- Share information – The trusted supports in your life will be happy to know that you are working to limit your unwanted manic symptoms. Likely, they have been hurt by your poor choices in the past and by seeing your struggles. Happily, they will lend their services to assist you in achieving your goals. Let them know how they can be a part of your treatment team. Be sure to listen to their feedback to keep them engaged in the plan. If last spring brought manic symptoms, get back into treatment before the thaw.
And Have Fun
When the weather breaks, it is time to take steps towards self-improvement. Now is your opportunity to do all the things that you have been dreaming about since the leaves fell. It’s time to take advantage. Here’s how:
- Be active. Resist the urge to “rest” at home now that depression is lifting. Too much sitting will leave you feeling drained and sluggish. Being active actually boosts energy and stamina. Restart your exercise routines that you left in the fall. If you are approach exercise for the first time, consider the benefits of a simple walking program. By completing a 20 – 30 minute walk three times per week, you will greatly improve your mental health and physical health. Walking can help you avoid future depressive episodes by building your resources.
- Try new things. Having a depression throughout the winter means that you are stuck staring at the same walls and laying on the same bed or couch. Spring is the time to break out of that comfort zone and try new things. Be adventurous. Be bold and daring. Now that there are fewer reasons and excuses to not do something, there is nothing standing in your way. What do you want to try? The positive impact on mood, self-esteem and anxiety will provide incentive to do it again.
- Be social. Winter depression forces you into being a bad friend. You broke off plans or your depression reduced your daily contact. Use spring to be a fantastic friend, spouse or family member. Reconnect with those you love and the ones that love you. If you are feeling resentful or feeling that someone “hasn’t been there” during your depression, use this opportunity to assertively clear the air and avoid future misunderstandings.
- Accomplish goals. Has there been something that you have been unable to complete because of the weather or mood symptoms? As long as it is positive, do it now. Run errands, clean the bathroom or pay your bills. Doing these will lead to a strong sense of accomplishment. Use moderation, though. If the choice is clean the toilet or go on a hike with friends, choose the hike 99% of the time.
You did it. You made it through the hardest time of the year. How you can shift focus to happiness. How are you going to keep safe? How are you going to have fun? The iron is hot. It’s time to strike.