For the next several weeks, warmer spring weather will appear more frequently in Minnesota. With temperatures rising and longer days ahead, this seasonal change can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health.
The shorter, colder days of winter can put a heavier strain on the human mind, especially one that is overcoming a substance abuse disorder. This seasonal change might be a relief but it can also seem overwhelming at first. That’s why our experts have broken down the benefits and caveats of this new season, as well as the mental health activities that you can do to make the most of it.
There are plenty of benefits you can enjoy during springtime in Minnesota. Spring brings even more opportunities to get outside during the day without needing to bundle up for snow, ice and frigid temperatures.
More Time Outside – The short frigid days of winter might make it seem like you’re stuck inside unless you wear a few layers of clothes. Warmer temperatures mean there are more opportunities to go outside and walk around, without needing to worry about your winter layers.
More Activities & Events – Longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures allow more outdoor events to take place. Because outdoor venues are more accessible now, you can enjoy local bands, festivals and sport leagues that take place outside. If you’re not sure where to look for outdoor leagues or events happening in your area, the best place to start is your city’s calendar. Looking for activities here means you’ll be looking for substance-free events that can help you stay clean as well.
Longer Daylight Hours – Numerous studies have shown that there are benefits of sunlight for your mental health. Of course, limiting your sun exposure and applying protections like sunscreen and light-colored clothing, are needed when temperatures reach dangerously high levels. Just 15 minutes of exposure to sunlight each day can vastly improve your mood, lower your blood pressure and boost your mental health overall.
New Season Of Change – A seasonal change often symbolizes an opportunity to change something about yourself for the better. If you’ve been struggling to stay clean or are looking for help to get clean, now is the perfect time to seek it.
Spring might offer a huge relief to those facing seasonal affective disorder (SAD), but no season is perfect. Springtime in Minnesota still means we will be feeling the effects of winter for at least a few more weeks.
When that warmer weather does arrive, there’s plenty that can happen to boost your mood and provide great mental health benefits. Unfortunately, there are a few caveats of this season that can also take a toll on a mental illness.
To fully enjoy this season and what it has to offer, it’s important to know what these caveats are ahead of time so you can prepare.
Temptation To Relapse – Favorable weather for festivals and outdoor gatherings also increases the prevalence of drugs and alcohol. Because of this heightened frequency, there might be a greater temptation to use again and relapse. If you find yourself struggling with this, then you should find a sober companion that can keep you accountable.
Spring Allergies & Illness – Winter might be the ideal time for many because they don’t suffer from an allergy overload that others might. Someone who has recently undergone substance abuse treatment too might have a weakened immune system and be more prone to allergies or illness. Making sure your home is a haven from these allergens with HEPA filters or an air purifier can give you better peace of mind throughout this season.
Spring Mental Health Activities
In addition to seeing what activities are available through your local government’s website, we’ve compiled a few more ideas for you below:
- Walk, Hike, Or Read A Book Among Nature
- Find An Adult Sports League To Join
- Spend Time Outside With Friends & Family
- Enjoy A Meal Outdoors
- Enjoy The Sights And Smells Of Blooming Flowers
Regardless of the spring activity you choose to participate in, getting out this season is one major key to improving your mental health.
If you’re struggling with substance abuse or fearing relapse, please contact Options Family and Behavioral Services for help now.