Fall Mental Health

Starting a new school year is fun but stressful. I see the mood changes in kids. After enjoying the summer without pressure, they have to return to schools and studies. If your kids are moody, please tell them that we all know this is a tough time of the year.

I am sorry that we did not have a long summer this year. My vegetables did not do well. Many of them did not mature. The vegetables respond to the length of day light, so the fruits and vegetables ripen when they know that fall is coming. My pumpkins are bright orange by now and I am not sure if they will last till Halloween.

As the temperature drops and it begins raining in the greater Seattle area, it is time to think about how sunlight affects us all. It is well known that some people are influenced by shortening day light. Many people feel depressed, restless and irritable during the gloomy fall and winter in Pacific Northwest. If those symptoms are severe, you may suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Some research shows that getting intense light from a Light Therapy Box helps. It is as bright as if you were on a tropical beach. Some people think eating fish helps. I think it is best to spend time outside when it is sunny (or at least not raining) as much as possible and to exercise while recognizing your moods. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms are severe.

In addition be aware of stress can be caused by upcoming holidays. Remember that even fun holidays can be very stressful.