Thursday, April 16, 2015

Where's My Spring Fever?

Somewhere in my mind, I have images of spring being so full of joy, almost magical!

Spring Fever comes to mind, when the sun comes out after having been hidden for awhile, we feel the warmth, and even get a little tan. Around this time of year, I often get nostalgic for high school summers when I'd spray "sun in" in my hair and lay out in the backyard, soaked in baby oil, "working" on my tan, not a care in the world other than what time drill team practice was that afternoon.

As adults, we start looking forward to summer vacation for us, for our kids.  Everything is supposed to be fun and carefree, recharging, and...happy.  Right?  So, why don't I feel that way?  It turns out I'm not the only one who can't quite grasp the magic of spring this year.

Every time I turn around lately, normally-happy people are feeling a bit down, a bit sluggish, in a funk, or downright depressed.  Not everyone, mind you, but enough of us that it caused me to wonder why.  Sorry to say that this post won't proclaim an answer but I can give a little advice, for myself mostly, but maybe it will benefit you too if you find yourself not in that spring fever, joyful mode.

My Top 11 Ideas for Getting Out of the Funk:)

1.  Be kind to yourself.  Try not to compare yourself with others.   Treat yourself as kindly as you would treat someone you love because hopefully, we do indeed love ourselves.

2.  Forgive yourself.  If you've screwed up in any way, shape, or form---try to make it right and then let it go.  If singing the chorus to that song helps, so be it.  But stop beating yourself up for what you did, didn't do, or wish you had done.

3.  Say "No".  I'm still learning this word.  It means that it's okay to not be in charge of absolutely everything, to not be on every committee, to not sign your kids, or yourself, up for every good opportunity.  It even means you can say "no" to a social invitation because sometimes, you just need to rest.  True friends will understand.

4.  Count your blessings.  Focus on what is good, rather than what you see as missing or lacking.

5.  Carve out time for yourself every single day, even if it's only 30 minutes. I haven't done this yet, but I'm working on it.  And it doesn't have to be productive, awesome, impressive time.  It can be watching something on netflix and just zoning out.  It's okay!

6.  If you are bitter about something in your life, change it. Pray for help if you believe in prayer.

7. Write down the most important things and people in your life.  Ask yourself how your daily activities reflect those priorities.  If you don't like what you see, make changes.

8.  Set a goal and don't be afraid to re-set it when you don't quite make it.  Life is NOT an all-or-nothing endeavor.  My gosh, I've been supposedly writing a book all these years and supposedly working on getting more fit, only to find myself failing miserably at both.  Well....I'm going to take a breath, and set new goals in each of these categories.  It's okay to do that.

9.  Help someone else.  Lose yourself in service once in awhile.  If you already do this, great.  If not, start. There are opportunities everywhere---and listening to a friend, or student, or neighbor counts.

10.  Try, try, try to stop assuming you know what others are thinking or feeling and try, try, try to stop judging everyone, or really, anyone.  It is hard---and none of us mean to judge, but we can jump to incorrect conclusions really quickly sometimes.

11.  Get more sleep!  I've just recently learned that when we are sleep-deprived, all kind of things get out of whack---hormones, moods, relationships, health.  Sleep!!

Now, I know some of you reading this have no idea what these struggles are like, and that's great.  You've either figured out strategies to stay focused on what really matters and lead a balanced life, are just plain lucky.  Either way, if it doesn't apply to you, that's okay.  For the rest of us, though, let's get back that Spring Fever Joy!!!! And as I try to apply these to my life, if I think of more suggestions, I'll share them.  Hope you will too.

Happy Spring!

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