Causes and How to Treat Autumn Anxiety Right Way



Last updated on September 23, 2022: Published on September 25, 2022

Sweater season is almost here! It’s that time of year when the weather isn’t too chilly, the smell of pumpkin spice is everywhere and you just want to snuggle up in your favorite blanket. But does fall or the fall season make everyone feel soft? Or does it bring feelings of fear?

While many (like me) would cite fall as their favorite season, there’s no denying that the time of year can evoke mixed feelings. When summer loses its luster, it can also cause one to lose one’s cheerful mood. Autumn anxiety — as this condition is called — can cause you to experience anxiety symptoms and decreased mood during the fall months.

Fall fear is real and it can be overwhelming too

Get paired with the therapist

Restlessness in autumn is not uncommon. Fall Fear is not caused by external triggers (at least not any obvious ones) and occurs annually. You can be scared of autumn and you might not even know it!

For highly sensitive people who experience symptoms of anxiety almost daily—and for those with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), seasonal changes can bring a variety of symptoms that can make them even more anxious.

Let’s take a look at what autumn fear is, what are its symptoms, why it occurs, and how to deal with it.

What is Autumn Fear?

Fall Fear — the term was first used in 2005 — can be a part of seasonal affective disorder. Even if you don’t struggle with anxiety disorders, SAD, or other disorders that often accompany symptoms of anxiety, you may feel some jitters as the fall season approaches.

With fall comes new changes like new schedules, new jobs, cooler weather, shorter days and holiday stress. It’s no wonder people are afraid. While it occurs annually, once you start noticing a pattern, taking the right steps to manage fall anxiety can become easier.

Fall fear symptoms that may help you spot them include:

  • Bad mood
  • depressive symptoms
  • Excessive worries
  • irritability than usual
  • Feeling tired or tired
  • Sleep more than usual
  • Loss of interest in activities

Aside from these common fall anxiety symptoms, you’re more likely to notice a change in your eating habits, sleeping habits, and routine. In most cases, these symptoms can be due to natural changes, such as B. a reduction in sunlight, which can lead to an increase in melatonin and a decrease in serotonin.

Other factors such as behavioral changes may also occur as we tend to spend more time indoors and less time in physical activities outdoors.

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Why does autumn fear happen?

Psychologists agree that changing seasons can bring many mood swings, anxious behaviors, and other behavioral changes. Although autumn anxiety is not an official diagnosis, it can still cause significant distress in the lives of those who suffer from the condition.

When we talk about seasonal affective disorder, we’re talking about how much shorter the days are getting and how much the weather is cooling. We’re not talking about how anxiety often accompanies seasonal affective disorder. It can be fear of starting school, nervousness about meeting new people, and so on.

Experts tend to think that fall anxiety may be a pre-emptive fear of seasonal affective disorder onset.

Here are some other reasons why fall anxiety may occur:

1. Life Transitions:

If you are going through a major life change, e.g. B. Adjusting to a new school schedule, you may be afraid of waking up early, not getting enough sleep, or even meeting new people if you also struggle with social anxiety.

2. Negative reaction:

Not everyone reacts to colder months in the same way as others. As you enter fall, you may inadvertently recall a memory that makes you feel like the colder months are tough. This can be referred to as an “anniversary reaction” and usually occurs at times when a traumatic event is easier to remember. The memory of such an event can evoke feelings of depression and sadness.

3. End of Summer:

Some people feel anxious and depressed when they realize that summer is coming to an end and they haven’t achieved the goals they set for the summer months. If you’ve had a great summer, you may feel depressed when you feel like it’s coming to an end.

4. Holiday stress:

Not every holiday is pleasant for everyone. Holidays can also bring significant stress. If you’re feeling anxious as Thanksgiving or Christmas approaches, you might be experiencing fall anxiety. This can be a more common cause in people who have alienated families, toxic families, or struggle with social anxiety disorder.

How to deal with autumn anxiety?

If you’re prone to fall anxiety, then here are some simple steps you can take to tame your fall anxiety:

1. Spend time in the sunlight

You can start overcoming your fear of fall by spending more time in the sunlight. Get up early and spend some time enjoying the sunrise. When it’s dark in the morning, you can use light therapy boxes to replace sunlight with artificial light. The idea is to expose your body and mind to light – naturally or artificially.

2. Keep exercising

Another thing you need to do is keep engaging in physical activity. At least 30 minutes of exercise a day can help keep your fall blues at bay. Best of all, with the colder weather ahead, exercising can take a fun turn.

You wouldn’t have to sweat through your routine anymore! You can exercise or cycle to enjoy the warmer tones of the season.

3. Watch your diet

With seasonal changes, you also need to be mindful of what you eat. In the summer our diet consists of foods that can keep our body cool, but in the colder season our body needs a different diet.

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So take this time to get used to a new diet. Try that new soup recipe you’ve been checking out, or try making some meals that will keep you warm inside and out.

4. Start a new hobby or join a club

Think of it this way – fall is a time when new beginnings happen, so why not take up a new hobby? Just because you’re starting a new semester, job, or season doesn’t mean you can’t join a new club or try your hand at something new.

Take this time to organize your home, take care of your garden or start a new hobby. There is no time like the present!

5. Reframe your perspective

Instead of contemplating the negativity and boredom that fall brings, try to redefine your perspective. We naturally focus on loss and grief. In the case of autumn anxiety, we mourn the loss of extra sunlight.

Instead, focus on what you have! Think, “I’m staying indoors and it’s so warm and cozy.” You can also do this by making some changes to your home. Add some fall accents or throw blankets. The idea is to accept the loss by rephrasing the loss.

6. Seek professional help

It’s okay if the above methods don’t help you overcome your fall anxiety. You can always turn to professional support. One of the best ways to deal with fall anxiety can be through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

This therapy has been shown to help treat anxiety and even seasonal affective disorder. If the intensity of symptoms is high, your therapist may suggest antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications.

Feeling overwhelmed when the seasons change is common and okay.

If you start to feel nervous or anxious, you can adjust to a new routine, watch your eating habits, and even try to keep your spirits up by taking up a new hobby or passion. With the right actions at the right time, you can prevent fall anxiety from ruining your fall fantasies.

I hope this article has helped you understand what autumn fear is, why it occurs and what you can do to deal with it.

For more you can write to us at or DM us on social media. You can also share your favorite fall anxiety management tips in the comments below.

Take care and stay safe!

About the author

Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm Sage and believes in a healthier lifestyle for both mind and body. As a fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and spread awareness to end the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, he believes in destiny and the power of self. An avid reader and writer, she enjoys spending her free time baking and learning about world cultures.


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