I know what you’re probably expecting to hear – spring is just around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about spring cleaning. While tiding up your space is helpful for the arrival of warmer months, what about some internal feng shui? Spring can be a stressful time, so in addition to eating well, sleeping, and practicing self-care, here are a few activities that can reduce anxiety and keep your mental health refreshed all year long.
Dig For Zen
According to the Journal of Health Psychology, gardening lowers the stress hormone cortisol and improves positive mood more so than other activities. The act of gardening is grounding, bringing you closer to the earth which allows you to heal yourself by tending to other living things. Not only is it cheap, but it results in food, herbs and even beautiful flowers.
Take A Hike
Feeling extra stressed out? Get lost in the beauty of the nature. While I’ve personally never been much of an active hiker, my significant other has taken me on a few beautiful hikes that have resulted in breathtaking views – especially during the spring bloom. A study done by Stanford University found that walking in nature helps to reduce rumination and can even improve mood and decrease anxiety. Do some wandering this spring. Who knows – you may even find a more peaceful path.
Clean Your Space
There’s no time like spring to get tidying up on the brain. Setting up a clean space not only makes us feel happier and more productive, it can help battle sickness. Personally, whenever I do some dusting in my apartment, I feel like I accomplished a goal, which gives me an increased sense of self worth. This spring, say goodbye to germs and wave hello to decreased stress, an attitude of gratitude and a healthier home.
Give Fitness Fresh Air
Bring your workout outdoors! There’s something motivational about sweating it out while breathing in the fresh air. I’ll be the last person to admit I enjoy any kind of exercising, but when you opt outside, it can bring a sense of renewal. Change up your routine of going to the gym and mix it up by hiking, biking or running.
A healthy outside starts from the inside. Eating right has always been tough for me, but giving your kitchen a makeover by getting rid of processed products and replacing them with whole, natural foods can boost mental health and overall wellness. Ditch the bad stuff and make spring a focus on a healthier body and mind.
Get a Check Up
An apple a day keeps the doctor away – and potentially your anxiety. If you haven’t already, spring is a great time to give your medical history an update. Whether it’s your therapist, OBGYN, dentist or optometrist, getting your mind and body checked out can prevent future anxieties or potential ailments.
Spend Time With Pets
Hanging out with Fido (or your favorite feline) can be more than just chill time. Studies show that keeping animals can decrease tension and improve your mood. Not only does owning a pet give you a sense of responsibility, it can help with companionship, depression and anxiety.
Personally, my dog is very capable of reading emotions to wear he will come cuddle with me when he senses I’m triggered or emotionally unstable. While you have to walk, feed and keep up with them, the unconditional love and acceptance you get from a pet is completely worth it.
Everyone has different interests, but trying out new activities can help distract your mind and soothe your nerves this season.