The Autumn Blues: Exploring Why We Feel Sad as the Temperature Drops

Nick Bowditch - Therapy - The Autumn Blues: Exploring Why We Feel Sad as the Temperature Drops


As the days grow shorter and the air turns cooler, many of us experience a sense of melancholy known as the autumn blues. In this article, we delve into the reasons why we may feel sad when the temperature drops during autumn. From the impact of daylight changes to the influence of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), we’ll explore the emotions that accompany this transitional period and offer insights into coping strategies and embracing the beauty of autumn.


Ah, autumn—the season of digging out electric blankets, cozy hoodies, and comfort food. It’s a time when nature undergoes a breathtaking transformation, painting the world in hues of red, orange, and gold. But for some, the arrival of autumn brings an inexplicable sadness—a feeling of melancholy that sets in as the temperature drops and darkness encroaches. 

Have you ever wondered why you feel a tinge of sadness as summer bids farewell? 

Let’s unravel the mystery of the autumn blues and delve into the emotional impact of this seasonal shift.

Why Do We Feel Sad as the Temperature Drops?

The Role of Daylight Changes

As autumn approaches, the amount of daylight gradually diminishes. The shorter days and longer nights disrupt our internal body clock, also known as the circadian rhythm. This disruption can affect our mood and energy levels, leading to feelings of sadness or fatigue. The reduced exposure to natural light may also impact the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation, further contributing to the autumn blues.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder, (or SAD), is a type of depression that follows a seasonal pattern. It typically occurs during the fall and winter months when daylight is limited. SAD can intensify the feelings of sadness, lethargy, and low motivation experienced during the autumn blues. If you find that your mood significantly worsens during this time and affects your daily life, it’s essential to seek professional help and explore treatment options.

Nostalgia for the Past

Autumn often evokes nostalgic feelings, reminding us of childhood memories, cozy family gatherings, or moments spent with loved ones. As the season rolls around, we may find ourselves yearning for those cherished moments, which can evoke a sense of sadness or longing. The changing landscape and familiar scents of autumn act as triggers, pulling at our heartstrings and awakening bittersweet emotions.

Coping Strategies for the Autumn Blues

Embrace the Beauty of Autumn

Instead of dwelling on the sadness that autumn can bring, focus on embracing its beauty. Take leisurely walks through colourful parks, indulge in seasonal treats, and savour the crispness in the air. Engaging in activities that celebrate the season can help shift your perspective and foster a sense of appreciation for the unique qualities of autumn.

Prioritise Self-Care

Self-care becomes even more crucial during periods of emotional vulnerability. Make sure to prioritise activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. Engage in relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga, establish a regular sleep routine, and maintain a balanced diet. Taking care of yourself holistically can alleviate the symptoms of the autumn blues and promote emotional well-being.

Seek Social Support

Connect with others who may be experiencing similar feelings during this time. Reach out to friends, join community events, or consider attending support groups. Sharing your emotions with others and engaging in meaningful connections can provide comfort, validation, and a sense of belonging.

FAQs about the Autumn Blues

Can the autumn blues be a sign of clinical depression?

It’s essential to distinguish between normal autumn blues and clinical depression. If your symptoms persist for an extended period, significantly interfere with your daily functioning, or worsen over time, it’s crucial to consult a mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. If you think you might be depressed, take my 2 minute quiz.

Are there any natural remedies for the autumn blues?

While there are no specific remedies for the autumn blues, engaging in activities that promote overall well-being, such as regular exercise, spending time in nature, and practicing mindfulness, can be beneficial in managing your mood during this transitional season.

Embrace Autumn’s Unique Charms

As we bid farewell to the warmth of summer, it’s natural to experience a touch of sadness as the temperature drops. 

Remember, the autumn blues are temporary, and they often dissipate as we adjust to the rhythm of the season. 

By understanding the factors contributing to these emotions and employing healthy coping strategies, we can navigate this transitional period with grace and embrace the unique charms that autumn has to offer. 

So, as the leaves fall and the air turns crisp, try to find some solace in the beauty of this season and the opportunity for personal growth it presents.

Nick Bowditch - The best motivational speaker in Australia

Nick Bowditch

Nick Bowditch is a motivational speaker, the best-selling author of Reboot Your Thinking and Actually, it IS all about me, and a therapist and coach. He is also a successful (and unsuccessful) entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, inspirational storytelling expert, blogger, podcaster, and a passionate mental health advocate. 

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