By Team Unmasked
Chocolate eggs and longer days; what isn’t there to love about Spring? As the world wakes up from winter hibernation, everyone seems to have a pep in their step. But, you might be feeling a little (or a lot) off. Changing seasons can affect neurodivergent minds in different ways - so it’s important you know how you’re impacted. Don’t worry, it’s not all challenges! There are positive changes that come with the new season, too! In this article, we’ll be diving into 5 ways you might be impacted, and sharing tips to live your best Spring-life.
1. Circadian Rhythm & Change In Routine 💤
With Spring comes the Summer Solstice. When the clocks went forward, did anyone else wake up feeling jetlagged? Losing one hour might sound impactless, but disrupting your circadian rhythm (the sleep-wake cycle) can take its toll on you. This can lead to difficulty falling asleep or waking up, causing feelings of irritability and fatigue.
Our Top Tips
Get out in the sunshine! Exposure to sunlight helps to regulate your body’s internal clock - helping you adjust to the new schedule.
Create a calming bedtime routine. Activities like reading or taking a warm bath can help you wind down. Plus, doing them consistently helps create a signal for your body, that it’s time to sleep.
2. Increased Social Demands 🏖️
The sun is out, you know what that means? BBQ invites, beach trips, days in the park... These activities are fun, but it’s easy to over-book yourself - especially if you’re prone to saying yes to every plan without thinking it through first (*cough* ADHDers).
Our Top Tips
Set yourself some boundaries for socialising. This could be limiting the number of events you attend in a week, going to the ones that’ll bring you the most joy.
If you’re prone to FOMO and don’t want to miss out on the fun, schedule regular self-care time to recharge and avoid burnout (burnout isn’t just from too much work).
3. Sensory Overload 🤯
Bright colours, floral scents, sunshine, and the sound of people frolicking outside. Beautiful, right? Not so much when you’re sensitive to sensory stimuli. Trying to process all of these can be hard to process, leading to anxiety and sensory overload.
Our Top Tips
If you’re sensitive to light, try to always wear sunglasses or a hat.
If you’re sensitive to noise, use noise-cancelling headphones (check out Loop).
If you’re sensitive to heat, wear light, breathable clothes (avoiding synthetic fabrics that trap heat in). P.S. A portable fan will be your BEST friend!
4. Seasonal Allergies 🤧
With beautiful blooms, come seasonal allergies. Relatable? Well, did you know that neurodivergence can intensify allergy symptoms? Symptoms like fatigue, headaches, and difficulty concentrating can exacerbate your ADHD (and even anxiety).
Our Top Tips
If you suffer from hayfever, I probably don’t need to mention antihistamines (you should be stocked up by now!). But there are a few other precautions you can take, such as:
Investing in an air purifier.
Strengthening your immune system.
Wearing protective clothing when you go outside (e.g. a mask or sunglasses).
5. Positive Changes 🤗
It's not all doom and gloom! We’re in Spring after all. The days are longer, and the weather is warmer. Most importantly, it’s time to say goodbye to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)! Whilst it can be hard to manage these seasonal changes at first, they have an overall positive impact on your well-being and mood - helping relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Our Top Tip:
Soak up that Vitamin D!
There are many ways you might be impacted by the changing seasons. However, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone! It’s completely normal to find it a bit harder to get into the swing of Spring. Make sure you communicate any challenges with your family, friends, or even work (if it’s interfering with your job). If you’re feeling alone, or unsure how to support yourself during this time, reach out to the community. We’re here for you! Now, what are you waiting for? Go and enjoy the sunshine!