By GalTime Relationship Diva Jane Greer, Ph.D
Dear GalTime ... I feel more down in the fall and it seems to be affecting my relationship. Everyone's more moody, and we seem to fight a lot more. A: Is there really anything to seasonal affective symptoms for relationships and B: how do I enjoy autumn with my honey?
While some people love the fall and the changing of the season, there are in fact a lot of people who experience it as a loss—one that is heightened by the trees losing all their leaves.
For others, it also symbolizes a letting go of the freedom that summer brings—everything from jackets to lighter responsibliities. In fact, just the days being longer brings more light into one's life on a daily basis. Summer is also the time when folks plan their vacations.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real clinical condition that can generate depression as a result of the deprivation of sunlight. While fall is often viewed as the start-up time, it also brings with it more tasks to do and things to take care of. For some, it's like "back to school time" all over again, which can stir up a certain amount of anxiety.
So, having said all that, the change of season and all that it entails can definitely affect your mood and leave people feeling moody, irritable, and even more stressed out. If you are aware of fall having an impact on your feelings, you can navigate through it so as to avoid arguing and fighting with your honey.
Take the time to look at all the things that now need to get done (driving kids to school etc.) and work out a plan to share the load and work as a team to accomplish everything on your agenda.
Understand that you both may be feeling more pressure, and therefore are more short on patience. Instead of reacting to each other and the "tone" you may hear, use some empathy and understanding, whereby you say, "Did you have a hard day?" or, "You sound stressed, want to talk about it?"
In this way, you can acknowledge each other in a caring and thoughtful way and sidestep getting into fights. This will definitely go a long way to ensure you enjoy each other as well as autumn!
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