Seasonal Mood Changes

I am personally very affected by the changing seasons. Anyone who has ever lived in Minnesota definitely understands what changing seasons are (although the warm ones seem kind of short), and I find that shorter days and gloomy skies don't work well for me. Because our daughter's stillbirth occurred in September, it seems that Fall can be a particularly difficult time for both my wife and I. We chalk it up to Kathleen's death, but I sometimes wonder if that's really it. Especially since we have two living children who have birthdays two days either side of Kathleen's.

How about you? Any thoughts? Have you come up with any ideas that help to deal with it (besides suggesting I move to Arizona)?


  1. This is known as Seasonal Adjustment Disorder or SAD for short. Alot of people suffer depression in the winter, some need meds to get over the hump to Spring, others find a vacation to a hotter, sunnier climate often does the trick. I'm originally from Scotland, where winter nights start at 4pm and end at 7am, I take my Mother to Florida every November for a week to help her cope. Hope this helps.

  2. One of the things our family does is to take a day to "re-decorate" at the changing of each season. Simple things like changing out some of the things on the wall, getting out seasonal linens, changing all the pictures in our photo frames, etc. And we talk about the things we're excited about that are coming up and what our favorite things about the season are. This looks a little cheesy as I write it, but there's something about having those positive rituals that really help me stay on an even keel through seasonal changes. And I'm not saying this is THE answer to all SAD by any means, but somehow surrounding myself with photos of good memories that took place in the upcoming/current season gives me associations of fondness and positive-ness (?) with the shorter days and gloomier skies, so I can look forward to the season and be positive about it rather than be maudlin and negative about it (which is my natural bent).

  3. Thank you both for your comments. I think your perspective and suggestions are right on. Taking the time to "celebrate the season" rather than focusing on the downer part is a fantastic way of looking at it. It's so simple, but not something most of us do to help combat the problem. Going to Florida for a vacation would REALLY be nice -- I'll have to work on that!