Hello everyone! I hope everyone has enjoyed their April and has been taking the time needed to prioritize their well-being as much as possible. With May finally here along with warmer weather, my intention for this blog post is to raise awareness for the role warmer weather plays on our mental health, especially for those of us who may be in college, studying, and or just have obligations in their lives that require a lot of energy to the point that sometimes we begin to lose our balance.
I am writing from New York and here we are just finally moving into some consistent warm weather after a pretty brutal (and extended) winter season. With Winter can come seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D). Some people call this the “winter blues”, which is a milder form of SAD. For my readers who aren’t aware of what this is, according to MayoClinic, S.A.D. is a “ is a type of depression that is related to changes in seasons”. This primarily comes from the lack of sunlight that is received in a certain part of the globe because of the time of year that it is. Cleveland Clinic states that “5% of American adults experience serious seasonal depression, while 10%-20% experience a milder version called the “winter blues.””
I say all of this to say that I would consider myself someone who experiences the winter blues because throughout the winter I have noticed the ways in which I don’t want to go places because of how cold it is outside, feeling as though I have less time in the day because of how dark it gets so early, etc. But now that spring is here I naturally feel myself beginning to bloom with renewed energy to do the things I want to do again and be outside to enjoy the fresh air that is so good for all of us, just like the plants, trees, and flowers and I encourage all of my readers to take advantage of the beautiful weather we are receiving. Below I will share 3 ways that I like to enjoy the weather and hopefully, this will inspire you to get outside, wherever you are, and enjoy the fresh air!
- Doing yoga outside: Doing yoga outside is by far one of the things I am always most sad to have to stop doing in early fall and the thing I am most excited to start as soon as the weather hits 65+. The act of doing yoga and connecting back to my body and being able to do this outside with fresh air is the best way that I am able to combat any imbalances in my life due to work/stress. By doing this I am able to not only enjoy the weather but I am also giving myself a chance to get active. For any of my readers who are not necessarily the type to get outside and do yoga, let me let you know now that yoga is just the act of connecting your mind and body, so even just laying out on the grass or with a picnic blanket is an awesome way to enjoy the weather because by just exposing yourself to sunlight you can increase a hormone called serotonin which is associated with boosting mood and helping you feel calm and focused. Who doesn’t want that?
- Eating lunch outside: Eating lunch outside or taking a 5-10 minute walk when you’re on your break outside is another wonderful way that I like to incorporate enjoying the warmer weather during Spring. It’s important for our minds to shut off to disassociate our work from our personal time. I’m sure many of us have the habit of being on our break and using that time to scroll on our phones and/or catch up on work, but trust me, taking this time for you will only help your body function better.
- Opening the window and taking a deep breath: This one is for my people who may not be able to do either of the first two suggestions. This is something I like to do in the morning when I don’t have enough time in my day to eat lunch or do yoga outside. Simply, taking a deep breath outside your window or anytime you’re outside is a good way to not only give back to your body but also to take a moment to show gratitude for being able to do what you are doing, just breathing.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about ways that you enjoy the weather and/or what you look most forward to when the warmer weather rolls around. Tag me on IG: @mariposamentality to share what you do in the springtime!