5 Things That Happen To SWFL When The Snow Birds Leave

5 Things That Happen To SWFL When The Snow Birds Leave

When the snow birds flock north.
Livia
Livia
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Living in sunny Fort Myers has many upsides- great beaches, parks, quality of life, university, restaurants, shops, etc. but it also appears that the rest of the world has figured this out and everybody decides to visit our little town during the months of January-April. Mainly the snowbirds are to blame for this, then you also have your spring breakers who come to rec havoc at the Lani Kai on Fort Myers Beach. All of these extra people aside from the norm population in our city makes for an interesting couple of months as locals call "season."

"Season" is frequently used as a verb, noun, and even an adjective. You'll hear people throw the term "season" around such as, "season is definitely here — we're getting busy." Aside from the obvious fact that "season" clogs Fort Myers with grey-haired, denture using, slow driving, elderly people for as far as you can see, many things happen to SouthWest Florida when April comes around, and it's quite comical if you think about it.

1. Drive time is suddenly cut in half

I no longer have to be stuck behind the old lady going 30 in a 45mph when I'm already late for work! Or my favorite is when the elderly just stop in their lane with no warning in the middle of rush hour, as they don't know where they're going... or maybe they just think they can do whatever they want because they're old?

2. We're broke

As much as us restaurant workers complain about how tired we are and how we're over all the snowbirds, they do help with paying rent and give us a comfortable nest egg throughout the year to hopefully last until next season.

3. Going to the beach is possible again

Don't even attempt to cross the Fort Myers Beach bridge in the spring, have you seen that traffic? Backed up for miles and if you're lucky you'll make it to the beach before the sun goes down.

4. Our population shrinks faster than my jeans

But seriously, after Easter weekend all the snowbirds decide its warm enough to go back to their northern homes and they leave us to rest and re-coop in preparation for next season.

5. Party time

Season only lasts a few months, but working long hours every day to accommodate our tourists and spending even more time sitting in traffic leaves us year-rounders ready for a break! As soon as the season ends, it's party time. Spending all your money you just made during the season on a vacation or junk you don't need sounds like a great idea! You'll be begging for the old people to come back by October when you're flat out of money and suddenly that comfortable savings account you accumulated during season, is gone.

* * *

As interesting as it is living in a town with such a dynamic population, I wouldn't trade it for the world as Fort Myers is my favorite city, it's my home.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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19 Struggles Only Girls With The 'Looks Thin In Clothes But Not In A Bikini' Body Type Will Understand

A resounding 'thank you' to whoever decided one-pieces were cool again.
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We grew up thinking the world was black and white. There's tall people and short people. There's old people and young people.

There's fat people and skinny people.

But as you get older, you realize there is a lot more in between those two ends of the spectrum than you ever thought possible. Especially when it comes to weight. And you do a lot more realizing if you're in an awkward position on that scale... Literally.

1. People always tell you to stop saying you are fat

Obviously, your friends SHOULD prevent you from talking negatively about yourself. And if you only saw you when you were fully dressed, you'd probably tell yourself to stop saying you're fat, too.

2. And are kind of surprised by your actual weight

You've definitely had friends who are shocked by the number on your scale because you can carry it pretty well when you are fully dressed.

3. Sometimes you feel like a catfish

Have you ever changed out of your super cute, flattering outfit and looked at yourself in the mirror and thought... Wow, am I lying to people?

4. But you know this is probably true for most people

When you're wearing clothes, typically the parts of a body that bring about insecurities (stomach, namely) are covered. No matter the body type, you realize most people are more comfortable in clothes than out of them.

5. Your confidence is often contingent on the month

November? Yep, won't need to be in shorts or a bikini for about 7-8 months. I am good to go.

February? I'll need to be in a bikini soon.. I could use some work.

6. You are thrilled by the one-piece bathing suit making a fashion come back

A resounding 'thank you' to whoever decided it was time to give one-pieces a try again. The stomachs of us in-between gals are appreciative.

