4 Proven Tips for Finding Joy as the Seasons Change

A country scene coloured to reflect the changing seasons. 4 Tips for Finding Joy as the Seasons Change

Finding Joy

Some seasons seem to bring more natural joy than other times of the year. Spring and Summer top many people’s lists as they are “filled with the joys of Spring” or basking in the warmth of the Summer sun. For others, the colourful hues of Autumn or the glistening frost and crisp snow of Winter bring their own delights. No matter which season you prefer, here are some top tips that might help you maintain your joy as the seasons roll by.

1 Look for Joy in Every Season

One of the reasons we often find happiness in particular seasons is that we expect it to be there, so we look for it. And it’s no surprise that we find it there. In contrast, if we expect a season to be miserable and dank, that’s likely to be how we experience it. Consider the thoughts, feelings and emotions you associate with each season. If you’re a Summer person, you might think about having fun in the sun, enjoying the long days and warm weather. Even the thought of that might bring a smile to your face, as it did for me writing this as Storm Eunice rages outside my window. However, as Summer blends into Autumn and the nights draw in, it might be that your thoughts darken too, and your joy starts to nosedive. The best way to combat this predisposition to misery is to reset your expectations. Actively choose to find joy during each season. Identify one or two things you can celebrate in each season. It might be appreciating the colourful Autumn leaves, the glisten of frost on the grass or something completely different. As you anticipate and seek out positive seasonal experiences can bring moments of joy that transform your mood.

2. Plan for Seasonal Transitions

Often the worst kind of joy thief is the one that catches you unawares. So, be prepared and anticipate the seasonal shift ahead of time. For example, if you favour the summertime like me, it’s good to anticipate and plan for the shortening days and darker evenings that Autumn brings. Give yourself plenty of time to adapt and introduce things you can look forward to as the seasons progress. Look for those aspects of the upcoming season that you can celebrate. Planning for change helps empower you to hold onto your joy even when you can’t hold onto the sunshine.

3. Keep Your Connections

Some seasons lend themselves more easily to social contact than others, and most of us feel happier when we connect more closely with others. In contrast, it is a lot harder to maintain a sense of joy during those times you feel forced to fly more solo, as the recent Covid-19 pandemic highlighted. Whether it’s the ice, snow or a pesky virus that keeps you housebound, or a pressing schedule that prevents you from meeting up with friends, losing touch with others can be disappointing and depressing, sucking the fun out of life. Staying connected with your circle of friends is essential for most of us to maintain a positive state. If possible, try setting a specific time to socialise and mingle with others each week. I appreciate that’s not always possible, but keeping committed to your social life – whatever form that must take – and nurturing your relationships with others will help you keep your joy through the more difficult seasons.

4. Engage with Nature

Research has repeatedly shown how connecting with nature can improve mental well-being and foster a sense of joy and contentment in the world. Whether it’s a picnic in the park in Summer or a brisk Winter woodland walk, time spent in nature can make a dull day brighter. Even if you can’t get out of the house, nurturing potted plants or maintaining a window box can bring a much-needed sense of grounding and connection that can lift your mood.

Managing Seasonal Depression

Autumn and Winter can be challenging times for some people, and the shorter, darker days and colder weather can herald sadness and depression for many people. This effect, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), can seem to suck the joy out of life. However, there are things you can do to make SAD more bearable. The top tips for dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) listed above can make a massive difference. You might also consider using a light-box or SAD lamp during the shorter, darker days to soften the impact of your reduced exposure to sunlight. Some have suggested taking Vitamin D supplements might help too. The NHS recommends a daily supplement containing ten µg (400 IU) of vitamin D for those who have very little or no sunshine exposure. Therapy can also be beneficial, giving you a space in which you can allow your emotions to surface in a safe, supportive environment. Additionally, a therapist might suggest more appropriate strategies specific to you and help you navigate your unique emotional journey. — If you dread the upcoming change of season, are struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or just finding that life has lost its sparkle and you don’t know why, please reach out to me today. Together, we can navigate whatever you are going through, helping you deal with the thoughts and emotions that you are finding hard, helping you recover and maintain a joyful life. Reach out today.

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