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  • Writer's pictureAngela Douglas, LPC

Spring has sprung and so should you

It should come as no surprise to hear that the pandemic has made us all a little crazier. According to a new report released by Mental Health America, 8 out of 10 people surveyed say they have experienced a "moderate" increase in anxiety and depression symptoms over the last 12 months- with a small percentage of those respondents reporting a "severe" increase. Now, it may be too early to tell, but just as anxiety and depression rates increase in the fall and winter, they tend to decrease in the spring and summer. Longer days, sunshine, and time outside all have positive impacts on our mental health. When you combined the mental health benefits of light exposure and increased activity (the spring effect) with what we hope is a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, it may mean that we are all in for better days and a healthier outlook.

So, what should this mean to you? Well, if you've been struggling with anxiety or depression (and even if you haven't), this is my way of telling you to get up, get outside, and get some sun on your skin (don't forget the SPF). No, it's not a cure-all pill or a replacement for counseling, but Mother Nature provides benefits that therapy can't. Over the next week or so, try to get up early enough to watch the sunrise, take a walk, and pull your summer clothes out of storage (and throw them in the garbage) lol... don't take it too seriously if everything fits a bit snugger than it did last year.

Find time to laugh at something that your serious self would find ridiculous. Call friends, write a letter, make plans, and organize your basement. Have a yard sale and then go thrifting to replace all the junk you sold. Go to the grocery store and buy something you can grill and baked beans. Plant something, drink your morning coffee outside, and open your windows.

Spring has sprung! Now, get out and enjoy it!

Until next time,

Take good care, friends.

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