February and March are notoriously evil months here in the Carolinas. One day it’s 17 degrees with blustering, icy winds — the next day it’s so warm and sunny the tulips start poking their way out of the mulch. The poor flowers, I don’t know how they ever make it to April. And poor us! The days the sun is shining are a complete mental health-180 from the dreary, grey days we’re unwillingly locked up inside. There’s something about the early days of spring that make me so insanely happy and productive it’s almost mind-boggling. So instead of waiting for the real spring to roll around, I’m taking advantage of everything I can to fake-it-til-we-make-it. Might as well take advantage of all that good-mental health when we need it most — right smack dab at the end of a long, cold winter.
Here are five ways to fake spring until the real season comes around:
1. Get a sun light.
A blue light, especially one used in the morning, can help perk you up and get your day started on the right foot. Specialty lamps can help boost your vitamin D levels, too. Low vitamin D can play a factor in low mood and depression. Try a light like this Philips goLITE BLU.
2. Bring the flowers to you.
Though the flowers aren’t truly blooming outside yet, buying a fresh bouquet and displaying it somewhere prominent inside can help you realize spring is on the way. There’s something refreshing and relaxing about fresh-cut flowers. I can’t tell you what a difference a bright splash of blooming pink makes while I sit drinking my morning coffee, ignoring the still-melting snow out the window.
3. Dress in bright colors.
Just because it’s not really spring according to the weather or the calendar, that doesn’t mean your wardrobe can’t reflect the spring season. Try donning bright, fresh colors like light pinks, fresh mints, and sunny yellows. (Research shows happy people gravitate towards yellow.) I’ve got spring-colored pants out the wazoo and I plan on milking them for everything they’re worth this season.
4. Clean house.
I know this one’s no fun, but it isn’t called “spring cleaning” for nothing! Getting a fresh start, even when it comes to organizing and cleaning, can help get you in the right mindset to be happy and productive. Getting rid of unwanted items lifts a surprising weight off your shoulders.
5. Switch to spring scents.
Toss the apple-cinnamons, the pine, and the plum scents, and trade them for something bright and floral. Whether it’s air-fresheners, room sprays or perfumes, your nose will be tricked into thinking the weather’s nicer if you switched to scents that remind you of sunshine and flowers.
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