April has arrived, and whether you love it or hate it, there's no doubt you're in it: It's spring. Perhaps you light up over the sight of this season's star: the cherry blossoms. Or maybe your eyes are too watery with allergies to enjoy the scenery.
However you're feeling about the change of season, you're likely guided by more than the flip of your paper calendar. Your emotional calendar greatly influences the changes in you as the seasons shift. Becoming more acquainted with it will help you better understand (and enjoy) your reactions to the new seasons -- in this case, spring.
There are three dimensions in which you can locate yourself in terms of your emotional calendar.
The first realm is physical.
This piece of your emotional calendar depends on how you react to different physical variables: things such as temperature, light and humidity. We all react to these variables differently. Learning our personal sensitivities to these external factors can better prepare us for when they come.
The second component of our emotional calendar consists of manmade-cultural factors.
Every culture creates different events throughout the year that we respond to. If a person is an NFL fan, he or she may experience the end of the season (in the winter) much differently than one who doesn't get involved in the events. Similarly, a person who's into Valentine's Day and has high expectations might be negatively affected in the middle of February if those high hopes aren't met.
The third factor in our emotional calendars is personal-past experience.
These are moments that happen during a certain time of year but are not necessarily scheduled to do so (like holidays are). While one person may have received a promotion at work during the month of April, another may have been mourning the loss of a loved one. These two people, then, have much different associations with April and react accordingly. We are affected by seasonal sensory cues: the familiar way a season feels (and tastes and smells and sounds).
The emotinal calendar can help you understand what you're feeling (and why) at certain moments in your life. It seems pretty simple, but most people don't really know what is affecting them -- either positively or negatively -- until they pause to reflect. We rarely remind ourselves how we behave at different points of the calendar; but being conscious of our emotional calendars can lead us to happier and more mindful lives. Acknowledging our seasonal hoptspots can help us to focus and fine-tune our emotions, and if anything, understand them.
There are some predictable patterns for us as spring arrives. We may be feeling restless, over-energized or unsettled. Acknowledging the challenges of the season can allow us to try to redirect them to work symbiotically with spring.