by Christy Gualtieri
Daylight Saving Time is that magical time of year when we “spring ahead” and welcome an extra hour of sunlight into our day. There is so much that I love about this time of year, and it’s really only one hour of the day that we skip over to get ahead. But for some reason, my body just cannot catch up.
It happens every single year: I set my clock forward, and my body automatically goes into a slower mode like it’s trying to hang on to the shorter, colder days. I get headaches, I’m constantly tired, and I get cranky. My body somehow forgets that spring is just around the corner, and that this is a good thing.
“How can you forget?” I feel like screaming. “This is great news! Don’t you know what this means? This long, ridiculous winter will be over soon! No more weeks where there are sub-zero temperatures for days in a row! No more having to stuff your toddler in his ridiculously bulky snowsuit for the two seconds it takes to get him from the car into the house! No more entire days in the house! This means playgrounds, and warmer air, and milder weather, and sunshine! For God’s sake, sunshine!”
And my body just turns over in bed and pulls the covers up over itself.
It’s an adjustment, and it takes a few days for my body to get used to something new. I know that in a few days I’ll get used to the new schedule, and life will continue on its way and each day will bring what it will.
Fair enough. But it’s also a good opportunity to think about what else can be adjusted during this time.
Maybe our attitudes, for one? I know that for me, the winter months are prime time for negative thoughts. I suppose the darker afternoons pave the way for darker thoughts and feelings. But now, just as more sunlight is allowed into our days, maybe we can try to allow more positivity into our lives too. And you might say that’s just one more hour of light, but one hour of positivity can really make a difference.
Maybe we can be kinder to ourselves, give ourselves a little grace. It really has been a hard winter, full of polar vortexes and short tempers, lots of snow and little patience. What adjustments can we make to get ourselves on a path to happiness and peace, which we can then extend to others?
We have some time to work on it: although the days are a bit longer now, the weather forecast is still predicting snow. But we have light at the end of the tunnel. Not every day will be cold now. Let’s turn our efforts now to introducing more happiness into our lives, so that by the time spring has truly sprung, we can find ourselves as renewed as the flowers that are bound to rise up out of the still-frozen ground!
Christy Gualtieri is a freelance writer specializing in pop culture, religion, and motherhood. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and son, blogs at openthoseojos.wordpress.com, and tweets @agapeflower117.
Follow PghPsych on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates, inspirational quotes, articles, and different events and causes related to good mental health!