Spring has sprung officially. We’re now in British Summer Time and the days feel longer. Tulips and daffodils are blooming and it’s the perfect time for you to bloom too.
Winter can feel especially long with its dark nights and cold weather, particularly if you suffer from stress and anxiety. You don’t feel like socialising and if you commute to work, it’s likely you leave in the dark and come home in the dark, which is not conducive to feel positive and productive.
So now spring is here, it’s a great time to bring those good stress-relieving habits out of hibernation.
Get outside more
I love being outside (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that!). Walking is such a good stress reliever, breathing in the fresh air.
With milder weather and lighter evenings, spring is a great time to walk off any stresses of the day or week. Getting a daily dose of vitamin D from the natural light (even when it’s cloudy) is great for your health.
Whether it’s the local woods or an inner-city park at lunchtime, just take some time to notice all the changes happening in nature.
Time to exercise
Exercise is not only good for our physical bodies but also has positive effects on our mental health too.
When we exercise, our brain releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins act as natural painkillers, due to being structurally similar to morphine. They also bring about the ‘feel-good’ effect that often comes after exercise; you may have heard of ‘runners-high’ for example.
Time then to get your trainers on. You don’t have to run; a brisk walk is just as good. Or how about finding an outside gym in your local park or turning to pedal power.
Have lunch outside instead of at your desk
Talking of parks at lunchtime, now the weather is more favourable do aim to take your lunch outside when you can.
According to research, only 17% of UK employees take their full lunch break and most are grabbing something to eat back at their desks. Instead, stop for lunch and step away from your desk. Come back later once you have mentally taken a break and are refreshed. If you work from home, go for a walk around the block.
Read more here about why ‘lunch al desko’ is a habit you really need to break.
Have a Spring clean
It’s traditional at this time of year to spring clean the house so everything feels fresh and (almost) new. But it’s not just about dusting behind the cupboards and washing the curtains. This is also the perfect time of year to declutter.
Pass on books you’ve read, donate clothes you haven’t worn in a long time or sell online the items that are gathering dust in your garage.
Feeling less cluttered is good not just for our physical space but also our mental space. If you need some inspiration, have a read of the popular book “The
Get the garden ready for spring and summer
Now Spring is here, there’s lots to do in the garden, be it tidying up after winter, pruning or planting summer bulbs.
Gardening is such a great stress-reliever; as you mow, plant or cut, you are very ‘in the moment’, being mindful, not to mention just being outside in the fresh air. Think also of the exercise you get from digging. In fact, gardening is so beneficial to physical and mental health that Horticultural Therapy is now being offered by some forward-thinking GPs. I’m conscious that not everyone has the luxury of a garden and there are many outdoor volunteer projects that you could join instead.
I’d love to hear if you have a Spring in your step now and what tips you have to de-stress.
Photo by Maria Tyutina from Pexels