Early Spring
By Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

In early February thousands gather in Punxsutawney, PA, to witness the famous groundhog, Phil, declare his prognosis for a longer winter or early spring. Although we know intellectually the seasonal changes are not predicated on the groundhog’s shadow, many find it amusing and some are even hopeful when the groundhog does not see his shadow and declares an early spring. If seasons were categorized in order of preference, many would give spring first place. The sun begins to be visible longer, days are warmer, flowers are blooming, and little animals begin to scurry around the neighborhood. What is the reason the other seasons do not seem to awaken our senses in the same way? What is it about spring that makes us “feel” good? What are some things we can do during the year to help us experience joy in all seasons? Here are a few suggestions.

Avoid hibernation/isolation. I enjoy entering a cozy warm space on a winter day. Snuggling with a fleece blanket while wearing fuzzy warm slippers is something I look forward to when fighting the howling wind. It becomes a safe place. During the colder months we have to be more intentional about connecting. Unlike the warmer months, we need to plan and seek more opportunities to engage. The street venders, outside cafes/events have all moved indoors. We have to be more thoughtful and seek out things that bring us pleasure and also encourage us to enjoy the moment.

Prioritize self care. We are typically less active during the cooler seasons. We try to maximize the shorter days and give ourselves more time to “wind down” when the sun sets. This may be a great time to focus on “self enhancement.” Develop new exercise routines, skin care rituals, sleep routines, eating habits, etc. Shorter days may offer more opportunities to nurture ourselves.

Process and reflect. In previous posts I suggested implementing a time daily to process or decompress. This helps us to be mindful to settle ourselves mentally and physically. I spend time at the close of each season for self reflection. What were the highs and lows of the season? How did I care for myself? How are my relationships? What can I do more for self enrichment?

Despite our reservations, regrets, readiness, or Punxsutawney Phil’s weather prediction, spring (and the other three seasons) arrive at the same time each year.
If the seasonal transitions bring thoughts of hopelessness and despair perhaps having someone with whom to reflect and process may be helpful.
Ready to take the next step.

Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

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