As summer ends, we see the light changing and the days becoming shorter and shorter. That fall chill in the air seems to come out of nowhere, and we often begin to sense sadness and maybe even depression, prompting us to think, what’s that all about? Though fall is beautiful with the leaves changing color and the grapes being harvested, it is FALL, the ebbing part of the year. For me, fall made me sad and depressed because it represented the end of summer fun and a new year of school to tackle. And if that wasn’t enough, around the corner haunts Halloween, and around the next bend comes the holidays. All in all, fall can simply catch us off-guard with overwhelm and stress. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

So, how do we not fall in Fall? How do we not fall into the frenzy, frenetic, and fruitless worry in this downward part of the year where we seem to have more to do and less sunlight and daylight in which to do it all? How do we deal with SAD (seasonal affective disorder), a seasonal condition that many experience as a serious reaction when summer shifts to fall or winter, with symptoms of depression, low energy, social withdrawal, oversleeping, and appetite changes? We do all of this by being prepared and taking care of ourselves even more during this transitional season.

To avoid the fall, below are some useful tips to help you flow through the season and transform this autumn into a period of self-awareness, self-discovery, and self-love:

1. Think about what makes you feel good and what lifts your spirits, and then DO IT! It could be as simple as having coffee with a friend, taking a walk in the woods, or going to the ocean.

2. Visualize a time when you were very happy and energized. Visualization is a powerful technique that can actually change your feelings just by thinking about a good time, even if you’re just sitting still.

3. Get a massage or some other kind of body work or healing touch therapy. Massage has been proven to be good medicine for treating chronic conditions (including depression), oxygenating organs and tissues, releasing stress and toxins, and promoting relaxation. Just by experiencing the human touch, your spirits can be lifted.

4. To help relieve the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, light box therapy may help successfully manage this condition. In light therapy, a light box is used that mimics outdoor light, causing a biochemical change in your brain that lifts your mood. (Consult your doctor before starting light box therapy.)

5. Create a time line to do the things that will help you enjoy fall. Think about things you’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t. Plan some of these outings or exercises so that the time won’t just slip by.

You don’t have to miss out on this beautiful time of the year. By using the above tools, you can make this fall a new beginning by DOING something different with preparedness, persistence, and pampering. You deserve to enjoy and experience the wonder of this truly magical season.

Author's Bio: 

Also known as the "last ditch effort therapist," Sharon M. Rivkin, therapist and conflict resolution/affairs expert, is the author of Breaking the Argument Cycle: How to Stop Fighting Without Therapy and developer of the First Argument Technique, a 3-step system that helps couples fix their relationships and understand why they fight. Her work has been featured in O Magazine, O Newsletter, Reader's Digest,,, and She's an expert at, where she contributes monthly articles on hot relationship topics. She's appeared on TV, Martha Stewart Whole Living Radio, and makes regular radio appearances nationwide. For more information, please visit