Refreshing your Health and Environment
From spotting the first flowers in bloom to opening your windows on the first warm day, spring is a time of hope, renewal, and growth. Many consider it an even better time to make a fresh start than New Year’s! Here are some tips for refreshing your health and your environment this spring.
Refreshing your environment:
- Clear the clutter. The sight of a cluttered desk or countertop proves to elicit stress. Clutter can also collect allergens like dust, mold, and mildew, ramping up allergies and other respiratory irritations. Spring is a great time to clear away cluttered spaces in your home and work environment! And don’t forget your online areas – unsubscribing from unwanted email lists can make your inbox much more spacious.
- Start small. Are you overwhelmed by the idea of a top-to-bottom spring cleaning? Break up the task into smaller, more manageable chunks. You can tackle one room daily; if that’s still too much, start with a single closet or filing cabinet. Remember, small steps add up!
- Establish a tidying routine. Set aside a few daily minutes to clear up your most commonly used spaces. Examples could mean taking five minutes at the end of the workday to file any papers, stow your headphones and chargers neatly, and organize your desk for the morning; at home, you can commit to spending 10 minutes after dinner clearing away dirty dishes, wiping down surfaces, and setting up the coffeemaker for the morning. And remember to involve your family in this new routine – there’s no reason to do it alone!
- Get organized. Now’s a great time to start a new filing system (or recommit to an old one) for bills, tax documents, and other essential papers. You can also set up an automatic emailing filing program to help better manage your inbox.
Resetting your mental health:
- Get outdoors. Being outside in nature is good for us, especially as the days warm up and get longer. Spending time outdoors can help alleviate stress and anger, help us feel more relaxed, and connect us to the world around us. Go for a walk or a bike ride after lunch or dinner, spend a few hours having a picnic in the park or hiking, or even enjoy a quick coffee outdoors.
- See your friends. Winter’s long, dark days often make us want to hibernate at home (maybe with our coziest sweatpants and favorite comfort food), but spring is the time to re-enter the world! Reach out and make plans with friends or co-workers you have yet to see. Reconnecting with the people around you is a great way to energize you and eliminate any feelings of loneliness or lethargy lingering after the winter months.
- Recommit to mental wellness routines. Like cleaning, spring is a great time to establish new ways to care for your mental health. Examples may mean carving out time for a morning mindfulness practice, breaking out that old journal, or even setting up that therapy appointment you’ve been putting off.
- Try something new. Flowers and trees are in bloom, but the growth doesn’t have to stop there! Take advantage of spring’s renewed energy and learn something new. And this doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. You can peruse your local library, check out the free tutorial videos on YouTube about every subject under the sun, or log into www.wseap.com to visit the LifeSpeak Well-being Platform for expert-led videos and blogs. Even 10 minutes a day spent learning something new is great for our mental wellness and brain health.
Modifying your physical health:
- Move your body in a supportive way. The cold indoor months often mean we are getting less exercise. Now that things are warming up, it’s time to dust off those sneakers! Exercise plays a huge role in physical health, so spring is the perfect time to reprioritize movement. Just ensure you are engaging in activities you genuinely enjoy and doing so in a non-judgmental way.
- Check off those annual appointments. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a dental cleaning, a yearly physical, or a dermatology appointment, now’s the time!
- Enjoy the local bounty. One of the best things about spring is the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Our diets often veer toward heavier meals during winter, so spring is a great time to work in more fresh produce and lighter fare. Visit a local farmer’s market and give your diet a refresh!
Going into the spring with some intention, you can kick off the new season feeling energized and inspired!