Spring is a time of renewal and change, and for some, it can feel like a hopeful, positive time of year. However, a phenomenon that often gets overlooked is the peak of certain mental health issues during spring, including depression and suicidality.
There are many potential reasons for this, including pressure that people feel to engage in more social activities and be outside more frequently due to warmer weather. Many feel hopelessness about their own mental health, and even shame when they do not begin to come out of their seasonal depression during the spring season. People may also feel more isolated during this time because it can feel like everyone in the world around them is socializing and celebrating. Also, the spring season creates change in people’s daily routines and circadian rhythms because of increased sunlight. In fact, due to circadian rhythm shifts, spring is linked to an increase in manic episodes among those with bipolar disorder.
If we struggle during the spring season, how can we cope? This article provides great tips including tracking your mood changes, getting enough sleep, and gently pushing yourself to socialize in at least moderate amounts. I also encourage clients, when possible, to actively seek “fun” at this time of year; this can include big plans like vacations, or smaller activities like an unplanned dinner out with loved ones. When one is struggling, finding every bit of joy is crucial.
I wish you a peaceful and happy start to spring!
Written by: Taejah Vemuri, LCPC, MPH, Urban Balance