Spring is here! The Spring equinox is a day that marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. In this blog, editor Helena marks the beginning of spring by discussing the changes and opportunities that the new season brings.

The clocks are about to go forward, and the days are about to get longer. Do you feel like a change of season can sometimes affect your mood? I know there are a lot of things about springtime that I am looking forward to. The lighter evenings always seem to give me a lot more energy.

Goodbye winter!

Over the Christmas period, you can often improve the cold and dark evenings with some festive activities and the odd mince pie (or two). But when you take down the decorations, and the nearly empty chocolate boxes are gathering dust, your mood can drop quite quickly. This is usually made worse by the fact that the evenings are still dark and usually cold. It feels like bedtime at 5 o’clock.

Changes in mood

For some people, the impact of the seasons on mood can be so bad that it triggers a condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The effects of SAD can be severe and sometimes people need medical support. But even if you do not have severe SAD, research shows that you are still more likely to socialise less, eat more ‘comfort’ food and feel less eager to do things in the winter. If you have fatigue or other side effects caused by cancer or its treatment, a lower mood can make it much harder to cope with your emotions.

The Spring equinox brings longer days and (usually) better weather. Things also start growing again in our natural surroundings, daffodils start blooming and the temperature tends to get warmer. Some of us even start the countdown to summer! Personally, I think it’s a great time to refresh your daily routine. I often try new hobbies to make the most of the extra light in the evenings. I also enjoy trying new recipes and use it as an opportunity to find new ways of staying active. Our recipes book includes some great cooking ideas! 

an image of the recipes book

Lighter evenings present a fantastic opportunity to take up a new sport and get active. Exercise can help to improve your mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. We have lots of tips and information about how you can Move More, and how you might get more physical activity into your routine if you are living with a cancer diagnosis.

New beginnings

There are so many little things that I start doing without even realising. For example, last weekend I noticed that I got up earlier than usual (even though I had nothing planned). To congratulate myself, I decided to try a new recipe for breakfast. It didn’t go quite to plan, but I enjoyed it anyway and it felt good to change my usual routine.

Springtime is sometimes associated with doing useful things like ‘spring cleaning’. If you feel like playing some music and giving your bedroom a quick clear out, then great! But if you do not feel up to it, that’s fine too. I think spring is the perfect time to focus on yourself and your well-being, between crazy Christmas and the busy summer months. Take some time to do the things that fall to the bottom of your priorities. You could:

  • email or call a friend
  • start the book you have been wanting to read
  • take up yoga
  • or go for a walk round the local park.

There are plenty of ways to be creative and feel productive, without pushing yourself too much. Sometimes, it’s just about taking each day as it comes. Surround yourself with, or do things, that make you feel bright and positive – no matter what the great British weather brings …Heat wave? Snow storm? Who knows!

If you feel like you need some support with the practical and emotional effects of cancer, you can call always call our helpline on 0808 808 00 00 or visit our Online Community.

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