Sharp, John M.D. The Emotional Calendar: understanding seasonal influences and milestones to become happier, more fulfilled, and in control of your life. Holt, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-8050-9130-4
Summary: Emotional Calendar
The Emotional Calendar was written by a psychiatrist and gives us a deeper look at the cycles of the year and of our lives. He says that by paying attention, we can make connections between our moods and things that happened in the past. Sensory memories can be triggered by the weather, smells, even a specific date on the calendar. This book is well worth the read because it will increase your awareness.
Dr. Sharp suggests that we have become disconnected from the natural seasonal cycles due to technology and other factors. Therefore, we do not always see the relationship between events in our lives and the way we respond to them. We need to pay attention to our surroundings. Make sure we process what is going on at various times of the year and periods of our lives. Some of these include weather conditions, seasonal foods, seasonal hobbies and seasonal events. Even seasonal decor helps ground us.
Factors That Affect Our Personal Emotional Calendar
“Emotional hotspots are those times and events that we accumulate as memories over the years and that become associated with particular physical conditions or with specific periods or seasons on the paper calendar.” (p.16)
Environmental Factors: the seasons, cold/heat, light/dark, weather patterns
Emotional Memories: Our memories are remembered because they get connected to sensory experiences related to places, time of year, and people.
Cultural Calendar: national holidays, religious holidays, sports schedules, remembrance of major events (9/11, elections, disasters, etc.)
Personal Calendar: birthdays/aging, personal milestones, things that happen to you/ your family/ your friends, periods of time (in a certain place, important relationships)