Sprung for Spring

Sprung for Spring

Why us Washington people get geeked for spring time!

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Ah, yes. Spring!

That magical time of year when that weird, warm yellow ball in the sky comes back again. We can finally whip out our old, ripped up tee shirts and shorts, and wear them happily in the fifty to sixty degree weather. The crisp, clean air and the smells of blooming flowers and dew makes you feel like you're in a utopian meadow. *Cue the talking and singing woodland critters*

We emerge from our homes like bears out of hibernation, and suddenly every street, park, suburban yard or beach is packed full with people soaking up every second they can. Making small talk about the weather with strangers is actually exciting. As a teenager, it wasn't uncommon for my peers to skip a class or two — or even the entire school day just to be outside with their friends. When the sun is out, everyday feels like a holiday.

It's a big deal for us. Seattle ranks #2 for the city that has the "most depressing winter" in the United States, only getting 28 percent of clear skies between November and February. Since we're located in the PNW, the sun will rise later and set earlier, and the little daylight we do get is usually covered by a thick, dark blanket of gray clouds. Basically, it's like being suffocated inside a snow-globe for four months. And, this inevitable suffocation each winter has some not-so-fun mental side effects.

The Cities with the Most (and Least) Depressing Winters


The Cities with the Most (and Least) Depressing Winters smartasset.com

According to psychiatrist David Avery, 10% of Seattle suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD (you have to admit, the abbreviation is hilariously fitting), and it all boils down to the sun, or lack thereof.

When we're exposed to sunlight, it releases serotonin in our brains. This chemical can help us feel happy and motivated. When we're exposed to darkness, this releases melatonin. Since we get very little sunlight during the harsh winter, people can experience a decrease in serotonin production and a rise in melatonin production, causing them to feel SAD, no matter how much Vitamin D supplements we inject into our bloodstreams.

Of course, there are many who suffer from regular depression on top of seasonal depression. If you know these types of people, give them a hug. If you're this type of person, go take a bubble bath. Right. Now.

So, we cope with the lack of sun by smoking a lot of weed. And we sleep a lot. I know on my off days, I like to be in bed by 6PM, even if I don't actually fall asleep until 1AM. We also eat a lot of comfort food, like chili or soup. I know of people who go tanning not because they actually want to be tan, but so they can remember what it's like to feel warm light on their skin. I think tourists can fuck right off with their complaints about the "Seattle Freeze", since they don't understand the true horrors of being sun deprived. You can't blame us for being bitchy.

Seasonal Affective Disorder for stoners


Seasonal Affective Disorder for Stoners www.seattleweekly.com

Marijuana can act as an antidepressant for the fall and winter months.


By the beginning of April, you can catch me at the beach where I will be sunbathing with most of my clothes on.




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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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3 Tips For Saying Goodbye For The Summer

When a few months feels like forever...

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Summertime is wonderful! You get time out of school, you can do all these fun things you've been wanting to do, and you get to spend time with your friends. Sometimes, however, your friends have to go off for the summer. Whether they're visiting family, going on vacation for a while, or even just working all the time and not able to see you, it can be hard knowing that your friend isn't gonna be around during what's supposed to be the best time of the year. You know it's temporary, but it still stinks!

Well, I've had to do this a couple of times, so I know a thing or two about dealing with your friend being gone for the summer. I hope that these tips will help your friend feel a little bit closer and the wait seem a little bit shorter:

1. Set up a scheduled system of communication.

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Call, text, email, snail mail, etc. You guys chose the easiest method of communication, and you stick to it. Knowing exactly when to expect a phone call means a lot when you miss someone. It may be difficult finding time that works for both people, but even a scheduled call one time a week is better than not even knowing when you're gonna hear from someone. You can even have a unique way to communicate. Do you like games? You can do multiplayer games online and spend time together that way. Are you old fashioned and like writing letter? Send them a letter to let them know how you are. We live in a world with so many methods of communication, so find which one helps you stay in touch.

2. Stay busy.

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I have spent my fair share mopeing around, waiting for someone to call and hoping that they'd be back soon. That is the worst way to spend your time! Instead of wasting you summer waiting by the phone, go out and do something. Spend time with other friends, go to the beach, do anything you want! Don't waste your summer trying to make time go faster; it doesn't work. Do things that'll help get your mind off of your friend being gone. It'll get easier as time goes along, so make use of the time you have.

3. Don't hold it in.

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Having your friend go off can be tough, especially if it's a person you're very close with. It's okay! You aren't being silly if you feel sad. Some people may even feel hurt, like they're being left behind. That's okay too! What isn't okay is bottling it up and not talking to someone about it. What isn't okay is taking that fear and frustration out on other people, especially the friend that's gone. Talk to someone about it. Write some journal entries about how you're feeling. Don't sit around feeling sad and lonely and left behind. Get out of your own head and realize that everything will be okay. They didn't leave you behind, you're not gonna be sad forever, and everything will be okay.

Well, I hope you have a good summer! Yeah, that person has left, but they'll be back soon. Just live your summer day by day, and they'll be back before you know it!

Good luck!

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