Even though the weather hasn't truly made up its mind (I'm writing this as I wait for the snow to melt after a freak storm yesterday), spring is on the way! Soon, it will be time to shed those layers and enjoy sunny days outside.
One thing that I've found helpful as the seasons change is upgrading and changing my self-care routine to suit the season. While mental health is important all year round, there are some methods that are better for winter and as spring arrives, it's time to change things up!
Here are four things to add to your spring self care plan:
1. Instead of staying in, go for a walk.
I am a definite homebody who's obsessed with her bed. That being said, as the snow melts, I'm running out of actual reasons to avoid the outdoors. And that's a good thing.
When you're cooping yourself up in the name of self-care all winter, you can forget that there are benefits of taking a leisurely stroll. I've found that a walk can get me out of my worst headspaces while being gentle enough that I don't feel overwhelmed or tired out afterwards. It's an easygoing way to work in a breath of fresh air, some exercise, and a moment of meditation into your worst days.
2. Instead of searching for comfort food at the grocery store, visit the farmer's market!
While this may be more apt for later this month, spring is the perfect time to wander around and find the absolute freshest flavors in town at the farmer's market. Maybe it's just me, but cooking and a focus on healthy eating become a higher priority once spring is in the air.
Focusing on the food you eat can be a great way to regulate and influence your moods. True, while there will be times when a piece of cake will sound better than an apple, taking the first step and surrounding yourself with healthy options can help you introduce a new aspect of self-care into your life.
3. Find new ways to express yourself
Maybe that means tackling that project you keep putting on the backburner or maybe that means that you reignite a childhood passion. (For instance, I'm re-enrolling in dance classes after walking away from them for more than a decade!)
While self-care is all about comforting yourself, sometimes it also means pushing yourself so that you feel more fulfilled. If that means that you take up drawing, or running, or challenging yourself to read one new book a month, you do that! Spring is the perfect time for personal time and growth!
4. Actually take time to slow down and relax.
I know, I know: it's halfway through the semester and you're in the thick of it. There's no actual time to relax. However, allow me to disagree: there's always time to relax.
True, maybe you can't make a day of it, but even just an hour of relaxing or a plan to make time for yourself. Lately, I've come up with a personal solution to this issue for myself by giving myself a time limit to work on things.
If I have chores that are keeping me from relaxing, I set a timer for an hour or two and work until I'm either done or the timer goes off. It's a nifty way to give myself a concrete way of knowing when to stop and stop worrying for a little while.
What do you think?
What does your spring self-care plan look like? Do you change your self-care with the seasons? What are some things on your mind--and how can CF help? Let us know in the comments!