The Promise of Springtime

By Ann Brode   |   April 18, 2023

This past winter was particularly long, cold, dark, and rainy. We bundled up and tucked in. Our muscles tightened to generate heat and our bodies shivered to generate more heat. Unfortunately, this natural way of getting warm can become a holding pattern that hangs on long after you’ve warmed up. In other words, months and months of curling, scrunching, and cozying may be responsible for the tension you feel in your jaw, neck, and shoulders right now. 

Here are three ways to release the hold of winter – and open up to the promise of Springtime. 

Get in sync with the season: The opposite of scrunching down is lifting up. Just as the life around you is bursting forth, what if you invited your body to come into its fullness? As you walk around, eat with friends, or work at your desk, why not unfurl your spine and broaden your smile a little? Stretch and shake a bit to dislodge the dust of winter. Notice how reclaiming your full space delivers an upbeat message to body, mind, and spirit.

Remember to put the spring in your step: If you’re just plodding along, avoiding the mud and puddles, the spring in your step gets short circuited. Not only does this slow your momentum, it takes a lot more energy as well. Why not add a bit of bounce the next time you walk across a parking lot or hike a mountain trail? Notice how reclaiming the fullness of your gait generates energy and enthusiasm. 

Change your outlook: Every once in a while, take an aesthetic break to bask in the bounty of Nature. Feast on the deep greens and bright colors around you. Drink in the verdant hillsides – full of lupine, mustard, and poppy. Relish the sounds of returning songbirds and running creeks. Savor the scent of orange trees and pittosporum. Notice how focusing on these sensory pleasures cultivates faith, hope, and joy. 

The uplifting, rejuvenating pleasure of Springtime is actually wired into your physiology. Let me explain. When winter comes along and the days get shorter and colder, it sends a signal to your pineal gland to produce more melatonin. When the days start getting longer and warmer, melatonin backs off and serotonin levels perk up. To give you an idea of how this affects your experience, melatonin is the hormone that helps your body naturally slow down and physiologically prepare for a good night’s sleep. Serotonin helps you wake up, feel motivated, and get on with the day. Here’s a little visualization to help you experience this winter-to-spring dynamic: 

Close your eyes and imagine a cold, gray winter’s day with rain or snow on the way. Doesn’t your body just want to hunker down, be still, and take a nap? Then, think about a warm spring day with bees humming and a scent of jasmine in the air. Now, does your body feel more like opening up, moving around, and singing out loud?

Just spending more time outdoors enjoying the sensual delight of bright colors, intriguing scents, and new life, delivers a dose of the pleasure hormone dopamine. And, this year, the abundance of rain has given us a dopamine high that’s truly extraordinary. The mountains have gone from parched dull grays to lush dark greens. Wildflowers are exploding. Creeks are flowing. Bees are buzzing; birds are nesting. The overwhelming feeling is of abundance and renewal. 

It seems apt that Springtime is associated with regeneration and optimism. As sap rises and flowers bloom, so does your energy and creativity. The verdant hillsides and return of songbirds—these wonders trigger hopefulness. The longer, warmer days lead to expansive thinking and playful curiosity. Creative ideas seem possible, doable, intriguing. Seeing life return reminds us of the wisdom of the natural world and our potential for new beginnings.

Because this past winter was so intense and challenging, the arrival of Springtime in all its glory is an occasion to celebrate. Why not channel the surge of energy and frolic a bit? Let the promise of Springtime be an inspiration to explore beyond, commit to a cause, or take a chance on romance. Feel the abundance and share your goodwill, and your good feelings. After all, this is one of the truly enchanting times of year.  


You might also be interested in...

  • Woman holding phone

    Support the
    Santa Barbara non-profit transforming global healthcare through telehealth technology