THRIVE: Why Does Spring Make Me Feel Trapped?



Welcome to Thrive! A weekly advice column for creatives and the generally confused.


Have you felt it? The soul-sucking energy of March? It’s here. I don’t know why I needed Timehop to remind me that I feel the same way every year, every March. I am tired, I am defeated, I am feeling trapped, I need change! The past couple of weeks I have been feeling all of this and at first I always think it’s me, that something is wrong with me, and that just makes everything worse. But then I remember, usually too late, that the end of winter and the beginning of spring is always tough, we naturally want to change with the seasons. We can feel the pull to do so whether we are conscious of it or not.

If you’ve been feeling particularly down or like you want to quit your job to join the circus, you’re not alone. Spring brings physical change to our environment, we are watching grass get green, and trees grow little flower buds. The world is coming back to life and we feel trapped in our old winter ways but too afraid to change with the landscape. We want to stay safe and hibernated.

But, of course, the world changes with or without us and that is scary. We can see change all around us and we know that we too must change, if not now, one day, and that can cause anxiety especially to those of us who are creatures of habit.

Spring also brings adjustments to our hormones, sleep schedules, and allergies. Our physical bodies are being attacked and this can make us crabby and irritable. I know it seems crazy and against everything we know about warmer weather, but this physical shift in what our body must tolerate and experience on a day-to-day basis can be stressful. And as you know, or should know, what we manage physically has an impact on us mentally. The overexertion of re-balancing our bodies to the new season leaves us feeling too tired to enjoy the sunshine and melting ice. We simply need more rest!

So what can we do to stay sane in the spring?

  1. Recognize you aren’t alone. This isn’t a you thing. It’s a human thing. Be gentle with yourself and take it easy. Back off some of your projects and spend more time relaxing. Ease into this beautiful season.
  2. Focus your desire to change. You’re going to want to do some crazy stuff. Like quit your job, or break up with your girlfriend, or buy a one way plane ticket to Bora Bora. Change is great! But make sure you focus that energy to the right place. Maybe start looking for a new job before putting yourself on unemployment. If you need time alone, rent a cabin in a town a couple of hours away instead of that plane ticket. Pick a new project you can channel all this great (albeit scary) energy into!
  3. Lean into it. Change is also scary! Embrace the fear you feel and use it to change your life for the better. Look at those trees blooming because they have no other choice and realize that you also have no choice, you were meant to bloom.

Happy Spring everyone. Take it easy and feel the opportunity of growth upon us!


THRIVE is answered by Amanda Kusek, a poet, blogger, and dog mom living in NYC.

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