Changing season. Changing mood?
Well here we are again. The changing of the season - spring to summer. Schools letting out, graduations, maybe time for vacations, more daylight in the evening, and time to reflect. I wanted to just share a few thoughts today about what can sometimes happen with the changing of the season.
So much good can come with the season change. It can feel like a fresh start and a time to set some new habits. On the other hand it can be frustrating when we take time to reflect and maybe we see we are "back at square one" feeling burnt out by August.
Let's unpack that a bit. Shall we?
While I work with many people who report feeling a dip in their emotions and mood in the winter months I also speak with many people who feel more spontaneous and elevated in the summer. Following the dark of winter this boost can be a welcome change.
There are three things I would like you to consider when you may feel the boost of summer and the "extra" daylight hours.
1) Maintain a regular sleep schedule: As the daylight hours extend and we may have more light following work it can be easy to feel like we can go without sleep and over extend ourselves. Over the coming weeks take some time to notice your sleeping patterns, the nights you stay up later, and if you are getting less sleep over time. It can be important to remember that wearing ourselves out in June will have a cost when we get later into the summer and feel drained. Think now about balancing the changing social events and remember yourself care now can pay dividends later on.
2) Think about the drink Summer nights out with friends can be a lot of fun. The longer time out can also give us time to spend more time running up a bar tab. Take some time this summer to think about how your drinking habits change during the warmer months. Increases in the drinking can also change the sleeping patterns. Also depending on any medications you take be sure to discuss any concerns with interactions with your prescriber. Drinks with friends are a fun way to relax and take time to connect with others. The risky business starts when Tue summer months, warmer weather and drinks all mix to make us feel like we are running a risk of over indulgence.
3) Find creative ways to manage some exercise
Summer can be a great time to plan some active stress relief. Getting out of town for a hike, volleyball, or kayaking can be some wonderful diversions you can't take in when it's frigid and bleed outside. Also simply being in nature and out of doors can be a calming time and a lovely form of self-care.
This summer let's focus on maintaining balance, nurturing ourselves, and building supportive community. Also let's think about the positives that can come out of this time of year and monitor the vices.