Changing with the seasons

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Beach in Caseville, MI

I’ve alluded to it before, but the seasons and the weather have a huge effect on my overall mood. In summer, I’m blissful and busy, with regular trips to the beach and abundant sunshine keeping a smile on my face. Once the temperature drops, however, I go into hibernation mode. I have a hard time leaving the house, let alone feeling motivated. At first, I embrace the extra time at home and try to make the most of it, but eventually, I start to feel restless and discouraged in my day-to-day life–like I’m missing out, letting it pass me by.

I was looking forward to March bringing longer days with Daylight Savings (it is nice that it’s still light out now when I leave work!). The trouble is that I was expecting some instantaneous shift–like I’d automatically feel better the second I set the clocks back.

Guess what? I don’t. I dug myself so deep into a hole this winter that I’m having trouble crawling back out. It’s not just this year–it happens every year. Last March, we spent a week in Miami, and it made a HUGE difference in my mood that sustained me the entire month. It just shows how important taking a vacation really is–sometimes all you need is that shift in perspective.

An immediate trip isn’t in the cards (even though I keep looking at travel deals), so how do I channel those vacation vibes when I’m still here at home?

What makes me feel really good about being on vacation? A warm locale certainly helps, but really it’s the careless nature of it all. I get to say “BYE!” to my responsibilities for a few days and prioritize feeling good, disconnecting, and trying new things. It’s an excuse for doing what you really want (why not have the fries and ice cream–I’m on vacation!). Why not do that every day? What makes heading out on a weekend road trip any different from heading home? A change in scenery can have an impact, but ultimately it’s the shift in mindset.

I want to live every day like I’m on vacation.

It isn’t easy, and it takes time, but we’ve got to alleviate some of the burden we place on ourselves. This isn’t a call to abandon your duties, and you shouldn’t just blow off jobs or commitments, but the world is NOT going to end if you don’t submit that TPS report. What we’re capable of varies from day to day, and we should honor that, not inflict punishment.

Find a way each day to bring a little bit of vacation and joy into your life–whether that means wearing bright colors, meeting friends for happy hour, listening to upbeat music, or spending time by yourself. The to-do list never really ends, and we’ve got to release some of the hold it has on us. Make personal satisfaction a priority in your life.

This is something I’ll personally be working on, and I hope you’ll consider it, too. Let’s live it up!

Tell me: Is your mood affected by the seasons? Where did you go on your last vacation? What’s one thing you can do today to feel good?