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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Today is one of my favorite days of the year. Sure, I get to celebrate my Irish heritage (and enjoy my wife Marylou’s soda bread!), but, for me, St. Patrick’s Day has also always signified the unofficial start to spring.

Spring is all about new beginnings and transformations as it symbolizes starting fresh and starting over. After months of cold temperatures that often result in many of us feeling the winter blues, spring reawakens us and our surrounding environment, bringing everything back to life. This includes welcoming all the beautiful colors associated with the season.

It’s easy being green

Green and spring go together like corned beef and cabbage. It’s the color most adorned by revelers on St. Patrick’s Day. The tradition of wearing green in the United States on March 17 goes back to the 19th century, with the arrival of Irish immigrants who wanted to show pride in their homeland. National Geographic points out that the color became tied to St. Patrick’s Day due to Ireland’s green hills, shamrocks, flag, and mythical leprechauns.

The color also represents balance, serenity, and joy. Three words that the start of spring is all about, reminding us to re-engage with nature and tidy up our minds with a bit of “spring cleaning.”

Let’s have a garden party

March 19 is the first day of spring this year. It’s earlier than usual, which works to our benefit. The new season prompts us to get back to outdoor activities, like gardening. Many of us will be preparing our gardens during these upcoming weeks, and that includes Marylou, who has been tending to hers in our backyard for years. She grows both fruits and vegetables, including cucumbers, raspberries, tomatoes, and zucchinis, among other produce.

Marylou embraces the whole farm-to-table concept by growing many of the ingredients of the meals she prepares – and I happily assist her with both the cultivation and the cooking. She grew up in western Pennsylvania, where locals famously can fruits and vegetables in early fall to be used during winter, so Marylou’s garden is enjoyed all year round. She loves that garden, and it brings her – and me – so much happiness during the spring and summer.

“Spring cleaning” our mental health

Spring not only offers a chance to renew our connection with nature but also serves as a reminder to shake off the remnants of winter and prioritize our mental well-being.

One of the best ways to do that after months of hibernation and inclement weather is to get out of the house and connect with friends and neighbors. The arrival of spring gives us the chance to enjoy lots of outdoor activities that bring us together, including watching or participating in spring sports (I return to cheering on my beloved New York Mets), attending flower shows, or tending to community gardens in urban areas, which have been growing (pun intended!) in popularity in recent years.

Just thinking about all that is synonymous with spring makes me smile. Last year, we provided useful tips on how to achieve happiness. I thought it might be useful to share some of those tips, which are still relevant today. You can see the whole list here, but they include moving on Monday, talking on Tuesday, socializing on Saturday, and solitude on Sunday.

You can go one step further. Dr. Chloe Carmichael of our Connectivity Council has what she calls a “Psychological Check-Up.” It consists of three questions you can ask yourself to assess your mental health.


It’s no coincidence that this upbeat day falls right around the start of spring, as our moods begin to brighten from those pesky winter blues. Let’s use this time to “spring clean” our mind, body, and spirit to fully enjoy the benefits of the coming days of sunshine and warmth that spring represents.

All the best,

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Jim McCann is the founder, CEO, and chairman of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. as well as a business leader, author, and philanthropist with a passion for helping people deliver smiles. Devoted to helping others, he also founded Smile Farms, a 501(c)3 organization that provides meaningful jobs in agricultural settings to young adults and adults with developmental disabilities.

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