Mental Health as the Wheel Turns

What does your mental health do with the turning of the wheel?  Do you notice?  Try not to notice or ignore it? Or is it something that really makes itself known about when the nights get longer?

So, with this in thought what happens as the wheel turns once more to the lengthier days.  Do you take more notice of your mental health then, allow yourself to just feel better or actively push for it to be better?

For some they don’t get a choice, they battle on through the longer nights and still feel low with the longer days.

Having worked in the NHS mental health services and lived with difficult mental health at times myself, I know how tough it can be.  For some disabled people they are unable to physically get out due to difficulties of weather and worsening of physical symptoms, so the emotional and mental struggles of losing the independence they may be able to achieve in brighter longer days with better weather can be significant.

Right now, though the wheel is turning to the warmer, potentially dryer weather.  People start to make plans for holidays that make them feel calmer, brighter and maybe fulfilled in some way.

Beltane brings a time of celebration of the fertility of the land and potential or lasting partnerships.  For carers it may become easier as those they care for whether partners, loved ones or clients perhaps become brighter.

My client’s often show me that from Spring Equinox their moods brighten they are more able to make changes in their lives to help them move forwards in their mental health and life.   But part of the enjoyment of the brighter days is that it can be a perfect time to also be preparing and setting in place some habits that will help with coping strategies in the darker months.  Habits take time to become muscle memory whether this be brain muscle or body muscle.  Our brains are manipulative and can learn to create new pathways (muscle memory) throughout our lives and it is never too late to make new habits after all it’s just like learning a new sport or craft or hobby.  It takes practice to get the hang of it and become good at it.  Therefore, starting a new habit when feeling at our best as our mood is rising, as the wheel turns to more light.  So, the more solid the new habit becomes before the turning of the wheel and the potential downward spiral of health in the darker months, when it is harder to push ourselves when the wheel turns to longer nights and colder/wetter/snowy weather, the easier it is to keep them going.

Being able to get out into nature can make such a difference, for me I was feeling so fatigued and depressed from winter I didn’t feel I could get started, but I pushed and got out and rode my horse just for 15minutes, it is such an important part of my physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being.  When feeling that exhausted to push to exert myself that far is so tough, but by doing it I am now walking better, and my mental health has almost turned on its head, spiritually I feel so much more connected with the earth and nature.

What else am I going to do to prepare, I am recharging my spiritual practice by having conversations with people I feel are my pagan family and I am also changing other areas of my life to fit my physical abilities now and what is achievable.  It can be done, so I ask you what are you doing?