7. Crop tops are 95% of the time not your top of choice

Yeah, okay, clothes are supposed to work for me and not against me.

8. You honestly don't understand jean sizes

I have fluctuated in weight a lot of my life, most recently losing 25lbs, and I still did not budge in jean sizes.

9. You wonder what other people think when they see you

Do other people see me as thin in clothing? Or fat in a bikini? What size am I perceived as?

10. Shopping is kind of a nightmare

Have you ever found about 27 items you liked, added the prices and thought, ah, it is going to be so tough to choose from all of these items? Only to go into the fitting room and realize only 2 of the items fit you well? Yep, me every single time I go to the store.

SEE ALSO: 7 Struggles Of Being The Girl Who Is "Not Skinny" But Also "Not Fat"

11. You're thankful that at least you've got boobs

You can kind of hide them in clothes, and then let them steal the show away from your tummy in a swimsuit.

12. You have a hard time setting weight-loss goals

You aren't really sure how overweight you are (if you are, at all) and you don't want to be at an unhealthy weight on either side of the spectrum.

13. Body positivity comes and goes

There are days, weeks or even months when you feel like the most beautiful person on the planet, and then something happens (old jeans don't fit, you try on a new bathing suit, etc.) and you convince yourself that all of that confidence was wrong and undeserved.

14. You always try on the biggest size first

Either this or you're in a weird limbo between the smallest plus sizes size and the biggest generic sizes size.

15. Half of you knows every body is a bikini body, and half of you is convinced that yours is not

You know that your body is worthy of wearing whatever you want to wear, but looking at yourself and seeing what society (and you) sometimes deem as unattractive can eat away at that knowledge.

16. But you also know self-love and confidence are key to beauty

Even if you have to fake it, you know that feeling confident is going to carry you pretty far.

17. Being in a bathing suit is a constant game of readjustment

Okay, I am sitting. Pull the bottoms up to cover as much as my stomach as possible and the back of the top down to cover any back rolls.

18. You've avoided the mirror after a shower before

You know that you are just going to lose all the comfort you felt in your body during the day when you see yourself, so sometimes it is best to just avoid it.

19. Ultimately, you know your beauty is not contingent on what you are wearing

The goal for everyone should be to get to a point where it doesn't matter if you're in a snowsuit, a bathing suit or a birthday suit... You can see your beauty no matter what and feel confident despite what you have on. It'll take time, but falling in love with the way you look is worth it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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Warm Weather Is Finally Here And That Means Seasonal Depression Can Go Fly A Kite

Like seriously, get out of here.

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Any form of depression flippin' sucks. Like something major. Mental health is wicked important and sometimes crazy hard to maintain. The cold weather of winter does absolutely nothing to help either and ends up making it a lot harder to stay motivated, want to get out of bed and to ever go outside to be productive and active. Vitamin D is so detrimental to the health of our bodies. The sunshine lets us soak that up, but it's almost impossible to do when it's sub-zero for four months straight (ok, a bit of an exaggeration, but not really).

Seasonal depression brings out the worst moods during the long winter months and drags us down. What we can do is to busy ourselves and push ourselves to be the happiest we can be with enjoyable activities. Make sure you do fun things that will help you avoid being stir crazy. It's a vital time of self-care and making sure you are physically and emotionally healthy.

Once the icy force field of the winter breaks, spring flourishes and so do we. The heavyweight that was hanging on our shoulders is lifted off. We instantly feel lighter. It's an amazing feeling and so relieving. Getting through the winter in one piece feels so successful.

So, have fun now. Enjoy the fresh air and let the sunshine kiss your skin. Embrace your happy and positive thoughts. Cherish not having to wear a jacket and the fact that you need air conditioning in your car instead of heat. Roll the windows down and blast the music. Make your days include some form of outside activities and exercise. Celebrate every single aspect of the spring and summer because when winter rolls around again, you will want memories to keep you going so that when you have to do it all over again, it will go smoothly.

So, goodbye seasonal depression, we won't miss you.

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