Spring Care Tips

March 19th is the first day of spring!  With spring comes more sunlight, longer days, and warmer weather. Although these are all wonderful things after a long winter season, they can also bring busyness, seasonal depression, spring anxiety, and other pressures. 

Here are some tips to remember as spring approaches that will help not only increase your physical health but play an important role in your mental well-being too.

Tip #1 Sleep: According to a 2021 CDC study, “People who averaged 6 hours of sleep or less per night were about 2.5 times more likely to report frequent mental distress than those who averaged more than 6 hours of sleep”.  Researchers believe that sleep may promote the removal of waste products from brain cells.  Even if you do not have sleep problems, making sure to get adequate high-quality sleep is important too.  Avoid caffeine later in the day, keep a consistent sleep schedule, and lower the temperature of your bedroom to ensure you get the rest your brain needs.

Tip #2 Exercise: Regular exercise can release endorphins that are natural brain chemicals that can help improve your sense of well-being.  Exercise is a broad term used to get the body moving.  For some, this may mean running, playing a sport, or going to the gym but for others it could look like gardening, doing housework, or going for a walk with your dog.  What spring goals can you set to help get your body moving?

Tip #3 Health Eating: Harvard Health research has shown that the best brain foods are the same ones that protect your heart and blood vessels.  While planning your meals this week, remember to incorporate green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli), fatty fish (salmon, cod, or light tuna), or berries (strawberries and blueberries).  These are a few examples of food that have been linked to increased mental awareness, improved memory, and slowing cognitive declines. 

Tip #4 Positive Connections: Social connection improves physical health and mental and emotional well-being.  Studies have shown that people who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression and higher self-esteem, greater empathy for others, and are more trusting and cooperative. Look for opportunities to spend time with people who listen, can give you advice, and you can confide in and understand what you’re dealing with.  This week, try to connect with a friend: go for a walk, grab dinner or lunch together, or call them on the phone and catch up.  Make connecting with others a priority for your own mental health.

Tip #5 Nature & Sunshine: Take time to go outside; a walk at a local park can have great benefits like improved attention, lower stress, and even a better mood.  Trent University psychologist Lisa Nisbet, PhD, stated, “There is mounting evidence from dozens and dozens of researchers, that nature has benefits for both physical and psychological human wellbeing”.  So shut off the television, put down the phone, and go outside for a walk, take a trip to a new park, or lie in the sunshine.  Whatever works for you, taking time to connect to nature and absorb the sunshine has been proven to be a benefit. 

Being aware of the link between physical health and mental health is important. Focusing on improving your physical health is vital to your mental health. Take time this week to prioritize your physical health knowing your mental health will benefit just as much as your body will.

If you are in need of crisis support know it is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by dialing 1-800-468-4357 (1-800-GOT-HELP) or by dialing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 988. What do you do to balance your mental health? Click here to share your story with us.



Categories: Mental Health, Take Care, Tips