Today is the first sunny day we’ve had since the snow and rain of winter. The media is full of photos of people sitting in the park or even paddling in the sea (although it’s still freezing!). Your friends and family might have even said ‘I feel so much better when the spring arrives’ or ‘The sun cheers everyone up’. But what if it hasn’t improved your depression or anxiety? It’s easy to have a sense of guilt – everyone else is happy the spring is here, so why am I still so low? The truth is that the arrival of the sun in our lives can be rejuvenating, especially after a long cold winter, but not for everyone. If you have felt fed up with the winter chills, then yes, the sun will lift your spirits. But if your sadness is linked to a bereavement, divorce or problems relating to your family, the sunshine won’t automatically solve your problems. In fact, seeing others revelling in the good weather could make you feel worse because of the contrast between their happiness and your sadness.
Counselling can help with managing these confusing feelings. Talking about how you feel to an independent, non-judgemental professional can help you put into words the sometimes messy thoughts and emotions you may have bottled up. It’s not unusual for the people I see to say ‘I didn’t know I thought that until I just said it out loud’. Also, you can voice the guilt, anger or envy you are carrying that others may not want to hear, or simply wouldn’t understand. Therapy offers a safe space to unload and examine these complex feelings, allowing you to feel lighter and less weighed down by trying to manage feelings you are afraid to speak.
So, if the sun has failed to lift your spirits, therapy may shine some light into your life just when you need it.