We all struggle with the winter blues but February has always been particularly tough for me. This February has been sunnier and warmer than any other in my experience, but I still feel a fierce longing for spring. I can't wait to ride my bike along the water's edge, wake up with the sun instead of before it, and sit outside on my breaks from work. I know that some of you readers are not from Canada, and are having as many sunny days as ever and I hate you just a teeny bit for that. But try to IMAGINE and keep reading.
Do you want to embrace spring with me? Here are 10 ways I am embracing spring early:
- Early 'Spring Cleaning' of your desk and closets can help your mind to feel less cluttered and more relaxed. As a post-it addict, I noticed a difference just removing half of the expired "To-Do's" that glare at me all day.
- Taking walks at lunch or eating in a location with natural light.
- Tulips, tulips, tulips. Tulips always remind me that spring is coming and as my favourite flower I leap at the chance to completely surround myself with them at every opportunity. I have them at work, at home... I even bring them with me when visiting people to share the love!
- Changing work hours to arrive 30 minutes earlier in the morning and leave while it is still light outside.
- Weekend naps in the sun. Preferably with a cat.
- Walking around in the least boot-like shoes I think I can get away with. Not recommended if there is a blizzard happening, but slipping into my flats for a quick walk to the store reminds me of what it feels like when my feet aren't constrained by two pairs of socks and fur-lined waterproof snow boots. I also got a pedicure so my feet are completely sandal-ready, should the opportunity arise. (It won't, but you never know. Eternal optimist.)
- Sitting in a bright UVA/Seasonal Depression lightbox every morning for 30 minutes helps to give you Vitamin D and regulate your sleeping patterns. I wake up 30 minutes earlier every morning to sit in my lightbox and work on my painting. It's like hitting two birds with one stone! (But without actually harming any birds).
- Mood boards, collages, and music choices can all help you focus your creativity on being productive and positive. You can use Polyvore or Pinterest to collect imagery from online to inspire you. Making something can get your creative juices flowing and help you feel like you are accomplishing things.
- Eat healthily and make an effort to get exercise. I am terrible at this one, once it's too snowy to use my bicycle, but I always feel better if I am more active. My friend Kim is running the Marvelous Me Project, which is challenging everyone to spend February being more active and getting more sleep. Even if all you do is dance around your apartment naked, that counts.
Hopefully this list was amusing or helpful to you! I would love to know what everyone else is doing to cheer themselves up this February? Any tricks or tips that I missed you can feel free to leave in the comments!