Today, we’re talking about spring plans.
What do you hope to do more of this Spring and Summer?
Show notes and links:
Psychology Today: Seasonal Affective Disorder
US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health: Season Affective Disorder Overview and Update
Harvard Business Review: When a Vacation Reduces Stress — And When It Doesn’t.
Full episode text
Winter has often been a season with difficult and complex connotations – from the association with death or sleep to the fact that there things cold and generally more difficult to do, it’s not usually a “favorite” season unless you’re one of the statistical few into winter sports.
In fact, some estimates say that 10 million Americans — or more — have some form of seasonal depression, or non-seasonal depression that gets more acute in these cold and dark months. There’s also a statistical correlation with latitudes, though that particular research has yet to be replicated outside the United States.
Either way, the reality is that winter is, psychologically, very tough. There’s been a lot of research done on how to best treat depression both seasonal and non-seasonal. One of the interesting tidbits to emerge has been that a specific form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on two things — activity during the winter months, and planning for post-winter activities — can be particularly useful. In other words, making plans for spring and summer can actually help you survive those dark months in a better mood.
Of course, your milage may vary. But even if you don’t have seasonal depression, planning ahead has been linked with all kinds of positive benefits. So what are you hoping to do more of come those warmer months and longer days?