By Lauren Presutti
Say goodbye to winter coats and hello to short sleeves… spring has arrived! It’s never quite official in Michigan until the temperatures appear consistently warmer, but it seems we are now at that point where we trust Mother Nature to keep the sunshine around for hopefully more days than not. We are breathing in fresh air, doing yardwork, and hoping to see tulip blossoms. It’s almost like crawling out of a dark hole and getting excited to see a new life all around us. Spring is a time of rejuvenation and these months can be especially useful for reaffirming happiness. Here’s why:
1. Warmer Weather – We’ll start with the obvious – you can ditch the hat and gloves and you don’t have to put on that bulky parka anymore. When the temperatures finally reach the 50s and 60s, few things make me feel more rejuvenated than stepping outside in my regular day clothes and realizing it’s finally t-shirt weather. Of course, spring in Michigan means you might still need a light jacket… but we know —— summer days are just around the corner, and that is certainly something to celebrate.
2. Boost in Mental Health – And because of that warmer weather, we are more likely to have a positive mindset. It’s pretty wild how quickly our mindset can change with a small dosage of blue skies and sunshine. Research says that exposure to sunlight increases the neurotransmitter serotonin in our brains, which makes us feel happy. After hibernating indoors for what seems like an eternity, it feels like a whole new world when we step outside and feel the sunshine on our skin. Plus, daylight savings means leaving work with the sun still out. Finishing your day job when it’s still daylight makes us feel more energetic and productive.
3. … and in Physical Health – Spring makes us excited, and that often comes with motivation to become active again. We might find ourselves wanting to run, walk, or play outside, explore new territory, see blooming plant life, go on a hike, or visit a nearby lake. Any type of outdoor activity that gets us moving is bound to boost our physical health, release endorphins, and contribute to a healthier mindset. Plus, being out in the natural sunlight will boost our Vitamin D.
4. Time to De-Clutter Our Spaces – Spring usually elicits thoughts of spring cleaning. We all have stuff laying around, shoved in closets, or stuck in the “junk drawer.” According to Marie Kondo, clutter is bad for us. Some say that it can actually worsen our mental health because it can make us feel anxious when things are messy or chaotic around us. So how do we get organized without getting overwhelmed? Keep it simple. Make a to-do list. Organize one small area at a time. Try your best to donate or throw away your clutter. Take breaks. Ask yourself, will I ever actually use this item? Categorize things that make sense to you. Watch some YouTube videos on how to de-clutter. And remember there is no failure – it’s okay if you still have a messy space in the end. On the bright side, you’ll at least probably find something you forgot you had.
5. … and Our Minds – It’s not just about cleaning our physical spaces. Spring is a good time to work on our mental health. Since we already have the sunshine and serotonin-boost helping us feel alive and naturally happy again, we are setup to refocus ourselves and “spring-clean” our negative thoughts and feelings. Go outside and find a quiet space to breathe in the fresh air. Slow down. Let go of some of the nagging thoughts lingering in your mind. Embrace spring as the season for new beginnings – practice reducing negative self-talk and focus on things that bring gratitude and empowerment. Feeling stuck and not sure how to manage your mental health? Find a therapist you click with – because you deserve to live your best life, always.
I hope you spring forward positively and peacefully. If I can help support you in any way, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I want you to know that I’m approachable for any questions or concerns.