Changing Seasons, Changing Moods

Do you find yourself struggling with mood changes depending upon the season? Some people have extreme mood shifts brought on by seasonal shifts. Even the day to day weather might affect you.

First, this is not to diagnose anything. Definitely talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about seasonal mood changes.

I know someone who becomes very depressed as the sun sets earlier and we have more hours of darkness. He talked to his doctor and now is helped using light therapy. Another friend gets depressed as winter is changing into spring. It is not debilitating, but definitely uncomfortable. She has learned to just ride the wave for the couple weeks it lasts. I have a friend in Juneau, Alaska and she becomes lethargic and depressed long-term. She went on medication and light therapy.

I also know people who experience short-term mood changes depending upon the weather. You probably know someone who just really dislikes cloudy, rainy days. They become tired, irritable, and sullen, but it lasts only as long as the weather lasts. They have learned to change their perspective. For example, instead of saying to themselves, “This weather is awful”, they reframe it and say, “I choose to experience this as a cozy day”. They also prepare themselves for the types of weather that affects them. One friend has a few jigsaw puzzles she puts out just for a rainy day.

I’m definitely not minimizing anyone’s experience of seasons and weather. In some cases, seeking professional/medical help is what’s needed. In some cases it can just be a change in perspective. Above all, since you know how you feel during certain seasons and weather, it’s best to be prepared. 

As daylight hours are getting shorter and winter is a couple months away, what are you doing to prepare yourself?

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