Spring Fever is a real thing.
One study found that as many as 50% of those in northern climates experience some form of mood change in the dead of winter.
Other studies have found an incredible number of positive results as winter fades and springtime commences.
It seems to come down to the amount of daylight. It’s no wonder so many civilizations have worshipped the sun throughout history. It has incredible powers.
If Spring Fever has been an issue for you, here are a few ideas to provide a little help during the early months of the year.
1. Outdoor Winter Activities
The key to the whole thing seems to be daylight hours. Getting daylight on your skin. There is probably more to it, including some science stuff. But that’s the basic idea. The less sunshine, the less happy and healthy we are.
So the key I have found during winter is to get outside as much as possible. Especially when the sun is shining. Go out with a little skin showing. Go out without sunglasses to let it shine on your eyes. Obviously don’t look straight at it, but let those eyes see the light.
Walking is a great winter activity. There are plenty of others. It’s not always easy, but if things are really getting bad inside the house they make plenty of warm clothes these days that make it possible to get outside and do something.
2. More Time With Friends & Family
Having happy and positive friends and family can make you happy. Spend as much time with them as possible during the long winter months. Try to get outdoors if you can, but otherwise spend time with them indoors.
The key to this one is knowing yourself and knowing those closest to you. You probably have friends and family that don’t make you happy. That judge you. That make you feel uncomfortable.
You’re under no obligation to spend time with people you don’t enjoy. Maybe once in awhile, but not all the time and certainly not during a time of year when you’re already prone to Spring Fever.
Say yes to every opportunity to hang out when someone asks during this time. And if the invites aren’t coming in, be the planner in your group that gets things going.
3. Less Time On Social Media
The science seems to still be coming in on whether social media use causes depression and anxiety. For me, looking at bad news doesn’t make me feel better. Looking at a nice warm beach picture might help me for a second, but I could also see it getting really old after awhile while I’m sitting up in the cold winter in Wisconsin.
Cut out the things that make you feel jealous or resentful. Look at how you react to things. January is a good time for detoxing. It can be a good time for detoxing from the news and from social media.
4. Early Spring Cleaning
Accomplishing small tasks provides an incredible boost in good-feelings. You can hack your system by starting your spring cleaning early and get those feel-good emotions rolling even on those days when you can’t get out in the sun.
Start with your room. Clean it. Then clean another room. Throw things away. You probably have a lot of clutter. Most people do. We live with our ancient survival instincts that told our ancestors that accumulation was good for survival. But now we have unlimited resources and access to stuff. It now has a negative impact on our well-being.
5. Personal Schedule Audit
Also declutter your schedule. It’s easy to add things to your personal and work schedule over the year. Now that you’re prone to sadness during the Spring Fever months, take the time to audit what you’re doing every day, week and month. Cut things out that don’t matter.
Look at your priorities. Change your schedule to match. Leave time for unplanned things.
6. Diet Changes
It’s probably not a coincidence that many people change their diets, or try to, every January. Maybe it’s the start of the New Year. Or maybe it’s a way to combat Spring Fever. Maybe we’re doing that without even realizing it.
Whatever the reason, January is a great time to assess what you’re eating. Usually we can do better by eating less and eating whole foods. Stay out of the middle of the grocery store. It can really be that simple.
Spring Fever is a real thing. It’s been documented for generations. Sometimes it hits when we don’t even realize it. Then we can start letting it infect those around us. This year, instead of letting it take control of you, help yourself and then help those around you. Be the one that plans time for daylight and that plans time for things with family and friends.