I used to live in Massachusetts and now live in Northern Illinois. Something that the two have in common are cold weather in the winter and seasonal uncertainty when the seasons are changing. The last few days have definitely been an example of just such a seasonal fakeout.
Over the last week, and especially over this past weekend, the weather felt like spring was definitely in the air. Today, something else was in the air. Snow.
These seasonal fakeouts are more than just annoyances for anyone who has put their snow shovel or car scrapper away. They can have very real impacts on one’s mental health. Many people’s depression slips some in the winter, when the light is scarce, the air (at least here in the north) is cold, and the idea of warmer weather seems a world away. And when these seasonal fakeouts come along, they can raise someone’s hopes only to have them dashed.
Mental illnesses, as I’ve said before, are incredibly good at lying to you. And when the weather lies to you too, it can be extra challenging to maintain your mental wellness. Yet these seasonal fakeouts are reminders of why constantly working at your mental health is so important. While I may not be able to control the weather, I can control the whether-or-not reality of taking my medication, getting regular sleep, keeping up with my journaling, talking to my therapist, etc.
And hopefully, if seasonal fakeouts screw with more than just your roads, this post will remind you that you aren’t alone, but that you have the power. Not the weather.
That, and also know that seasonal fakeout or not, spring really is closer than the darkest, deepest days of winter.