Springtime is here and is the perfect time to throw open your windows, get some fresh air, and evaluate your wellness. Taking your wellness into your hands can provide many benefits and perks outside of simply getting healthy; while this is one major benefit, others might not be so obvious. Below are a few starting points on how to put your wellness first this spring and how these will ultimately benefit you going forward.
Stop and Smell The Roses
Springtime means blossoming flowers, plenty of sunshine, and warmer weather. It also means that instead of being cooped up inside, there is a wonderful opportunity to escape the walls of your house and enjoy mother nature!
One of the many benefits of being outdoors is a boost to your vitamin D levels. While you can take supplements to get the recommended daily dose of vitamin D, stepping out into the sun is an easy way to get casual exposure directly from the sunlight. This is an important factor for your body as this vitamin is responsible for absorbing calcium and preventing osteoporosis.
Being outdoors has also been known to spark creativity! If you are having trouble focusing on a project or figuring out how to even get started on something, try turning off the electronics and stepping outside for a while. Not only has this been proven to give you a mood boost, but this has also been shown to break through mental blocks. As an added bonus, studies show that smells occurring in nature such as fresh flowers and cut grass can help you feel more relaxed, which is a perk that everyone can all benefit from after a long winter.
Clean Out Your Stuff
Nothing screams spring like the term “spring cleaning”! While many might dread this time of year and look at it as a chore, it is a fantastic time to take inventory of your belongings, organize, and clean appropriately. Not only is it a great way to shake off the winter blues, but this will make your home (and yourself) feel refreshed and invigorated. Once you’re done not only will your house radiate joy but that happiness will carry over to you, allowing you to feel accomplished and motivated to tackle your next big project.
Start this process by making a spring cleaning checklist to keep yourself organized. Make sure that before you get too engrossed in cleaning that you purchase any supplies that you might need. This could include extra garbage bags, disinfectant wipes, sponges, and microfiber cloths. To make it easy, start and finish one room at a time and remember that it doesn’t all need to be done in one day. Try to work on one room per day or per week, and you’ll be done in no time!
While going through this process, if you find that you have clothing that you’re looking to get rid of or food that is close to (not at or past) its expiration date, consider donating these items instead of throwing them away. By doing this, you can help others in need while taking care of yourself, which is a win-win for everyone.
Spring Clean Your Finances
Along with cleaning out your home, it’s just as beneficial to spring clean your finances. It can be easy to let money management and financial planning slip throughout the year, but taking the time to ensure that you are financially secure can impact more than your wallet; it can put you in a better position mentally. While this may look different for everyone, there are a few simple things that you can do, all from the comfort of your backyard!
One place to start this journey is to consider your monthly subscriptions. This could be for food, television, movies, pet goods, clothes, and even alcoholic beverages. Take a moment to analyze how much you are spending each month and determine if there are any services that can be canceled (or paused). For example, if you are paying for three different food delivery services, consider cutting back to just one; you’ll be amazed at how these services add up over the month and year. While convenience can be a perk of life, it can also be a detriment to your wallet.
Another way to put your financial wellness first this spring is to research life insurance options. Life insurance can easily be something that is overlooked, but while reevaluating your finances, it is important to consider the financial legacy you want to provide for your family or dependants. This type of policy guarantees a financial payout to designated beneficiaries after your passing. You can choose options like a term policy (which is a policy for a set length of time and is usually the more affordable option) or a whole life insurance policy (which is a permanent policy but is more costly). No matter which option you choose, remember that you typically are eligible for better rates if you are a younger, healthier adult, so securing a policy now versus later in life is a perk for many reasons.
Get Up And Move
Depending on where you live, it can be difficult to stay motivated throughout the cold winter months to get some exercise. Exercise is important to combat ailments or illnesses such as high blood pressure and is beneficial to your overall health, but it can be difficult to get this daily movement in when you are stuck inside at home. Luckily, spring is the perfect time to utilize what the great outdoors has to offer.
Exercising outside can have several perks. First, this can be done with either little or no cost, depending on what you choose to do. Taking a walk around your neighborhood shouldn’t require you to buy any extra gear, so this is a perfect free exercise that you can do daily. If you prefer a more challenging activity, you can purchase equipment for cycling or hiking, which would work out different muscle groups. Spring is also the perfect time to awaken your garden. While this might not be as strenuous as taking a walk or riding a bicycle, it does require movement, which is still a major benefit to your wellness. No matter what you choose to do, just getting up and taking advantage of the nice weather is the most important point. It’ll do your mind and body good!
Add Veggies To Your Day-to-Day
Springtime is synonymous with freshness, and what better way to enjoy this freshness than with some vegetables? A good rule of thumb is to eat fresh vegetables when they are in their prime season; they usually taste better and if you are buying them in a grocery store, they are cheaper. If you have space, however, consider growing your own vegetables! This not only can save you money but gives you the added convenience of having them available right in your backyard.
Some spring vegetables that can easily be incorporated in your everyday diet include asparagus, carrots, spinach, and peas. While snacking on these throughout the day might not sound as appealing, you can easily add these to your lunch or dinner. For instance, try making a creamy pasta dish with chicken and peas, or try a healthy carrot muffin for breakfast! No matter how you incorporate these veggies into your routine, it is important to prep your vegetables for maximum nutrition. This involves not only setting up your workstation beforehand (gathering knives, cutting boards, and graters), but making sure you cut your produce uniformly for best cooking and freezing. If you find that you have an excess of vegetables on hand, feel free to freeze them after blanching them.
Watch Out for Allergies
Achoo! If you notice that you start sneezing more or have itchy eyes, you’re not alone. Spring allergies affect many individuals, some more severely than others. In the spring, weeds, grass, and trees release pollen. Pollen is recognized by the body as a threat and therefore releases a response to counteract this threat. In turn, this releases histamines into your blood which causes the symptoms that you are likely familiar with.
The good news is there are a few things you can do to combat these allergies. It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor if you are having major symptoms but for minor symptoms and irritations, there are plenty of over-the-counter medications including eye drops, decongestants, and antihistamines. You can also try to stay indoors more frequently when the pollen levels are high and replace your home air filters more often. Lastly, trying to schedule regular vacuuming and dusting sessions for your home will lower the number of allergens that you will come in contact with.
See or Call Your Doctor
Spring is a great time to take control of your health in a different way! If you haven’t already done so this year, now is a great time to schedule your annual doctor’s appointment. The benefit of this is simple: you want to ensure that you are not only in optimal health. Moreover, this is a unique time to have some conversations with your doctor that you might not think about otherwise.
For example, now is a good time to discuss what medications you are taking. You can take this time to discuss whether or not they are working properly, if they need to be adjusted, or if they are even needed. Make sure that your doctor knows of any vitamins or supplements you are taking also, as these might have effects on your medications that you may be unaware of.
Also, ensure that you provide your doctor with an updated medical history. Have you had any major illnesses or new symptoms recently? Do you need to have any screenings or test work done? Have you seen any new doctors or specialists since your last annual checkup? Have you started (or stopped) a diet or exercise regimen? The more information you provide to your doctor, the better they will be able to not only diagnose any problems but will be able to have a better understanding of how your overall health is.
Spring is filled with color, warmth, and opportunities to put your wellness first. While wellness is often thought of as eating well and exercising, true wellness is so much more than that. By taking the time to explore different avenues of your wellbeing, you can start your spring (and the rest of your year) in the right direction.