Springing Into a Brighter Mood

I’m pretty sure I write this sort of post every year, and I love doing it. I write a lot of posts about the way weather impacts my mental health, and today’s post is a similar one. The days are starting to be a little longer, and the weather a little warmer. I feel like I’m shaking myself awake after a long hibernation, and I’m ready go out into the world again. That’s right everyone: winter is almost over and spring is coming fast!

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Why February Always Gets To Me

The winter season has always been challenging for me. Over the years I’ve started to learn more about myself and my mental health which has made things a little easier, but I still feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle. To me, the months between November and March present a challenge I’m not always prepared to fight.

I’ve managed to figure out November and December (loving Christmas certainly helps) and January is starting to figure itself out, but February…I don’t get February. Because no matter how, no matter when, at some point during this month, I break. My mental health feels like it’s at it’s lowest point, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Why does February always get to me?

Don’t get me wrong; my mental health is a challenge all months of the year. But the characteristics of each month (or season, when I think about it) are often helpful or hurtful for my mental health. I’ve learned that I’m someone impacted by the weather, someone who likes having a few things to do but doesn’t need a packed schedule. Knowing what’s going on around me is important and when that’s not happening, I can get anxious.

So when I think about it, February really is the perfect amalgamation of a lot of these things. Weather that fluctuates between winter and spring (some years bring a blizzard, while one day last week saw the temperature reach 80 degrees Fahrenheit). There aren’t many holidays (depends on if you celebrate Valentine’s Day), and there’s a President’s Day holiday tossed in that gives most people a random Monday off – but not so many people you’re certain what’s going on. Couple these things with it being the shortest month of the year (and the Leap Year situation) and there’s just a lot I don’t understand.

It feels like things in February are just done arbitrarily, as though anything that happens this month could happen any other month of the year; we’ve just chosen this one. I know I’m being a little hyperbolic but also, this is a conclusion I’ve come to after multiple years of facing the same struggle. I hope one year I figure things out but for now, it’s just good to get my feelings out on what seems to be a challenging time of the year. Onward to March!

This entire post could just be a venting session about how much I struggle during this month, but I wonder if people feel the same way about a certain time of the year. Is there a week/month/season during the year that you feel like has your number? A time that you know is going to be super challenging simply due to the fact that it exists? I don’t know if I’ll always feel this way, but it’s how I’m starting to feel about February. Let me know in the comments what you think, I’d love to know that I’m not alone here!

Not Seasonal, Just Depression

The more experience I’ve gained on my mental health journey, the better I’ve gotten at recognizing my depression and the reasons behind it. That being said, depression can still be tricky. There are times where I feel like I know exactly why I feel depressed; other times, it’s like a feeling or emotion comes out of nowhere. The wintertime is actually one of the trickiest times to recognize my feelings. Is it just a time of seasonal sadness, or is it something I need to look into further?

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Winter is Here

Every single year, it’s the same old story: winter is coming, coming, coming…then it gets here. And we get sad. Growing up on the East Coast (and still living there today), I’m used to the familiar patterns of the seasons. I enjoy being able to experience all four seasons every single year (though autumn is often too short). But for some reason, every year I am shocked at how hard it is to adjust when winter hits. I get sad, angry, annoyed and frustrated at the challenges winter brings. So, what can we do about it?

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Spring Is Here! Kind Of. Maybe?

As I write this, I am looking out the window to another 50-degree, so-so winter day. But I don’t care because to me, March means one big positive for my mental health – the no-good, rotten, very bad days of winter are almost at an end. And even though spring isn’t “officially” here yet (at least not according to the calendars I looked up), I’m an early adopter of spring because of what it represents and what it can mean for our mental health.

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Digging Into the Mental Health Toolkit

I’ve written about my dislike for wintertime before, but a new thought popped into my head as to why this time of year isn’t great for me. We know about seasonal affective disorder, shorter days and colder nights and all that, but there’s another big reason that I don’t love this time of year. I have several activities and hobbies that I do that relieve/help me manage my mental health challenges, and the winter is one of the most challenging times because it limits what I can do.

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It’s Okay If the Weather Impacts Your Mental Health

One thing that I’ve always known is that my writing can be…lengthy. That’s the case everywhere for me when it comes to my work, but it’s especially true for this blog. Oftentimes, I’ve written entire posts where I’ve realized that it took me 500 words to get to the point, or worse – that I never actually made the point I was trying to make! Well, not today. I want to be as clear and as blunt as I can be when I say that the weather is straight-up rude to our mental health. Sometimes it impacts it in a negative way, and it’s alright to admit that. Here’s how I know.

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Making the Mental Shift Into Fall

Every year around Labor Day, I start to make the mental shift into the fall season. I know I’m not alone in this (and I’m not here to talk about how amazing fall is, I promise), but I think there are important adjustments we make heading into this part of the year that aren’t always talked about. Seasons don’t only mean a change in weather; they also mean a change in lifestyle and a shift in our schedules. Fall is much more than back to school and changing leaves – it’s another opportunity to work on our mental health in a changing space.

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What The Weather Does for My Mental Health

Out of the four seasons I experience where I live, it’s safe to say that winter is my least favorite of all. That’s not to say I dislike it – on the contrary, I enjoy most aspects of what winter brings. I have fond memories of holiday seasons, being a homebody during the cold nights and enjoying a little snow every now and then. But some of the things that make winter an enjoyable time are the same things that make it extremely difficult to manage my anxiety and depression. And while the other three seasons offer brief respites at the very least, winter often feels like a never-ending set of blistery days and frigid nights. It’s a challenge, but every winter I learn something new about how my mental illness functions – and today I’d like to share what I’ve learned this winter.

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We’re Heading Into Winter

So it’s October! While September is a little less in your face about it being fall, by the time we reach October people are pretty much in full-on Jack Skellington mode or sending Dwight Schrute’s pumpkin head to their friends. But for me, October can signal a lot of changes – the most important one being that summer is over, and this year it’s especially important to me.

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