35 degrees in March feels a lot different than 35 degrees in January. Most of the snow has melted, and the sun shines a little bit stronger. Spring is on the way.
I, along with many people who live in seasonal climates, have a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder, which means I tend to get depressed in the winter. Vitamin D supplements and bubble baths are all that got me through February (seriously, February is the worst!) But here's the thing, no matter how dark the morning or how cold the air, even though it feels like things will never change, they already have.
If you are in a dark, cold place (metaphorically or literally), and it feels like Spring will never come, keep this in mind:
Spring Has Already Begun
You may not feel it, you may not notice, but in the darkest hour, the Universe is already rallying. The earth is slowly turning closer, inch by inch, towards the sun. The seeds under the ground are beginning to stir. The ground is warming, imperceptible, the slightest degree. A snowbird has started its flight back north. All of a sudden, we'll wake up to sun on our face and fling open the windows, as if the change came in a burst. Really it's been inching its way here since New Year's. When you are at your lowest, know that the winds are already changing. Change is the perpetual state of things, the darkness is not forever.
You Are Not Alone
No one is exempt from feeling sad or facing hardship. Loneliness has a way of magnifying the darkness. A sincere talk, or a hug from a loved one can melt the coldest of winters if we let ourselves be open to the experience. Chances are, you're not the only one going through something. Reaching out is a way to not just help ourselves, but might just be a life raft for someone else. Stay in touch, write a letter to someone you miss, be brave in telling someone how you feel. And if they are needing some extra encouragement, remind them:
You Are Strong
Do you know how hard it is to break the human spirit? Do a quick google search, turn on your tv, read a good memoir, and you'll find amazing stories of survival, of people who have been through unimaginable tragedy or misfortune and have come back from the brink. The human spirit is like a lizard that can regrow its tail. Sure, losing your tail isn't plan A, it hurts, but it will grow back, over and over again. We are survivors. To quote Bill Pullman in Independence Day:
(man I wish it were July...but anyway...)
We will survive! We'll pick ourselves up, we'll put on our winter coats for one more day, and know that Spring is right around the corner.
35 degrees in March feels like hope.