All hail the warm weather! We're coming out of what was, for a lot of us, an arctic chill-filled snowy daze.
With the change in the season, I wanted to revisit some strategies for managing schizophrenia through this transition. While the title refers to warm weather, these tips and tactics can also serve us year-round in some areas.
1. Become your own personal chef. Start to cook on your own now that your energy might have returned and the sun is shining on your mood too.
I recommend shopping at a local greenmarket where you can talk to the vendors about their food. In New York City, certain greenmarkets accept EBT and WIC as payment options—you can use these government food benefits to buy healthful food at a greenmarket. See if your town or city offers this too. Now that Memorial Day is coming, why not try out this recipe for yogurt-and-fruit Patriotic Parfait?
2. Get social. Explore the possibilities of navigating a new social scene even though it might be scary.
At HealthCentral, I recounted my own wedding guest anxiety at the reception of a co-worker. Now that the warm weather is here I'll be inviting friends over to my apartment for home-cooked lunches and dinners. I also might take a day trip to a shopping district. Try a small gathering yourself!
3. Stay cool and healthy as the summer approaches and throughout the summer.
Read about eight strategies for summertime schizophrenia medication management that are useful in any warm weather. This is one time where staying indoors might be helpful: in a movie theater, library, shopping mall, or your own apartment. The atypical medications carry a label that instructs a person to avoid heat. Make sure that when you're traveling with schizophrenia you stay alert and take certain precautions.
Useful takeaways about the season:
The Seasonal Affective Disorder some of us experience might have ended. With a change from darkness to light I suggest getting a head start on doing the things that fell by the wayside in the late fall and winter. I might document on large index cards any shifts in mood and energy throughout the year. Then you can remember when you were the most productive and plan your activities accordingly. For me, I figured out that in the late summer through the fall I have the most energy, so I look forward to this.
The spring and summer can be also be a time to get in tune with nature. If you go outside early in the morning or after four o'clock in the afternoon, you'll avoid the peak heat hours. May is National Sports and Physical Fitness Month, so it's a great reminder that taking a walk in a park or down a street with trees can boost our mood. In early spring, I walk about three miles a week. My preference is to do a routine at the gym or some interval training. At this time of year, the gym is air-conditioned, and some gyms have an outdoor training area.