The Slow Pace of Spring
A friend wrote recently on her blog about spring and how it can be an emotionally rough time of year. She said it’s hard because many people get an infusion of energy, feeling more upbeat, and if you’re not in that space you can feel guilty and inadequate. If you live in a climate where winter is slow to leave, with days of warmer weather followed by more ice and snow, that can add to the challenge.
Many people secretly have an ambivalent relationship with spring. March is the month for catching the cold that you’ve resisted throughout the winter months or just feeling a case of the blahs. You might feel uncomfortable in your body, noticing you’ve put on weight over the more sedentary winter months, or just feel a bit out of shape. You may want to get on with things, planting a garden or starting a new project, but the timing isn’t quite right. Adjusting to the time change (“spring ahead”) can be disorienting and take longer than you thought.
Perhaps part of the issue lies in our high expectations for spring. We eagerly anticipate its arrival, picturing blue skies and flowers. Yet the first phase of spring is often rather messy. There’s mud and dirty melting snow, and litter that no one’s picked up because we’ve all been indoors. You go out for a walk in a t-shirt when the sun is shining and the breeze is soft, but find yourself shivering on the way home, as the clouds roll in and the wind gets colder. Grey skies and rain affect your mood.
Spring is an opportune time to practice patience. There’s a lot of waiting going on and we feel like we should be doing something productive. If you feel like you’re in a lull, be patient with yourself. Take a nap. If you’re really busy, cancel a few of your appointments or social events and use the time to rest. Exercise. Not in a way that makes you feel guilty or stressed out, but by doing your favorite activities – take walks, ride your bike, dance in your kitchen. Exercise is almost a guaranteed mood-lifter. Eat a salad with lots of fresh greens. Curl up on a rainy day and read a novel or a book of poetry. There’s plenty of time to dig in the garden or make new friends or play Frisbee once the weather has settled. Relax into the moment and allow spring to arrive at its own pace.