Why opening day may boost your mood

Gardening is among the spring activities that can improve your mood. (Cleveland Clinic News Service)

Despite the pandemic, baseball fans across the country are gearing up for opening day. According to Scott Bea, a psychologist with Cleveland Clinic, the first crack of the bat, along with the start of spring, can really lift our moods.

“There’s this dual optimism, right? That the weather’s going to get better and maybe my team will make it to the World Series,” Dr. Bea said. “We can live with those fantasies coinciding for a little bit, and that probably does give folks that love baseball a big boost.”

Research has shown people who spend more time outside during the spring tend to have better moods. Bea said putting ourselves in motion and taking action towards springtime activities, instead of just thinking about them, can drag us out of the winter doldrums. He recommends starting to map out your garden plot or spring cleanup.

And they say “misery loves company” – but the return of spring can get people to bond too, especially for people who live in cold-weather cities.

“Just as we have camaraderie about some of the tough times or being in cold weather spots, and we share some of the misery, I think we also share some of the optimism as we start to feel springtime coming around,” said Bea.

He added, people who struggle with seasonal depression typically don’t start to feel better until the weather actually gets warmer and the sun is out longer. But for those of us who may just have the winter ‘blahs’ – the first signs of spring can provide a boost.