Even though spring is such a hopeful and long-awaited season, it can be hard to deal with once it finally arrives.
That’s because you’ve probably gotten used to a winter routine. And even though you hate the cold, you’ve gotten used to that, too.
So, if you find yourself having a hard time dealing with your daily routine this spring, try not to feel frustrated. You’re not alone, and we’ve got some ideas to get you through to summer.
Why Routines Are Good and Bad
We all need routines no matter what the season. In the summer, your routine might be spending more evenings outdoors because the days are longer and warmer.
But during the winter, that’s the last thing you want to do. Instead, you’d rather stay inside with a warm cup of cocoa in your cozy house.
Routines aren’t just things we do regularly over an extended period of time. Routines give us structure, prevent confusion and chaos, and make us feel safe and secure. They’re something we can rely on, even in the coldest and darkest of days. Consistency is important and a routine makes sure you stay organized and accountable.
But routines can also be very monotonous and kill any creative spark you’ve got left.
If we do the exact same thing, day in and day out, it’s hard to get motivated and feel energized. This is especially true when our winter and spring routines include staying in most of the time and cutting back on going out.
But when we see and experience new things, new neural pathways open up in our brain. So, to keep our routines from getting the best of us, it’s crucial to shake things up and challenge our minds.
Spice Up Your Routine
Now, just because routines can stifle creativity and lead to boredom, that doesn’t mean you have to eschew your routine completely. As the old saying goes, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!
Instead, it’s enough to introduce something new, different and challenging into your routine. Here are some ideas to keep life from looking like a factory assembly line.
Rise and Shine
Getting an early start to your day can give you more energy and more pep to your step. You can kick start your day with exercise, journaling or meditating.
Eat Foods You Really Love
It’s so easy to fall into a cooking rut, and get bored with your meal planning. To reignite the fire, try to balance your diet with foods you truly enjoy. Moderation is important, but make sure you actually enjoy your meals.
Say Thank You
Cultivating a grateful mindset can help you see the little blessings in your day. And when you can appreciate even the smallest things, you’ll discover magic even in your mundane routine.
Become a Tourist
Now, you probably can’t leave your job for a random vacation. But! You can become a tourist in your own city or town. Visit historic sites, new restaurants, or discover unexplored areas. Remember, experiencing new things helps your brain create new neural pathways, and this can lead to creative thought.
Play with Style
You don’t have to purchase new clothes to create a new outfit. Instead, try mixing and matching the pieces you already have in your wardrobe. You’d be surprised at how many new looks you can create.
Try New Recipes
Is there a celebrity chef you follow? Or, a cuisine you’ve been curious to try? Grab that cookbook and see if you can make one or two new recipes each week. It’s something fun to look forward to, and you could even play music that matches the cuisine.
Change Your Commute
You still have to go to work or school, but do you have to take the same road every day? Probably not! Take a new way home, or listen to a different playlist or podcast. Make your commute fun and informative.
Learn Something New
Enroll in online language courses, learn a skill, start a language or explore a new literary genre. When you give yourself a challenge, you push yourself out of your comfort zone and into a world of awe and wonder.
It’s very easy to use our routine as an excuse to not do things we want to do. So, ask yourself what you’d do if your routine (or weather) wasn’t a factor. Have your answer? Good! Now go do it! It’s possible.
Why Spring Can Get You Down
All of those tips can help you energize your spring routine.
But there’s another reason why it’s hard to deal with your spring routine. That’s because spring itself can get you down. Even though it’s such a beautiful season, some people actually have a very difficult time feeling happy once it finally arrives.
It’s easy to forget how much the weather influences us. And certain people experience a specific type of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) called Reverse SAD during spring.
Reverse SAD exhibits the usual signs of normal Seasonal Affective Disorder, however, it shows up specifically around spring and summertime.
When you’re feeling down, there’s nothing worse than the pressure to feel better. And with the spring, there’s definitely an expectation to feel happy. So, if you struggle with Reverse SAD, and you compare yourself to people who are feeling fine, it can be very difficult to deal with spring.
Feeling depressed isn’t the only thing that some people deal with. That’s because all those blooming flowers and plants trigger seasonal allergies. And allergies impact not only your physical health but also your mental health, too.
Therese Bochard, the founder of Project Hope & Beyond, also reminds us of how difficult change can be. Even a good change, like spring, can pose problems to our equilibrium. So, even though the days are sunnier, our hormone production has to adjust accordingly. And that can be a lot for our bodies and nervous system to handle all at once.
If the spring season or your spring routine is bringing you down, always remember that you can shake things up. Try any of our suggestions, or seek help from a trusted professional so that you can find comfort amidst the changing seasons.