For many of us, the arrival of spring always means a fresh start. As we say farewell to the long cold nights of winter, we welcome warm sunshine tickling our cheeks in the early morning and sleepy critters poking their heads from their burrows.
If your newfound hope for the new year has already faded in the face of the countless adversities 2020 has presented, find promise in the shift of the seasons. Just as new leaves sprout from previously bare trees, remember that you too can reset your own situation with a simple shift in perspective.
Challenge yourself to take on new goals with confidence and courage. Mourn your failures, but look ahead to the new things that await you this season. Keep a gratitude journal to remind yourself of your previous victories and current blessings when your situation feels bleak. Yes, this is all easier said than done, but spring brings new hope — scientifically proven hope.
Although daylight savings deprives us of an hour of sleep, the trade-off for later sunsets brings hidden benefits in improving mental health; more exposure to natural sunlight has been shown to elevate mood. In fact, the main culprit for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as seasonal depression, is decreased availability of sunlight. Because exposure to sunlight regulates our internal biological clocks, the long nights of winter cause feelings of sadness, anxiety, and irritability characteristic of depression. On the other hand, the longer hours of sunlight in the spring cause the body to release serotonin, a hormone associated with happiness.
Thus, even if you have difficulty believing in your own willpower, you can have faith in biology and the restorative effects of sunlight. Happy spring!:)