By: Guest Author
Published: May 9, 2023
Written by Ainsley Lawrence- Guest Contributor
Seasonal changes can have a huge impact on your mental health and overall well-being. Fluctuations in climate, daylight hours, and rainfall can throw you off-kilter and leave you longing for long summer days or cozy winter nights.
However, each season has its own unique appeal. Warm summer afternoons may be all but unbearable, but late-evening thunderstorms may make it all worth it. Likewise, short, cold winter days may make you shiver, but they also bring your family together as you wrap up and enjoy a classic movie together in your PJs.
The key is to adapt to each season and accept the fact that nature is in constant flux. This will help you thrive year-round.
Spring is the season of renewal and growth. Baby lambs frolic in the fields, daffodils peak through the cold ground, and songbirds return to wake us with their dawn chorus. However, spring is an unpredictable season as March, April, and May are also a time for heavy rainfall, unpredictable weather, and strong winds.
Make the most of springtime by planning a seasonal renovation that takes advantage of the longer days and soft ground. You’ll find garnering and landscaping that much easier in the spring months, as contractors can work all day without worrying about frozen earth or dangerous summer temperatures.
Pick up an outdoor hobby at the beginning of spring to reap the rewards of mild weather. Outdoor hobbies like gardening help you to soak in the sunshine during the warmer days and allow you to retreat to the garden shed while a shower passes over. They’ll serve you well in the future, too, as you’ll be able to enjoy your garden throughout the summer and fall.
Summer is many people’s favorite season. The long days and warm summer sun give you the freedom to pursue your hobbies and plan your days without having to worry about bringing coats or rain boots.
Summer is the perfect time to learn a new hobby. Learning a new skill can boost your confidence, improve your memory, and help you connect with other people. If you want to stay out of the summer sun, you can still learn new skills like:
● Mastering a foreign language;
● Practicing yoga indoors;
● Try woodworking;
● Start a new low-stakes art practice.
These hobbies will keep you cool during the hot afternoons and help you discover a community of passionate people. Indoor activities like yoga can help improve your fitness and coordination, too, and can keep you active when the days start to shorten again.
Everyone gets a little giddy when pumpkin spice lattes and huckleberry pies appear at coffee shops and grocery stores. Fall is when we reap the rewards of well-kept vegetable patches and show thanks for the season’s harvest.
However, you may find that fall makes you feel a little nervous, as the days are getting darker and back-to-school time can be stressful. Build your resilience in the autumnal months by practicing wellness activities that help you cope with mental health struggles.
Learn to accept and acknowledge seasonal changes and try to appreciate the present moment. Consider picking up a few hobbies that help you appreciate the season, like:
● Journal and reflect on the beauty of fall;
● Start watercolor painting and choose a pallet of fall tones;
● Make time to connect with friends and family outside of Thanksgiving week;
● Plan special fall-inspired lunchtime meals for your kids.
Embracing fall activities can help you flow with the seasons and feel more connected with nature. This is particularly important if you’re nervous about kids going back to school or are apprehensive about the onset of winter. Building a resilient, accepting mindset will serve you well during the colder winter months when you’ll need a well-equipped mental health toolkit to preserve your well-being.
Winter is commonly associated with the end of things. The year is coming to a close, the once-ripe fields are empty, and the trees are leafless.
However, winter is a necessary pause in the middle of a busy cycle between growth and activity. It can also be a great time to spend with loved ones, especially during holidays. Nature takes a breath during the cool winter seasons and there’s a certain beauty in the morning frost and the first snowfall of the season. However, this season can be challenging because of the darkness, which can trigger SAD in some individuals.
If you do suffer from SAD, take solace in the fact that help is at hand. You can combat seasonal depression by:
● Speaking to a therapist who specializes in SAD;
● Exercise more often to increase the release of the mood-boosting hormone serotonin;
● Consider medication to treat the effects of SAD.
These steps can help you find joy in the winter months and move to thrive during the shorter days. Therapy and medication may even help you take up a winter-time hobby like skiing or snowboarding. This will help you look forward to the winter and abate the worst that SAD has to offer.
Learning to flow with the seasons can definitely be a challenge. However, there is joy to be found all year round.
Author: Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer that lives in the Northwest region of the United States. She has a particular interest in covering topics related to good health, balanced life, and better living through technology. When not writing, her free time is spent reading and researching to learn more about her cultural and environmental surroundings. You can follow her on Twitter @AinsleyLawrenc3
The views expressed herein this article, written by a guest contributor, do not necessarily represent those of the Red Hot Mamas organization. The content is for informational purposes and should not substitute the advice of your doctor.