Authored By: Kent Larson, Family Therapist
Why are people so excited about spring? Who cares what the weather is outside? Doesn’t life just go on no matter the season of the year?
Though some, who are in the minority, may think differently, many welcome the coming of spring. This is the season when the world around us is awakening and coming alive again. The trees are budding and blooming, lawns are turning green, tulips are out in their majesty, the hours of daylight are growing longer, and we hearing the birds again singing outside. On certain days one can see flocks of various kinds of birds high in the sky flying north for their summer retreats.
To many, spring is a time of renewal as the long dark days of winter are ended and the world is coming to life . The temperatures are pleasant and the sounds of children can be heard in their play. They are so excited as they have been cooped up in their homes for much of the winter months. Many people of all ages are out basking in the sun. This, when only weeks ago, winter’s rage was still upon us with its snow, darkness, and cold.
People seem happier and have renewed energy. They seem excited about cleaning and fixing up their yards, planting flower or vegetable gardens, and making future plans for the summer. It’s as if the moods of people have heightened and are now, they are much happier.
A Polar Equinox happens two times per year, approximately March 21 and September 21, of each year. Today is one of the two days each year when there is 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of darkness. This means that for the next six months until September 21, 2017 there will be more hours and minutes of light than of darkness. March 21 officially signals that spring has arrived.
Last January I wrote a blog about Seasonal Affective Disorder and the myth that the third Monday of January is the most depressing day of the year. Josh Corp, CEO of Stop Aging Now, wrote about 5 typical symptoms of vitamin D deficiency which may include people experiencing aches/pains, low energy, mood fluctuations, and sleep disturbances. In an article written by the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, entitled Vitamin D Fact Sheet for Healthcare Professionals, the benefits of vitamin D are mentioned, including better rates of the assimilation of minerals into the body.
During the winter months and short days, many have symptoms of depression (see the blog posted January 19, 2017). It is a well proven fact that exposure to the sun helps relief the symptoms of depression, that tend to increase during the winter.
I wish to speak of one other benefit to the warmer days. Being outside allows for many different types of outdoor family activities. Spring provides abundant opportunities for activities in the park: playing ball, swinging, frisbee, soccer, zip lines, picnics, go for a walk/run, enjoy a bike ride down the Jordan River Parkway or other trails. Also family barbecues, playing catch with a ball, bad mitten, are among the many options to choose from for spring fun. .
Taking time out of our busy schedules to spend time with our families or children will make this spring more wonderful. I look forward to doing many of these things with my family. Doing so is truly what makes the season of spring worthwhile.