A lot of us at Yes Health have been dragging this week. It’s surprising what a difference “springing forward” an hour can make! There are, of course, plenty of upsides to having more daylight.
Here are seven healthy ways you can ring in the arrival of spring:
1. Make time for “productive fitness:” Instead of heading to the gym before or after work, take advantage of the longer (and hopefully warmer, sunnier) days to get in a few hours of gardening, weeding, planting and potting, landscaping or lawn mowing. You’ll feel good about your accomplishments AND give your vitamin D levels a boost!
2. Declutter your home: Do some good old-fashioned spring cleaning and purge your living space of everything you no longer use, want or need. An organized home supports a clear mind and sunny disposition. Remember to open the windows wide to let in the fresh air!
3. Make friends with fruits and veggies: Most local farmer’s markets start up again in the spring (hooray!). So get out there and check out the fresh produce. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, which can help protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
4. Meditate outdoors: Spring is the season of renewal and the perfect reminder to make time to clear our minds and breathe. Find a quiet spot and pay special attention to the sounds all around you—birds chirping, a distant lawn mower, dogs barking, the rustling of the trees. If meditation isn’t your thing, take a book, puzzle or other favorite activity outside for a change.
5. Make sun tea: Rather than spending five bucks on a bottle of organic iced tea from the grocery store, make your own! Fill a large glass container with water and a few tea bags of your choice (or even a fresh bunch of mint leaves) and leave it in the sun to brew. Pour over ice and enjoy. Iced tea is a refreshing and healthy alternative to sodas and other sugary drinks.
6. Plan a picnic: Food always seems to taste better when eaten outside. Gather a few friends and have each person bring a healthy dish to share. Spread some blankets in a favorite outdoor spot and you’ve got yourself a party.
7. Plant new ideas: Now that you’re getting your garden in high gear, try applying the principles of “planting seeds” to your life. Similar to New Year’s Resolutions, nurturing seeds of healthy intentions—like getting more exercise, eating more vegetables and drinking more water—can help them bloom and make way for a happier, healthier start to the season.