Our days are getting longer.  The snow is beginning to melt.  We are nearing the one-year mark for the beginning of social isolation, but the vaccine been given to twice as many people as have been infected in the last year.  The cold isn’t over, but there is warmth and sunshine ahead.

Many use Spring as a time to start their year fresh.  Some may have set New Year’s resolutions, and by now most have stopped working on those.  Now their attention is moving toward Spring cleaning.  A great time to purge things in our cars, homes, sheds (and lives), that are no longer serving their purpose or bringing us joy or value.

This winter, and this year, may have been hard on you or someone you love.  These tips can help provide some personal Spring cleaning to help bring about higher quality of live and better mental health as the weather warms up.

Sleep – as the long dark nights of winter come to an end the sense of hibernation may be coming to an end, but we all still need our rest.  Experts recommend getting 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night for adults, even more for kids!  If you struggle to fall asleep, try cutting out screen time an hour before bed to help relax.

Eating right – our bodies are fine-tuned machines that make the engineering of a Formula One race car look like child’s play.  These machines require quality nutrients to maintain functionality.  You don’t need to do a massive overhaul to find improvement.  Swap a candy bar for a handful of nuts; a second piece of garlic bread for a bowl of salad.  Many have found intermittent fasting to help regulate blood sugars and refine our eating habits.

Physical activity – according to developmental molecular biologist Dr. John Medina our bodies are designed for motion.  While we can’t all use working desks to maintain movement throughout the day, we can make small steps towards increasing our physical activity.  Try doing jumping jacks every time you send a text message or walk around the block after using the restroom.  These won’t eat up much time in your day but will get you moving more and more each day.  If you’re looking for real change in the amount of physical activity, our friends at The Family Y can help!

A Break from Zoom – the amount of time we spend working on screens these days is amazingly high!  Electronic communications have made it easier to connect across distances and help us connect with those who we can’t see in person, but it doesn’t seem to fulfill our desire to be in connection with one another.  While an email or Zoom conference can help us accomplish tasks at hand, take a moment to write someone a letter.  Rather than a Zoom call, just make a phone call. Mix up how you connect with your family and friends to get a refresh on the bond with them.

For many, Spring is a time of renewal.  These tips can help renew your perspective, your physical and your mental health.  As we eagerly watch for the first leaves, buds, and blossoms, some focus on our health can help this year be a great one.

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