Friday, March 20, is the first official day of spring.
However, we are already beginning to feel its amazing effects.
Now that hibernation mode is finally coming to an end, so is our desire to be lazy, sleep the day away and sometimes avoid the world altogether.
Instead of being forced to bundle up and inevitably slip on ice as soon as we step out the door, we are beginning to notice the refreshing transition to sunshine and good vibes.
Spring not only brings along warmer weather, but also lighter and longer evenings. As a result of these positive changes, we now have the desire to be outside, wear minimal clothing and mingle as often as possible.
There's a reason why we notice an increase in our mood and energy level as spring approaches.
According to Sanford Auerbach, MD, Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Boston University:
When seasons change, the retina -- the inner layer of the eye that connects to the brain through the optic nerve -- naturally reacts to the first subtle signs in the amount of daylight. This reaction triggers hormonal changes, including an adjustment in melatonin, a hormone that affects sleep cycles and mood changes.
The body naturally produces increased levels of melatonin during the long, dark winter months.
For individuals who are susceptible to seasonal affective disorder, the large amount of melatonin generates a winter depression.
In the spring time, when the production of melatonin begins to ease up, depression does, as well. "There's more daylight, so people have more energy, sleep a little less," Auerbach says.
Here are some indicators you may be getting the early signs of spring fever:
1. You're as distracted as ever.
How can you be expected to focus on your office job when it's just so pretty out?
Your inbox is flooded with meeting reminders and deadline changes. However, your mind is wandering to visions of laying on the beach at a tropical resort, with a piña colada in hand.
2. You're noticeably happier, for no particular reason.
Winter is cold and miserable, so we all become cold and miserable. Spring is happy and fun, so we all become happy and fun.
You have noticed a huge boost in your mood, as well as your motivation and ability to stay optimistic.
These advantages can only be attributed to the increased sunshine and temperature.
3. You're friskier.
I tried to keep it PG-13 here, but we all know what I'm talking about.
4. You're more body-conscious.
So you may have slacked a bit on the gym visits throughout the winter months, knowing you can cover up those problem areas with added clothing, but now, bikini season is approaching.
That dusty treadmill in your basement is calling your name. Plus, the new Victoria's Secret bikini you've had your eye on is additional motivation to get your bod moving.
You are experiencing the mood-enhancing effects of exercise, and starting to seriously feel like a whole new person. You're loving it.
5. Your social activity has skyrocketed.
Convincing yourself to go out during the winter is always a serious struggle.
Let's be real here: How can you be expected to dress cute for a night out when it's -20 degrees outside?
As a result, you typically end up choosing your bed and Netflix over mixed drinks and bar-hopping.
Now that the weather is starting to become more tolerable, you're more motivated to go out and socialize. Day drinking also isn't entirely out of the question, anymore.
While winter brought along cozy indoor activities and the holidays, the idea of chestnuts roasting on an open fire was only appealing for so long.
Soon, the only thing you'll be roasting is your body in the sun, as you reap the awesome benefits of the spring season.