Spring has sprung, are you tending to you?
For those of us in the northern hemisphere, it feels like spring is thisclose to being here. And the truth is it does officially arrive on Sunday, but for many of us it won’t really feel like spring yet (We’re supposed to get several inches of snow here in Maryland on Sunday). Depending on where you are, you may have already enjoyed stretches of beautiful days with warmer temperatures (Like last week at my house. Raise your hand if spring runs hot and cold, both in temperature and temperament, where you live.) or perhaps it’ll be weeks or even months before you’ll get your sweet reprieve.
Anyway, all this to say spring will get here eventually, and I’ve always found that the initial delight is all too soon replaced with being overly busy and stressed. For some it’s endlessly running the kids around to spring sports and the influx of other requests and activities that accompany the warm weather. For me it’s the pressure to get my gardens into shape and do outdoor labor before the mild temperatures of a typically brief spring turn into a sweltering and humid early summer (have I mentioned yet that Maryland weather can be downright weird?). Not to mention all the other household chores I’m sure you can relate to, those things that we conveniently put off thanks to the cold weather but run out of excuses to avoid come springtime. And finally, I know many of you working at crisis and suicide prevention centers know all too well that spring typically means an increase in the number of suicide calls, which adds to the stress and workload at your helpline.
Spring isn’t all flowers and sunshine but we’re at least presented with the opportunity to see it coming, then take control and keep our mental health and stress levels in check.
When I feel myself slipping into that over-stressed state, I look back on a blog from a few years ago outlining some common practices to achieve good mental health and remind myself that there are everyday things I can do to help myself.
I recently found this pretty cool interactive self-care tool that does a good job of walking you through a variety of tasks to help.
If you have some time on your hands check out this series of TED Talks specifically about self-care. The summaries of each can give you a good idea of which ones may interest you most. The majority are 15 minutes long or less, several are only a few minutes long, so it’s not a deep investment of your time, but they can be very insightful.
If all else fails, spend a few minutes of your downtime playing a fun game, like this cute and simple bunny hop game I recently stumbled on. I started out watching my 5 year old nephew play, and then it became a quick stress buster I could turn to for a few minutes of fun to give myself a break from a task that was stressing me out (Doing my federal income taxes).
I hope you’ll take a moment to remember your own mental health and well-being as we go through yet another transition of seasons. I promise I’ll try to do the same!
Dana joined the iCarol team in 2013 after 12 years of direct service and administrative duties at a suicide prevention, crisis intervention, and empathetic listening helpline that also served as a 2-1-1 information and referral service. As the Communications and Social Media Manager at iCarol, you’ll find her presenting Webinars, Tweeting, Blogging, Facebooking, and producing other materials that aid helplines in their work.
In her spare time, Dana enjoys birdwatching, gardening, animal caregiving, and spending time with her family.