Today, March 20, is the spring equinox and, with this, marks the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. After this date, temperatures will continue to increase as the warm summer months inch closer.
In addition to Daylight Saving Time (which started on March 13), the beginning of spring beckons the prolongation of daylight. After the long and early nights of a Pacific Northwest winter, we can now expect the sun to set, for the time being, closer to 7:30 p.m.
For many, springtime is symbolic of a time of rebirth and new beginnings: Christianity celebrates Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, indicating redemption and “a new heaven and a new earth” for his followers. Pagan tradition observes Ostara which focuses on the earth’s returning fertility. The Hindu festival, Holi views spring as a symbol of good (spring) defeating evil (winter).
With the visual return of nature and growth – plants sprouting, flowers budding, and animals reappearing – cultures and religions across the globe have come to view spring as a reason for celebration.
With this in mind, there is opportunity to use these springtime energies to their fullest potential. Even if one does not follow a particular belief or religion, spring can still be a moment to embrace a sense of rejuvenation and a fresh start.
With the winter school quarter coming to an end this week, spring break allows room to reset and refresh before another academic term begins. However, how one chooses to embrace this oncoming season is personal to them.
Ways to appreciate the spring season
Seattle winters are known to be dark and dreary. The early sunsets and consistent rain can take a toll on an individual’s psyche. However, spring brings a new light — literally. It can be beneficial to get outside and soak up all the sun available. Taking a walk, viewing the blooming cherry blossoms, and indulging in the newly mild temperatures are great ways to embrace the season.
Springtime also brings out some of nature’s loveliest attributes: beautiful colors, cleansing rains, emerging animals, etc. It can be easy to fall in love with the earth during this time; and better yet, spending time in nature promotes cognitive function and mental health.
While spring cleaning may be dreaded by some, it offers opportunity for not only a fresh space, but a fresh mind.
Tidying and cleaning up one’s environment can eliminate things such as dust and dander (which certainly do not help with already rampant seasonal allergies). Another advantage is the relief of purging one’s belongings. Decluttering can reduce anxiety, increase physical activity, and aid familial/residential relationships.
A new season can welcome new opportunities to encourage health for both the mind and the body. If the spring cleaning urge hits, take advantage of its restoring benefits.
Pick up a new hobby/routine
In the spirit of new beginnings and possibilities, spring presents the capacity to embrace a new hobby or practice that cultivates well-being. The revitalizing nature of the season is great for setting intentions and putting them into action.
Instead of the hours spent mindlessly scrolling on social media or watching television, one can put efforts towards putting their time into fulfilling pastimes such as exercising, reading, creative pursuits, and volunteering.
Spring can also welcome the motivation for growing good habits and routines. Routines can reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and overall enhance enjoyment of life. Incorporating good habits such as healthy eating, an early wake-up, and physical activity into routines can set an individual up for success.
Now is the time to seek out which new practices and hobbies could personally enhance one’s well-being.
New habits and beginnings
While spring is a great opportunity for new beginnings and a refresh, the most important aspect is making this equinox specific to your needs. Discover which facets of a springtime reset would benefit you the most, but more essentially, simply enjoy this season and all the beautiful possibilities it has to offer.
Mo is an alumni of Seattle Central and is currently attending the University of Washington with aspirations to pursue a career in journalism and communications while also delving into anthropology. She aims to explore the world and reveal the stories it wishes to tell through her writing and photography/videography. When she’s not captivated by her journalistic pursuits, she loves to go on adventures, create, watch films, and surf.