It seems like every year, right around this time, I find myself overcome with a drowning sense of seasonal depression. You can ask my boyfriend, because he’ll be the first one to point out “you’re acting weird again.” It’s like this looming concoction of sadness, anxiety, and a little bit of anger; and it happens very single year. I’ve come to attribute this sensation to the painfully slow transition from Winter to Spring in New England. After months of being bundled up, it feels like my soul is crying out for an opportunity to run outside in a t-shirt. And yet, here we remain, 3 weeks into Spring and still freezing our butts off!
Living in New England, I’ve come to accept that the Winter season tends to drag on far longer than we typically estimate. March, as a month, seems to take pleasure in spoiling our long-awaited Spring by reminding us that this isn’t Southern California. Even though I have become accustomed to New England’s relentless Winter weather, I still find myself trying to push past a seasonal depression every year while I patiently wait for warmth. It is now finally April, and, I swear, if I must wear my peacoat one more time, I think I will lose my mind! I know life isn’t quite like a Disney movie, but is it too much to ask for a few birds chirping and flowers blooming to greet me as I get in my care to head to work?
This year, however, I’ve decided to tackle this seasonal depression head on. Here are some my tactics that I hope you can utilize as well!
- Go outside whenever possible
We were blessed this weekend with a glimpse of the warm weather to come. Unfortunately, it did not last long. As someone who has grown up a gamer, I tend to isolate myself in my computer chair ignoring the gift that is bright sun on a perfect day. Well, not this weekend. I pushed myself to go outside for a walk at every opportunity. I walked to get breakfast. I walked to get lunch. I walked to get dinner. I walked just to walk. I even stumbled upon a park that overlooked the entire city of Providence and soaked up every minute of its blissful quiet air. If Leslie Knope worked for the city of Providence’s Parks and Recreation department instead of Pawnee, this would have been her spot.
- Try something new
Its easy to feel stuck in the rut of monotony when doing the same thing every weekend. When the weather still won’t turn, and you’ve become a regular at the same 2 restaurants, its time to mix it up. Find a new restaurant, sit at the bar, order their signature appetizer, and split two entrees you’ve never tried before. This is one of our favorite nights out because its always exciting to see what a local place has to offer. Special shutouts to the hole-in-the-wall restaurants that always seem to supply the best food.
In addition to trying new food, there are so many other unique opportunities just waiting to be explored in your area. Ask your friends or search online for new establishments that have opened recently and you’ll be surprised how easily it is to turn an average weekend into something exciting. For example, we recently stumbled a Go-Kart/Axe-Tossing bar (yes – it was awesome), which proved to be a truly superb and unique Sunday afternoon. Whether its wine-tastings, escape rooms, or a cooking class, go out and be adventurous!
- Focus on your career
Firstly, the single greatest investment you can make, is in yourself. This is a rule that I am constantly reinforcing. Secondly, nothing is more of a distraction for studying than beautiful weather. And since it is clearly not available to distract you, why not use this time of seasonal inbetweenness (no officially a word) to focus on your career. There is a plethora of online material waiting to be mastered. I am currently studying part-time for a certification in my field and I find it to be a huge help in deterring me from feeling down on a dreary Sunday. In fact, it promotes a positive sense of the satisfaction in knowing that I’m accomplishing my goals.
- Plan a vacation
I have a feeling that you may be thinking the obvious solution is to have already planned a vacation for this time of year. And you’re probably right! But if you’re like me, and did not manage to have so much foresight, begin planning one for later in the year. Distract your mind from the torment by obsessing over every detail on your upcoming trip. We recently planned a vacation to Disney (clearly we’re obsessed), and I’ve now watched so many Disney vlogs I’m about ready to become a tour guide myself. Even just the knowledge that a destination vacation is on the horizon will brighten your mood.
- Improve your diet and exercise regiment
My last bit of advice is to really focus on your diet and exercise. It sounds simple enough, and that’s because it is. Put in that extra effort to take that class you’ve been considering for months. Instead of ordering that sandwich you love for lunch, try ordering a salad instead. I exercise regularly and eat relatively healthy, so its not a huge lifestyle change for me. But knowing that summer is right around the corner, I’ve amped up my current diet/exercise schedule to prepare for bathing suit season. Although we’re not quiet there yet, I find the anticipation is enough to help push me! Quoting an icon, Elle Woods, “Exercise give your endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t!”.