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Spring and Wellbeing

The spring equinox occurred yesterday evening, so today we can safely say that spring has arrived!

This is great news for so many of us. We’re going to start seeing lighter, brighter days, meaning a boost to our mental health, especially if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Of course, our mental state doesn’t flip immediately to upbeat positivity simply because the season has changed, so here are a few tips to help you nudge it in the right direction…

1. Re-prioritise your sleep.

As daylight lasts longer into the evening, it can be tempting to go to bed even later than usual. Try to nourish yourself in a way that will allow you to grow and have new adventures this spring, by recommitting to a reasonable bedtime and put your phone away before you get into bed. A few extra minutes of sleep a night can pay major dividends.

2. Change up your physical self and the space around you.

Spring brings a sense of rebirth and renewal. The urge to clean, change and reorganise often strikes just as the weather gets nicer. Making a change to your appearance or surroundings, even by just rearranging your furniture, or trying a different hairstyle, can provide a burst of novelty that can get you out of a rut of boredom, and can help improve your cognitive flexibility as you try things that you've never tried before and create new mental pathways.

3. Reconnect socially.

Social support is crucial for our physical and emotional health. Now is the time to come out of your cocoon, if you feel up to it. The stress relief, laughter, and mental stimulation that trusted friends and social outings can bring can increase our well-being profoundly. For many, resuming a social life can cause feelings of anxiety, so be gentle with yourself and take it slowly.

4. Boost your Vitamin D

Did you know that Vitamin D deficiency is a very real thing? Its symptoms include aching bones, brain fog and dark moods, and can be manifested during the darker months when we’re less likely to be outside in natural light. So now the weather is getting milder, try and get out into the light at least once a day. You can combine this with your exercise regime at the same time, giving yourself multiple benefits!

Of course, bringing more vitamin D in to your diet is a great way to boost your intake, so aim to eat more oily fish, egg yolks and red meats (if your diet preferences allow it!). Vitamin D is added to some foods too, including breakfast cereals, plant milks and fat spreads.

5. Get creative.

To decrease stress, improve your cognitive flexibility and increase your sense of well-being, sometimes a goal should not be all about the end process but instead, the experience itself. If it's creative, all the better.

Why not try your hand at doing something that maybe you might not necessarily be amazing at, but that might be interesting or fun? From painting a sunset to building a model car, designing a flowerbed or learning to knit. The point is not that you will create something perfect, but rather that the time you spend letting your mind be creative will be valuable in its own right.

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