Waiting on Spring: Tips for Adding Warmth to Your World
I love being Canadian, and there is no better time than now to wear our patriotic pride on our sleeves. But living in Canada brings with it at least one sad fact: we absolutely have no options when it comes to the weather. It's either wet, wet Westcoast or super dry, super freaking cold East Coast *with clear skies! I was having a conversation with someone about this recently. No matter how long we live in Vancouver for, from infancy to adulthood, the seemingly endless rain never gets easy.And as an individual who works solo and from home almost 100% lately, the weather in Vancouver can be more than just depressing – it can be unnerving, even if you don't leave the house until late afternoon. Now approaching mid-April, and we are still waiting for some sunshine to appear.
But, since we unfortunately do NOT have control of the weather, I've got some tips for adding warmth to your world, even when it's utterly shitty outside.
Warming up your world, without the sun
The downright reason that the sun feels so good boils down to a million lifestyle reason – getting the chance to hangout with friends and drink beer on a patio – but really just one scientific one: exposure to the sun raises endorphin levels in the blood. These are coined as "feel good hormones" by scientists.
With that being said, here are some alternative ways to get your happy hormones flowing, sans sun:
- Get sweating. Go for a run, if it's not pouring rain, or hit the gym: exercising releases endorphins, too.
- Meditate. For a long time people didn't understand the scientific benefits of meditation, but more recent studies have uncovered an array of actual scientific benefits, one of which being that, yes, meditation is yet another endorphin-releasing activity.
- Have a long hug. I was in San Diego, CA when I learned of this phenomenon for the first time. Locals there, apparently, will hug even relative strangers for 60 seconds. And for good reason: a good, long hug lowers cortisol (the stress hormone) and boosts oxytocin (the love or bond hormone).
- Have a hot shower. If you don't have a buddy to hug onto for that length of time, a hot shower actually has a similar effect, stimulating the release of oxytocin and bringing down stress levels.
- Turn on a happy light. I have a final tip, and confession, for you. As I write this I currently have my Verilux Happy Light going, just off slightly in the distance, and I swear it works. The blue light this little gadget emits makes you feel more energetic, alert, and just happier, too. This is essentially a simpler form of light therapy, which has been used to treat SAD since the 80's.
I hope that these tips will help spark some warmth in your world until the sun finally graces us with its presence, but until then: take every chance you can to get outside when there's some light peaking through, where open-toed shoes when it's dry, and perhaps just wear floral indefinitely.
What I'm wearing: