Uh-oh! I fell off the writing wagon. Actually – that’s only half-true. I fell off the posting wagon because I’m writing a difficult post that’s making me feel quite vulnerable! While I continue battling with that one, I wanted to write about hypomania.
Have you noticed your energy levels rising as spring has sprung? This is really natural for us as humans of course, but if you’re seasonally affected then you might find that like with your winter state, your spring state is also heightened.
Talking to a friend the other night, he commented that he loved my energy that night – that I was especially chipper. Translation: I was being a motor-mouth! If you’ve met me (and if you’ve read a few of my posts) you’ll know that I’m a real chatterbox generally; honestly, I am that person who’s chatting away to a complete stranger at a bus stop, on the train, in the gym…
What does hypomania feel like?
You know that feeling when you’ve had too much caffeine and you’re feeling ‘jazzy’? It’s like that, for me. It can be pleasant and funny on some days and uncomfortable and irritating on others.
I think most people would say they feel a sense of wellbeing when the sun shines. But if you’re suddenly feeling a marked surge of energy, and you know that you suffer from SAD, then you might be experiencing this thing we call hypomania.
At this time of year I’m easily excitable, ‘gung-ho’, full of plans and ready to take on the world. However, I also have to watch myself because it can also mean I’m feeling impatient, and I can be more direct in my communications. This can cause issues in my relationships when people aren’t used to me doing that. So, lots of double-checking messages to soften them before sending! And apologising when I occasionally come across in a way that I hadn’t intended.
Beware of changing clocks!
Understandably, people ask me if I feel excited about the clocks going forward in spring. They’ve just done that last weekend and I’ve given it some thought. The answer is that I look forward to the idea more than the reality.
When you’re sensitive to light levels, sudden changes can leave you feeling off-balance. I get up at 6am and so for me, it was light when I woke up at this time a week ago. It’s now still dark. We’ve had some grey, misty mornings too, so this can have an impact when you need morning light. Back on with the SAD light, then! Of course, the counter-balance of this is that we have lighter evenings, which is lovely! 😀
I appreciate that to a non-sufferer, this might all seem completely bizarre. It’s a weird time of the year when you suffer from SAD. It can feel like you’re on a see-saw! Of maybe you’re reading this and it explains something for you; a slight unsettled feeling, perhaps?
As humans we’re animals and we will all of us be sensitive to light. I think of Seasonal Affective Disorder as essentially, being extra-sensitive to light.
Observe and think twice before you act!
I now remind myself of something each year: now is not the time to make big decisions! Yep, you might feel like you can take on the world, but if you’re experiencing these swings that I’ve described, it’s often worth waiting until they’ve settled down a bit before taking action.
I’m speaking from experience. I’ve made big decisions in the past around this time of year that I wish I’d not made, or given a bit more thought to. That burst of energy can bring about a bit of the no-nonsense, ‘let’s get on with it’, ‘I’m taking no prisoners’ kinda attitude. Sound familiar?
Making plans is great – it’s an ideal time for that, if you’re feeling fired up and motivated. Why not grab your pen and paper and jot down some thoughts on what you want to do for the rest of the year? I’ve always thought January is a rubbish time of year to make resolutions and plans, anyway – so much better to do it once you’re feeling energised and ready to put them into action.
But if your thoughts are on life-changing decisions, such as quitting your job, ending a relationship, moving, etc., then maybe just hold fire on making a final decision until you’re feeling less gung-ho.
Of course, if you have big plans that you’ve already made a decision on, then spring energy can be just the thing you need to motivate you. As ever, it’s about being aware.
Does anything I’ve said ring true for you? Or do you disagree? Do you think that you experience hypomania?
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Hope you’re having a great week! 😀
– Neens –