Originally published: 4/19/2021.
“Spring will come and so will happiness. Hold on. Life will get warmer.”
- Anita Krizzan
Life has been tough on many since the pandemic began, at times it can be hard to be positive, but springtime has given us lots to look forward to. Here are five big reasons to be cheerful this spring.
1. The COVID-19 vaccination is making a difference
On March 12,2021 President Biden addressed the nation on the anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown conveying ‘There is hope and light and better days ahead.”1
Of course, the situation remains uncertain, but even back on March 5, a poll found that six in 10 Americans saw the COVID-19 situation as getting better.2 We’re not out of the woods yet, but with around 2.77 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered daily and the vaccine being made available to all adults by May 1, we have good reason to feel positive about the future.3
2. The sun has got its hat on
As spring spreads northwards, we can look forward to more sunshine in our lives. While too much sun has health risks, sunshine is generally life-giving in small doses. It boosts our production of vitamin D, and levels of serotonin – the stuff that governs our moods. Moderately high serotonin levels mean we’re happier, calmer, more positive and more focused.4 Sunshine is most effective early in the day, so, if the sun is out, take a walk - or just step out into the yard for a few minutes – before you start your working day.
3. The days are getting longer and lighter
As April turns to May, the days get longer across the country. While folks in Tucson won’t notice a dramatic difference, by late May in Buffalo, the days are almost three hours longer than in late March. Daylight is good for us even if it’s not sunny - a walk in the rain is still better for us than staying inside.5 Aside from well-being benefits, longer days also mean we’re more productive - whether that means an extra evening workout, or a backyard beer at sunset.6 Those extra daylight hours could also be used for planning. Whether that’s planning for vacation or our financial futures, being productive, protected, and insured can mean a longer and brighter future for you and your family.
4. The birds are back in town
As the saying goes, “bluebirds are a sign of spring; warm weather and gentle south breezes they bring.” In northern states, singing cardinals and chickadees have been bringing cheer since the first shoots of spring. Now some of our favorite feathered friends will be returning home from further south. The ruby-throated hummingbird takes its winter vacation in Central America but spends its summers with us. These tiny gems are tough cookies. Despite weighing just three grams, they make the 800km flight across the Gulf of Mexico non-stop. Seeing a “hummer”sipping nectar from a backyard beebalm is guaranteed to make you smile.
5. You can dress happy
One silver lining of working from home has been not needing to dress up for work (from the waist down, at least). However, if you’re desperate to swap out your sweatpants and sneakers, you’ll soon get your chance. Clothes are a powerful mood-altering substance (the science calls it ‘dopamine dressing’) so channel your Emily in Paris look and dress yourself happy this spring.
From preparedness to personal finance, we’ve got lots more suggestions to help you stay positive this spring. After all, New York Life is all about being good at life whatever time of year it might be.
1 2020: The dark cloud hanging over all of this Covid-19 optimism. CNN. March 12, 2021. Accessed 31 March, 2021. https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/12/_politics-zone-injection/covid-19-polling-coronavirus/index.html
2 U.S. Optimism About COVID-19 Situation Reaches New High. Gallup. March 5, 2021. Accessed 31 March, 2021. https://news.gallup.com/poll/331832/optimism-covid-situation-reaches-new-high.aspx
3 Daily COVID-19 vaccine doses administered. Our World in Data. 30 March. Accessed 31 March, 2021.
4 Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health. Mead, M. Nathaniel. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. April 2008. Accessed 31 March, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2290997/
5 Daylight: What makes the difference? M. Knoop, eta l. Sage Journals. 18 August 2019. Accessed 31 March, 2021. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1477153519869758
6 The feel-good factor of daylight. General Medical. Accessed 31 March, 2021. https://www.generalandmedical.com/live-healthy/posts/2019/march/the-feel-good-factor-of-daylight/
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