https://drsusanbartell.com/wp-content/uploads/Dr-Susan-Bartell-Logo-300-flow-1.png 0 0 Dr. Susan Bartell https://drsusanbartell.com/wp-content/uploads/Dr-Susan-Bartell-Logo-300-flow-1.png Dr. Susan Bartell2023-04-02 13:46:072023-08-02 13:46:33The Psychology EDIT April ’23
None of us enjoys losing an hour of sleep when the clock jumps forward to Daylight Savings Time, however, every year, when it is lighter for more hours, people share with me that they feel happier. Did this happen for you this year?
For some, the spring brings relief from Seasonal Affective Disorder–depression triggered by the change of seasons, and even for those who don’t have an ‘official’ diagnosis of depression, the warmer weather and longer days improve mood, sometimes dramatically.
That said, SAD can occur with any change of season—including from winter to spring. So, if it seems like everyone is feeling happy now, but you’re not, it could be SAD. In addition, those with year-round depression or anxiety may also feel a dip in emotional strength when there is any extra challenge or change which comes with seasonal change: like needing to overhaul closets from winter to spring clothes, preparing oneself or a child for finals/regents/graduation/camp, or the pressure of escalated socializing as the weather warms up. If your mood doesn’t match the beautiful weather, it’s okay, but don’t ignore it.
Get outside: Both exercise and sunlight are extremely beneficial for depression and anxiety.
Break it down: You will better handle big tasks when you break them down into smaller pieces. For e.g. instead of thinking that you have to change every closet in your home from winter to spring clothes in one day, pick one closet (or shelf) a day.
Accept yourself: Each person has strengths and also limitations. If spring makes you feel overwhelmed, carve out a little time to give yourself a break and rest. Self-nurturing will help you get through the challenging time.
Ask for help: It can be hard to admit we need it, but asking friends and family for support can make all the difference during a bumpy time.
In summary…enjoy the spring…but if you’re not feeling it, that’s okay too!