How to Beat the Spring Blues

Lifespan Blog Team

When we think of seasonal depression, we usually associate the lower emotional states with the cold, gray weather. However, studies show that anxiety and depression are at high points in April, according to Psychology Today. This is a surprising statistic, considering the winter is typically associated with depression.

Why good weather brings on depression

The primary reason people experience anxiety is simply because of the change in weather. Most people fear change to an extent, so any change brings on a certain level of anxiety. We have no control over the weather, so when the most obvious and inescapable change is occurring in the environment, we can feel lost and depressed. It is also theorized that allergens and toxins in the environment can aggravate anxiety through the inflammation.

Ways to combat the spring blues

  1. Exercise
    Research shows that people who work out are more cheerful than those who do not exercise at all. A research experiment showed that even exercising once a week or just 10 minutes a day have made a positive difference in moods. Physically active people have a lower chance of developing depression or anxiety.
     
  2. Spring cleaning
    Being organized relieves stress and saves time, and the act of cleaning is therapeutic. When you declutter the home, you declutter the mind. Messy spaces tend to make us tense, so removing that small stress from your day might help boost your mood.
     
  3. Spend time outdoors
    If you’re feeling anxiety or stress due to the changing weather, try going outside and soaking up some Vitamin D from the sunlight. Vitamin D boosts serotonin levels that have been depleted after the long winter months with weaker sunlight. Take a walk in the afternoon or find a spot outdoors to have lunch. Even just a change of scenery can uplift you.
     
  4. Make time to relax
    Read a book, write in your journal or create something. Mental and creative stimulation is important to keeping an active mind and being present. During the wintertime, remedies for anxiety and depression often include ways to keep your energy levels up, but the springtime blues call for a more relaxing cure.
     
  5. Check in with your diet
    Spring asthenia is when our bodies have difficulty adapting to the changing weather due to the low levels of fresh fruit and vitamins we take in during the winter. This temporary condition leads to deficiencies like slow or weakened movements, loss of muscle strength and a lack of energy. Give your body the boost it needs by replacing the sweet and fatty winter foods with healthier alternatives. A good balance of lean protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and proper vitamins and minerals can make a huge difference.

Spring blues are often described as reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). About 10% of the population (depending on the geographic region) experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, and a fraction of that population are cases of reverse SAD, according to Psychology Today. Whether you are part of this population or simply have a low mental-health day this season, these remedies can help boost your mood and help you more smoothly transition in to the warmer weather.

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