I don’t know about you, but when the seasons change, my anxiety always goes into overdrive. I live in Michigan, where the weather fluctuates like crazy on a good day, so the season changes can be a real (not fun) roller coaster.
I really started getting in tune with how much the weather affects my mental health when I started using a mood tracking app called Daylio. Every day I track how my mood was on a scale from awful to rad, along with activities I did that day and other emotions I felt: relaxed, motivated, weird, etc.
It’s been really informative to see the patterns that show up in my weekly / monthly / yearly mood cycles. I’ve been using it since early 2017, so I have some pretty solid data to work with now, and the app organizes my stats into handy little charts, making it easy to see that my mood takes a clear dip around April and then again in September/October.
This year, my mood has been a little more even each month, without really severe highs and lows, which is great progress! I still feel that extra prickle anxiety this time of year, but I’ve been able to bounce back a little quicker since I’ve learned to prepare for it.
Here’s what I’m doing to keep from getting knocked down by my mood during this season change:
- Keep spending time outside and soaking up all the sun I can, even though the weather is getting colder
- Make plans with friends to do fun things and get out of the house so I don’t get stuck in a couch vortex of sadness
- Maintain my exercise and healthy eating routine because endorphins are magic!
- Lean into the season change and stop expecting the weather to behave. Surprise 90 degree day in the middle of a chilly week? Put those shorts back on and lay out in the sun while you still can! A sudden cold and rainy day after a week of sunshine? Light those pumpkin spice candles and get cozy with a book inside!
Any one else struggle with season changes? I’d love to hear what you’re doing to cope/thrive in these challenging times.