We may not hibernate, but most of us slow down a bit during the winter months. Then suddenly it’s spring, and nature’s rebirth inspires us to get moving again. With stay-at-home orders in place around the country, we have time to appreciate spring to the fullest this year, from bobbing robins on the lawn to the unexpected glow of the sunrise golden hour.
Celebrate spring by getting outdoors. Not only is getting outdoors good for your mental health, but it can be beneficial for your overall immunity, as recent reports suggest that regular exercise can also reduce the severity of COVID-19 complications.
Take a walk or a bike ride through your neighborhood or a park and admire the new leaves and flowers. Delight in the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and tactile beauty of nature’s renewal. Try taking the same route every few days so you can watch the transformation of new growth.
With the change of seasons comes longer days, during which you can also soak in some much needed Vitamin D. Sitting in the sun can increase serotonin, a hormone the brain releases to boost your mood and make you feel calm and focused. Low levels of serotonin are associated with a higher risk of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), from which many people suffer during the winter months.
Get Down and Dirty
Take advantage of the weather and the season by planting your own garden. You don’t need much space or have to get your hands too dirty- a few pretty pots and garden shovel will do the trick to get you and the family out into the refreshing air of springtime.
If you’re patient, plant seeds and watch them grow slowly every day. But if you like immediate gratification, plant veggie or flower starts where you can see progress above soil level and a faster harvest. Many states on lockdown consider plant nurseries to be essential businesses, so it’s likely you can shop for your favorites. But you can also extract seeds from grocery produce like fresh tomatoes or strawberries, and tuck them into the soil.
A Clean Start
As nature refreshes the outside world with new growth, give your home a refresh by tackling spring cleaning of your inside world. Open the windows to let the fresh air in while you wipe down surfaces, remove cobwebs, clean light fixtures, and organize closets.
And it’s great exercise too, a chance to get your body moving in a different way and test your joint mobility. So put on your favorite upbeat tunes and get your home sparkling!
Remember, the road to revitalization is personal, so take cues from nature and keep trying until it feels right. And don’t forget that movement is part of healing and renewal- we are constantly changing, from the cellular level up. For a fresh outlook, try an online yoga or meditation class to quiet the mind and help figure out where to start. Open the windows in your life and let the fresh air in.