It’s springtime! Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, winter coats are hibernating in the backs of our closets (or the middle for the northerners, just in case). As spring greets us on the calendar, many of us are noticing a spring (couldn’t help it!) in our steps as well, and that’s not sheer coincidence. According to scientists and psychologists, “a combination of timing, the natural human body program, hormones, and most importantly, light,” work together to create a general sense of positivity and happiness when springtime heads our way. It’s a lovely thing.
But of course, cheery as it sounds, it’s not a universal truth. Some of you look at the sunshine breaking through the clouds and almost feel taunted by its presence, wondering why it still feels like winter in your soul. Some of you feel caught in the gap between the beauty outside and the harsh cold inside, the inner ice of stress or depression or grief or sadness. I have been you, and more than once. It’s a lonely, disorienting feeling. So what do we do when the calendar’s pages are beckoning us into springtime, but winter’s grip seems to linger in our souls?
While there’s no formula to follow that will suddenly thaw the chill inside you, I’d like to offer a few suggestions that have served as a warm blanket for me in various seasons of my life.