Reply To: Autumn Anxiety / Depression

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Fall is tough for me too, and I totally get the school connection. All summer I wake early, and get up by 7, even though I’m always out until anywhere between midnight and 2 AM for my snake rescue work. Once Autumn hits, I can’t ever seem to get enough sleep. Also, I live for summer, and being outdoors and my snake work. As the snakes disappear into dens, and the crows leave for the winter, it’s like someone’s taking the world away from me.

I don’t really have the answer. I dread it every year. But I can say that what helps me is to get outside, no matter what the weather. I get so unhappy when the snakes disappear, but the same weather brings bighorn sheep, elk, and wild turkeys down from the hills, and before too long, the eagles show up. If I stay inside all the time, I just notice what I’m missing. But if I dress for the weather and go out, I’m reminded that the world hasn’t gone away — it’s just different. If you have trouble making yourself go out, try getting in the habit of carrying a camera. Even when I’m reluctant to go out in the cold, I can lure myself out with thoughts of the cool photos I can take of wildlife in the snow, or ice on the river, or hoarfrost on trees. It makes a HUGE difference to my mood and outlook.