Summer turned on over the weekend. It miraculously happens every year during Memorial Day weekend. Our chilly and overcast days became hot and sunny overnight.
Incidentally, my mood also made a major switch. I felt GOOD this weekend. Like, the best I have in months. I felt happy and had plenty of energy to do a bunch of stuff on what would normally be a lazy weekend day. It’s all tied to the sun, I’m sure. I feel like an extra fussy houseplant. I need plenty of direct sunlight or I wilt.
It really makes no sense that I live in one of the top 10 cloudiest states in the US.
The nice weather has meant I’m spending a lot more time outside, which is a mood booster for me even in less sunny weather. I’ve been either going for a run or a walk every day this month, and spending tons of time out on the front porch reading, scrolling on my phone, or just hanging out with a cup of coffee.
This is good for me. I need to keep it up so I can get the most out of these short summer months.
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.