I recently read an article that explained that some people suffer from something known as ‘September Anxiety’. As the summer draws to a close and we all begin returning to school or university, the nights get shorter and the weather turns colder. Experts say that Autumn can heighten depression and anxiety, but why is this?
There are a number of reasons why people may feel anxious as the leaves begin to fall. For one, Summer is over which means that holidays are over and its time for life to get a bit more serious, for some September is a big reality check that you don’t feel ready for.
For young people, September indicates the start of school, college and university which can bring a fear of exams, studying and just the general thought of having to get your life together again. The end of Summer means the end of fun, festival season, holidays and all the things that young people spend all year looking forward to.
For others, a change in the weather can dampen your mood. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that comes and goes like the seasons. Experts believe that the lack of sunlight prevents a part of the brain from working properly, meaning that it doesn’t produce the hormone that affects our sleeping pattern, appetite and mood.
The start of September can also bring financial stress, people begin panicking about money as Christmas seems only round the corner. People can struggle to save their money whilst still affording to live, students can also panic about money as they balance the cost of living away from home along with Christmas. And then there is the potential of people having any birthdays between September and Christmas which is just extra stress.
For me, September anxiety is definitely a thing. I sometimes feel a sense of dread going into September especially when I was younger. As a uni student, I’m excited to see all my friends again and gain back the independence that comes from going to uni and living away from home. However, I have a fear of the unknown, I have no idea what this next year will bring, I don’t know what my modules will be like or how my grades will look. I’m also not a big fan of change which definitely does not help.
So how can help ourselves?
Accepting that September anxiety exists and you’re not just being paranoid is a great way to start. It’s completely normal to feel anxious in September and you’re probably not the only one feeling like this.
Sometimes making a to-do-list to help prepare yourself for September can make people feel at ease. This way they know exactly what they need to do and when to do it, it may help them process it more so that they won’t feel so overwhelmed when September hits.
Try and occupy yourself as much as you can. Keep yourself busy and occupy your mind so that you won’t even get the chance to think about all your feelings of anxiety and fear. Being social around friends or family, reading a book or watching a movie are all great ways of distracting your body and mind from any September anxiety related emotions.
All these suggestions are great but in my opinion, the best way to overcome your September anxiety is to just find out what works for you. Everyone is different and so everyone responds to things differently and processes it in their own way. It’s much better to distract yourself and concentrate on the now rather than stress yourself out over what is to come.