The first day of spring for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere is March 20th. Despite whether the groundhog has seen his shadow or not, warmer, and brighter weather will soon be on the horizon! Flowers are beginning to bloom; the birds are singing, and activity picks up all around us.
Springtime comes with a sense of new beginnings and is the perfect time of year to refocus and take advantage of the optimism in the weather, in our mood and in our energy level.
Check out 5 ways to tweak your self-care routine and feel that spring in your step again!
1. Sunlight, Sleep & Happiness
The arrival of spring brings longer days and exposure to more sunlight. When you’re exposed to increased sunlight, your brain increases the release of the hormone serotonin
which helps boost your mood and encourage healthy sleep-wake patterns. Your brain needs serotonin to produce melatonin, a hormone that also helps with your sleep-wake cycle. Getting out in the daylight will help you feel happier, more optimistic and improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep!
2. Enjoy Springtime Produce
Springtime is the perfect season to make a fresh new start with local produce from the grocery store or farmer’s market. Stocking up with new seasonal favorites is a great way to increase your daily intake of fruit, fiber and veggies and boost your physical and mental health. Next time you shop, give your winter produce the boot and refresh with seasonal springtime produce! Need some new Springtime recipes? Check out TAP's newest recipe collection, 12 Recipes to Welcome Spring for Busy Healthcare Professionals.
3. Move Your Spring Exercise Outdoors
With springtime bringing more hours of daylight, why not take your daily movement outdoors? Spring is the perfect time to take short walks during the day or after dinner. Increasing your exposure to natural light first thing in the morning can help set your day up for less stress and boost your mood. Take advantage of the milder weather and longer days to move more outdoors and enjoy the healing benefits of nature.
4. Reset your Springtime Boundaries
While your daily routines and activities can change with the seasons, it’s helpful to also use the opportunity of a new season to reflect and reset your boundaries. Look at how much time you’re mindlessly scrolling on your phone, or how many times you say “yes” to that enticing bonus pay for overtime work shifts. Setting up clear boundaries will free up cognitive and emotional energy, and help you refuel, recharge and reset so you can find work-life harmony again.
5. Spring Clean Your Self-Care Schedule
Spring is the perfect time to set up a new schedule of self-care ideas to nourish your body, mind, and spirit. Tweak your self-care habits to suit the warmer, brighter days. Go for a walk on your work break, take your lunch outside, or suggest a walking meeting. At home you may want to spring clean your space, de-clutter, refresh your décor. Whatever feels best for you, be sure to schedule your self-care and stick to it!
Self-care won’t change the stresses you encounter every day as a healthcare professional but prioritizing your self-care will improve your resilience and your ability to cope with challenging situations.
Prioritizing your self-care is not selfish, it’s a necessity! xo