Seasonal mood changes: How to cope
It’s spring! Flowers blooming, birds tweeting, rain showers. You should be happy, right? Maybe you're surprised because everyone around you seems to be excited that we have shifted seasons, but for whatever reason you can’t seem to get out of your winter funk. We often hear in the media discussions about seasonal affective disorder, which tend to affect people during the fall and winter months, but believe it or not, seasonal changes and effects on your mood are actually quite normal year-round. Here are three things you can do to help cope with the seasonal change blues.
I have many clients who comment to me that when seasonal changes occur it forces them to take notice of what has happened over the last several months and deal with the outcomes of their behaviors. Sometimes seasonal changes bring up memories of our past, like a family member dying or discovering an illness. The school year changes with the seasons, so you may have memories of relationships and friends where things changed suddenly. Take time to reflect with the seasonal changes. Focus on what you want to let go of and what you want to cultivate more of.
The concept of "spring cleaning" can be introduced during any seasonal change. Think about behaviors or toxic friendships that you need to get rid of in your life. Take a look at your closet -- donate items, clothes and shoes. Make a goal to start fresh with each change of the season. It's amazing what stirring up a little energy can do to change your mood.
Create a theme
Stay focused on what you want to change. Create a theme for your life that you want to develop over the next several months. The theme of gratitude, respect, trust, or letting go are powerful themes for life changes. Find examples in your everyday life to help you focus on that theme. Write, journal or blog your experiences -- sometimes writing things down helps us realize how far we have come or how much further we have to go.
Coping with seasonal mood changes is easier when you focus on the bigger picture. Exercising and spending time with friends and loved ones are also great ways to help you get over those seasonal blues. Consulting with a physician or mental health therapist is also helpful in creating individually focused ways to help you make it through the seasons without getting stuck. Get motivated and ask for help if you need it! Happy spring!