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Though it feels like we just celebrated the New Year yesterday, springtime will be here before we know it. While changing seasons can impact mental health, it can also be a time for profound personal growth. Spring is a time of renewal and planning for the future. For many, spring may be a better time for setting goals than the New Year. It is also an excellent time to reaffirm commitments to healthy living, including a commitment to sobriety. 

Mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) can be unpredictable, and unpredictability can make transitioning from season to season more challenging. However, instead of focusing on the tribulations that can come with the changing seasons, we should concentrate on growth. You may find that this spring is the perfect time for you and your mental health to thrive. Prepare to spring ahead with your personal growth this spring and seek professional help from West Coast Recovery Centers today. 

Springtime and the End of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

For those with SAD, fall and winter are particularly difficult times. Many individuals struggle with SAD, but for those with SUD or other mental health conditions, it can make recovery more challenging. 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), SAD is characterized by periods when people feel sad or experience extreme variations in mood. Specifically, these mood changes occur during seasonal changes. For example, the cold and darker winter days may cause some to feel down or experience the “winter blues.” However, when springtime comes around, these individuals will feel better when the weather warms and the days last longer. 

Experiencing SAD symptoms is more common in the fall and winter, but some do experience them in the spring and summer. Some of these symptoms consist of: 

  • Disturbed sleeping habits 
  • Severe weight changes 
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Symptoms of depression lasting all day daily 
  • Feeling sluggish or lacking energy 
  • Social withdrawal 
  • Erratic behavior or irritability
  • Difficult concentrating at work 
  • Lack of interest in enjoyable activities 
  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness 

At its worst, SAD can prevent people from functioning day-to-day. Thankfully, there is a light at the end of that tunnel. For most, that light is spring. Not only is spring a time for people to experience relief from SAD but it is also an excellent time for cultivating personal growth. 

Why Spring Is the Perfect Time for Personal Growth?

The first reason spring is the best time for personal growth is because we have longer days. These longer days provide more opportunities to be productive, try new activities, start fun hobbies, and practice self-care. We also have more sunshine and more time to spend outside, which can improve overall moods. For many, spring also increases opportunities for social gatherings and spending time with friends and family. 

Spring also helps people improve their mental health. Managing mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression requires an individualized plan. Such a plan may utilize medication, talk therapy, other evidence-based modalities, or holistic practices that improve well-being. An excellent holistic practice to incorporate into your recovery is mindfulness. Springtime is the perfect time to practice through various activities. 

Furthermore, for many individuals, exercise, meditation, and other outdoor hobbies like gardening help them be more mindful during the spring. Of course, finding things to do during the darker, colder months is critical. Looking forward to other spring activities is okay, too. Whatever the activity, people must take advantage of spring and enjoy the long sunny days that offer a fresh start from the long, dark winter months. 

Spring is inherently the perfect for personal growth. For that reason, many people use winter to self-analyze, think of things they want to improve, and set goals new goals. As spring comes around, you can take advantage of opportunities to improve yourself, your recovery plan, and other aspects of your life. Let us look at ways you can begin cultivating personal growth this spring. 

Ways to Cultivate Personal Growth This Spring

As mentioned, many people use springtime to improve various areas of their lives. This may include setting new goals at work, learning to practice self-care, improving interpersonal relationships, or developing new skills, hobbies, and habits. Moreover, here are some additional ways you can cultivate personal growth this spring:

  • Set new but attainable goals for yourself, such as meditating each day 
  • Spend more time with loved ones by having weekly game nights or barbecues 
  • Try new things, like taking a yoga class or starting a new passion project
  • Consider journaling to keep track of your personal growth progress 
  • Make a list of outdoor activities you can do after work or on the weekends 
  • Learn how to avoid negative thoughts or find new creative ways to maintain recovery  

If you are interested in learning other ways to cultivate personal growth this spring, consult a therapist, mental health professional, or West Coast Recovery Centers today! 

People are often surprised by the factors that can harm their mental health or recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). For example, people forget to consider how the changing seasons can impact their well-being. Many, even those without mental health conditions, experience depressive symptoms during the fall and winter months, but when spring comes around, they feel brand new. Spring is inherently a time of personal growth, and there are ways you can cultivate personal growth this spring. This includes setting new goals, improving relationships, trying new activities, and tracking your personal growth progress. Doing so can also help with your mental health or addiction recovery journey. Call West Coast Recovery Centers at (760) 492-6509 to learn more today.