Now that summer’s over, do you feel blue? You’ve got a lot of company. In fact, therapists, career coaches, and marriage counselors get such a big increase in business in the Fall, that they’ve coined the term “Post-Vacation Syndrome” – or PVS.
So, why are there more blue moods in Fall?
Experts point out that change is hard, even seasonal change, and especially after summer, when most people get a taste of life outside the hamster wheel. Because even a job you love can’t compete with relaxing days at the beach. Symptoms of Post-Vacation Syndrome include anxiety, irritability, lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, and a feeling of emptiness, and can last for several weeks. For example, in Spain, where most business close for the entire month of August, half of all workers say they suffer from PVS.
And some people even get a mild version every Sunday night after getting the weekend off.
PVS can also be affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is caused by a lack of sunshine.
And with the days already getting shorter, your body has less chance to make vitamin D, the building-block of the brain chemical serotonin, which lifts your mood.
So try using a light box in the morning, because too much light later on can cause insomnia.
Another mood-booster: Get fit. A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that depressed patients who started exercising were more likely to see their symptoms improve.
And start planning your next vacation. Because anticipating a trip actually lifts your mood as much as going on a trip.