Springtime Pairings to Enhance Your Day

Posted: April 18, 2014 in balance

#ptsd #posttrauma #trauma #bully

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Springtime Pairings to Enhance Your Day
A few weeks ago, we talked about four ways to jump-start your spring season, and hopefully your transition to spring has been a smooth one! Maybe you made a conscious effort to prepare your mind, body, and environment for this major change of season. Maybe in your neck of the woods, spring is still creeping in. Or maybe you live your life like it’s springtime all year round!

For me, however, the switch from winter to spring is one of my favorites to experience all year. Spring to summer is fun and easy; summer to fall shows definite changes, but the weather is somewhat predictable; and fall to winter takes us from cold to colder in a very gradual manner. It’s this winter to spring transition that throws us for a loop. On the East Coast, at least, we just left what became everyone’s favorite hashtag of the season, #polarvortex, and spent around four months conditioned to wearing our heaviest coats, boots, and likely a couple pairs of socks. It wasn’t fun, but at least it was consistent! All of a sudden, it’s 65 degrees and sunny one day, 45 and pouring rain another, and the nights can still drop down to freezing. If that’s not enough to throw your system for a loop, I don’t know what is. When the weather is unpredictable, your emotions can be too!

Most days, my team and I have been very conscious to do a “mood check-in” sometimes sharing that even the smallest ray of sunshine through the clouds can give us energy, or how just 24 hours later, we can feel sluggish, indifferent, and unmotivated. Of course, the latter isn’t ideal, but when you share the mood and accept it, you’re more likely to navigate your daily To-Dos in a more positive way. We’ve paired three types of spring day with an idea to keep you positive, strong, and emotionally light.

1. Wet Day. April showers bring May flowers, right? And in May, the results are gorgeous! But when you’re trudging to the bus juggling your coffee, purse, gym bag, and umbrella, you’re likely not feeling at your personal best. The next time the skies are grey, I encourage you to get creative! Think about when you were a child; a rainy day meant that your baseball/softball game was cancelled, you couldn’t ride your bike with your friends, and climbing trees? Forget about it. You had to come up with fun things to do at home! It’s so easy to skip the gym or running your errands when it’s crummy outside; but instead of turning on that zillionth episode of Friends you’ve watched this month, challenge yourself to do something you don’t usually do at home. Read a book. Try a new recipe. Make a craft. Workout right in your living room! With a little creative spirit, your living space can become a whole haven of untapped potential.

2. Cold Day. Ugh. No one likes to take a step backwards. Heck, the season is even called “spring”; we should be springing forward! But given that winter was just a few short weeks ago, you know how to handle a cold spring day. Don’t let it get you down. Instead, use a day like this to really focus in on the task or tasks that need to get done. Think about how it feels being outside when it’s cold. You’re likely moving with direct, quick, and driven steps to get to your destination (and into warmth) as soon as possible. Sure, it’s no picnic, but think about the intention: I need to get from here to there, and I need to stay warm, dry, and arrive as quickly and efficiently as I can. Apply that philosophy to an exercise, task or project around the house you’ve been putting off and you’ll be stunned by what you can accomplish… For example, are you the kind of person who can commit to 20 push-ups before breakfast, but at rep number 17 you feel the burn and decide that was “good enough”? Take this “cold day” focus and drive to the mat and at number 17 say, “only three more; that’s nothing compared to what I’ve already done, so I’m set up for success.” Heck, by the time you say that to yourself, you’ll have already done at least three more push-ups. Be direct, focused and driven with yourself on a cold day; it’s worth it!

3. Warm Day. What a relief. When the temperatures rise, so do our spirits. Old Man Winter brings us lots of joy — lovely delicate snowfall, hot cocoa by a fireplace, holiday celebrations with loved ones — but just like any guest, when they linger too long, you can get a little sick of them. Use a warm day as a signal of inspiration and hope. Not all change is good. Not all change is bad. But all change is an opportunity for reflection. On a warm spring day, open the windows and let the light and warmth flood in. Use the warmth to guide your reflection. Look at your life and goals with the kind of warmth and tenderness of a spring afternoon. Give your dreams attention with kind, hopeful thoughts that can allow them to blossom like spring flowers. And if the big picture seems overwhelming, think about the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Are there any New Year’s Resolutions that you felt SO strongly about in January but are now just as forgotten as that dust bunny under the couch? Just like flowers in the springtime, think of a way to make your goals bloom again. Try to write down three tricks to kick the winter doldrums and bring the springtime energy into your goals.

Of all the changes Mother Nature brings our way in the springtime, what’s the one thing that keeps us energized and offers happiness when it’s there? The sun. In my opinion, a sunny crisp day is spring at its best! But even on a wet, cold, or just warm day, chances are the sun will make a cameo appearance. When the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and everyone is finding opportunities to be outside, even for a minute. Make sure you do too! Don’t take the sunshine for granted. Whether it’s bright for one hour or all day, take that time to enjoy a sunny spring day by inviting a little nature into your life, even if it just means walking around the block a couple times after dinner or picking up a bundle of sunny daisies for your windowsill. But if you can, really breathe in the season’s new air and spend time outside. A wet day pairs with creativity, a cold day comes with drive and productivity, and a warm day encourages reflection and growth, but any day can be paired with a bit of sun — an opportunity to say thank you and feel joy.

Boise Bipolar Center, Charles K. Bunch, Ph.D, Boise Idaho Therapist Mental health photo 2168_zps680c452f.jpg


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