-weather. I mean perfect. It's hard not to love the season. With weather change & lack of sun, though, comes a shift in mood. The decrease in sunlight causes the body's internal clock to shift, which in turn, impacts serotonin levels & brings down the mood.
Cue the onset of depression.
What most people refer to as "Seasonal Depression" is clinically known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It affects about 3 million people in the United States yearly, & it can be self-diagnosed. While it is most commonly found in women, men suffer from SAD, too. It can happen at any point of the year--spring, summer, fall, winter--but the most common time are the later months. Symptoms generally mirror depression. Which, makes sense because it's depression, it just onsets during a specific season. There is almost always a lack of want. Meaning, most who have SAD will not want to do a lot of what they usually do--be around people, hang out, be productive. The want & crave for sleep tends to surface.
I cannot stress this enough.
Check on your humans.
Especially the ones who you consider "strong" & the ones who you know struggle with depression. It's hard explaining depression to people who don't necessarily understand or relate. But, let me break it down just slightly so you can better understand your humans who struggle.
You'll have really great days when you feel yourself & want to conquer the world. Then, one morning, you wake up & you're just in a space that is not only uncomfortable, but also inexplainable. The best way I know how to describe it is feeling "bleh." No one upset you, no one made you feel any kind of way, no one did anything to you. You just don't want to. You don't want to anything. & sometimes, as much as you try & shake the feeling, it feels like a hug that squeezes your breath out your lungs. I've never drowned in water before, but the thought of what it feels like to suffocate that way also reminds me of what depression feels like.
It's nothing I'd ever wish on my worst enemy.
You're a completely different you than the you you know.
As we enter the fall season that will turn into winter & take our beloved sun away, continue to do things that you love & stay active! Being engaged in things will lessen your chances of sinking into a space. & for those who do not experience SAD, continue to be a light for your humans who seem to have misplaced theirs. It might seem like we don't want your positivity in the moment, but please know that it is appreciated & comforting to know that there are people in our corner when we aren't feeling A1.
Life is complicated sometimes. Feelings, well they seem to complicate things often, too. But, the beauty is that you when you wake up, you are given another chance to try & make the new day better than your last.
If no one else tells you, you are important, you are a light, & I love you just as much as I love fall.
May your day be ever filled with love, light, and of course, an abundance of chicken tenders💜🌻✨