As we enjoy the sun and vacations, let us be mindful that Spring Break does not always equal fun for everyone. Our mental health can sometimes be affected by the seasons. A particular type of depression known as seasonal affective disorder can be seen in the spring, summer, and winter months as the seasons change, which can affect how a person feels about themselves, how they interact with others, and what anxiety issues can come to the surface.

We often find that anxiety-based issues become apparent due in part to the lack of structure. Though most young people and older people claim this is the time of year they most look forward to, many become listless and irritable because of a lack of structured activity.

To enjoy the Spring season and keep our mental health in check, use these three helpful tips to ensure we all have a great summer!

1.) Create a spring schedule

2.) Eat nutritious foods

3.) Get fresh air, exercise, and stay hydrated

Speaking of fresh air, it’s only the second or third month of the spring semester and we are experiencing very high temperatures. It is important to stay cool, and out of direct sunlight, especially if you suffer from a mental illness and take medication for it. Mental health professionals have stated individuals with a mental illness are especially vulnerable to heat-related illnesses and death.

The British Journal of Psychiatry study estimates that when temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit, those diagnosed with mental illness and treated with psychiatric drugs have a 40 percent greater risk of heat-related death than the general population and are more susceptible to heat stroke, and are more likely to develop certain types of medication toxicities. Please stay hydrated and ensure that your loved ones are hydrated as well as properly sheltered as we combat this summer heat. Stay cool JAGS!

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