Springtime Blues & Anxiety - Natural Ways of Managing
The days are getting longer, brighter, and warmer, so why do I feel so blue? Many people find themselves asking this question this time of year. Coming out of a long, hard Winter, it seems counter-intuitive to be feeling nervous, depressed, agitated or anxious, and yet year after year, the coming of Spring sparks an increase in people experiencing these symptoms.
Note I said 'symptoms', as more often than not these feelings or states of mind are usually indicators of something deeper going on: It could be a dissatisfaction with one's life or station, an increasing disquiet over something that is not being addressed, a feeling of being stuck or stymied, an unhealthy lifestyle or relationship, and so on.
Rather than simply addressing the symptoms (which unfortunately most people do, which is why there's also an increase in prescriptions this time of year), seek to address the underlying cause, and then take action. Here are some tips:
- Get Quiet: It is so, so easy for us to distract ourselves in this day and age. Phones, computers, apps, social media, television, books, newspapers, gossip, magazines, chores, even, are all distractions. Devote an hour a week to put all of that aside, shut it all off, and be alone with yourself. This can be difficult for some people, if so, be gentle with yourself and build up slowly, maybe 15 minutes is all you can do but it's a start!
- Ask Yourself Questions: First, acknowledge whatever it is that you are feeling, out loud if necessary "Ok, I'm feeling anxious right now". Breathe deeply at least 2 or 3 times, and then ask yourself "Why?". Don't try and force the answers, just ask and see what floats up to you in reply.
- Take Action: Once you're aware of your underlying cause, determine what you can do about it, and then make a plan that is specific. It could be something minor like 'I need to clean out my closet because it keeps weighing on my mind & stressing me out. I just need to do it! I will do it this Saturday at 3pm.' Or it could be something major like 'I've been unhappy in this marriage for a long time, and it's time that I start dealing with it. I'm going to make an appointment to meet with a therapist starting next week, and I'm going to start addressing this'. Acknowledgment brings peace, Action is empowering, and a Specific Plan creates a sense of security and potential success.
- Get Help & Support: Too often we view ourselves as our sole source of support. This limits our options, depletes our energy, and cuts us off from help. Once you've looked within, don't forget to look without and draw on the trusted, loving resources that are or could be around you.
- Exercise & Meditate: While these two activities will definitely help to address symptoms, they will also help us to clear out blocked energy, create quiet, and the feelings of faith, centeredness & stability we need to support us in our process.
As a Springtime Blues & Anxiety sufferer myself, I came to the realization a while back that actually feeling this way at this time of year makes perfect sense: It's the Soul's yearning for growth, for change, for new beginnings, for emerging more into the light, that often triggers these feelings. When we look to feelings as educators, and take their messages, we're more likely to flourish and move in the direction we desire. Think of this as clearing out what no longer serves, bringing to light what needs change, and shaking off the remnants of a long, deep Winter.
My blessings to you all,