Winter has always been a time of rest and reflection where people spend more time inside with their loved ones than outside on adventures. However, especially in North America, we can feel relief when we finally see the first buds start to bloom on the tree branches or the first of the spring flowers pop out of the ground. As much as Winter can be a great way of taking space and time for yourself it can also be lonely and a little boring. Spring represents a new beginning of adventure and possibilities. People feel rejuvenated after their long rest in the winter and are ready to get active outdoors in the fresh air with good friends. After a long time of indoor activities, it may feel challenging to think about what to do in the spring. Here are some healthy springtime activities for you to participate in when you are ready to take that leap into the fresh warm air!
Forest bathing may sound like a unique phrase however it can be as simple as taking a walk or hiking in the woods. Physically, being in nature especially around forests and trees can lower your stress and increase your mental wellness. Those who exercise outdoors especially in more natural environments such as parks and forests will experience less depression, anxiety, anger and confusion. It also opens up many new experiences, such as seeing plants and animals you may have never seen before or meeting new friends who may want to go on hikes together in the future. Being outside in the natural environment is a great way of having new experiences and broadening your horizons.
Attend Local Farmer’s Market
Eating seasonal foods is a delightful benefit to the changing of the seasons. If you can, head to your local farm or farmers market and purchase locally grown and produced fruits and vegetables. This is a great way of supporting local businesses while also bringing a novel way of spicing up your daily diet. It is also cost-effective because produce that is in season is more plentiful. That is why you will see blueberries in Ontario drop in price during their harvesting season. Not everyone lives near a farm and can purchase fruits and vegetables from farmer’s markets, but it is easy to find out what is seasonal in your area and purchase it from a local grocery store. There is also the added benefit of eating seven to ten servings of fruits and vegetables a day, which is shown to reduce the risk of chronic conditions and increase your physical wellness. Visiting a farm, farmers market or grocery shopping with your friends is a great way to try out new recipes and expand your culinary palate.
Soak Up the Sun
While the Winter can feel joyous and relaxing due to the plethora of holidays and downtime, it can also be depressing and associated with low moods due to the increased indoor time as well as the lack of sunlight. Sunlight on our skin increases our ability to absorb vitamin D and vitamin D increases our ability to regulate our mood and feel emotionally balanced. Low vitamin D is associated with depression, insomnia and even weaker bones. Vitamin D is excellent for maintaining bone health and emotional health. While absorbing as much vitamin D as possible can seem like a good idea, it is still important to wear sunscreen and avoid going out on days that have temperatures that are too high.
Recently, the cost of living has been increasing and people may be wondering what they can do to combat rising food prices. One way you can enjoy the springtime and decrease your food spending is growing your own food in a garden. Gardens are beautiful places to plant flowers and plants that bring us joy, and they can also be a functional way for us to grow fruits and vegetables that can help nourish our families. Gardening can increase your physical strength, flexibility, and hand mobility. Gardening and growing your own food can also lead to a variety of other fun hobbies such as food preservation and canning, which can make great gifts for the holidays. Consider which fruits and vegetables are native to your area and which plants do well in your type of ecosystem in order to get the best harvest for your effort.
Springtime can be an opportunity to reconnect with nature, enjoy hobbies that have previously been cast aside, and touch base with friends who enjoy like-minded activities. Ensure that you are taking the appropriate medication in order to be mindful of seasonal allergies as well as staying hydrated with the increase in temperatures. Touch base with your family physician if you find you are struggling with any spring-related ailments. You want to be feeling your best when it is time to enjoy the budding expression of nature!