Ah yes, it's spring time...well, almost - for those of us in Minnesota, we're stuck waiting a little bit longer. Normally though, this is the time of year where many folks begin to have have mixed feelings. Normally, spring is the time of year with new growth, sunlight, and happiness, and rebirth. Unfortunately, this feeling is not universally felt. The spring time months can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and even mood swings. Double it with a winter that just doesn't seem to end, and those feelings start to become apparent even with the most joyful souls.
More and more people are experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety in March and April compared to the winter months, even though the days are longer, there's more sunlight, etc... This may seem like a strange phenomenon, but psychologists are now seeing a reverse form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and it's beginning to become a pattern with every coming spring.
So what can we do? Here's a great list of self care ideas to help beat the spring time blues:
Book a massage! Have you ever gotten a massage and felt an instant mood lift? Massage has been linked to fighting depression. When the muscles and soft tissue of the body are manipulated by a massage therapist, it can improve their function while promoting relaxation. Plus, it's been a tough couple years, we've been locked away from each other, so human touch and interaction can be monumental for that reason alone!
Stay active - In northern Minnesota, we know it's wet, cold, and sloppy outside. BUT - keeping active (even if its indoors) can help! Keep that body moving!
Eat healthy and take vitamins - Comfort food does exactly what we want it to, but it isn't always the most healthy for us. Find some new healthy recipes in lieu of heavy, stick-to-your-ribs comfort meals. Take baby steps if you must; once or twice a week make a lighter, healthier meal. Eating food that is nutritionally better for us helps to boost feelings of well-being.
Meditate - When you find your mind is "busy", take time for yourself to slow down, take a few breaths, and meditate. Sometimes it's as simple as listening to relaxing music, or spending time in nature. Meditation will help you find your inner flow, even in the most trying of times.
Make plans - It can be easy to make fewer plans because it’s yucky outside. Fight the urge to lay in bed or burrow into your couch. Make it a priority to see those people you care about, and they'll be happy to see you too!
De-Clutter - This might be low on most people's list, but having a clean and de-cluttered space is monumental when it comes to good mental health. If you've been putting off a good spring clean, now is the time. You won't believe how much better you will feel in a clean space!
Sleep well - Staying well rested is critical to mental health - regardless of time of year.
Spring time comes around once a year. As we find ourselves grappling with another change in seasons it's easy to find ourselves a bit down in the mouth. Remember though, you are not alone! Many people around the globe may be feeling the same as you. Try some of our self care tips above to keep yourself motivated! However, if nothing you try seems to help, it's maybe time to see your doctor. Take care and keep smiling, friends! Summer is just around the corner!