Spring is just around the corner and often this is a time for spring cleaning. But this doesn’t just have to mean clearing out your clutter and sweeping away the cobwebs, it can be helpful to do some spring cleaning for your mind too. These are some tips for how you can feel a boost and make the most of the positive energy that spring brings with it.
1.Have quiet time to recharge. In our day to day lives we are often very busy with distractions that keep us occupied from one minute to the next but it can be helpful to switch off from these for a break every now and then. Try and have some time without distractions from your phone or computer, and even without a book or music too. This can feel quite strange and challenging at times but it can be really helpful to give your brain time to slow down and focus on your surroundings. Try and engage all your senses as a way to focus on your surroundings. Meditation can also be a way to help with this or focusing on your breathing.
2. Movement and exercise – go for a walk in nature and get your body moving, it doesn’t have to be long, even 20 minutes. After the slowness of winter, with most things (including us!) wanting to hibernate or go dormant, spring brings a new burst of energy to everything. Moving your body can release endorphins which can help to boost our mood. Regular exercise can also help with stress relief and boosting self-esteem, both things that will be good for your mind!
3.Learn something new. Learning something new is a good way to keep our brains engaged and happy! This can give you a purpose to getting outside as well if you’re trying to recognise different bird calls, notice species of flower or recognise different trees. There are useful apps such as The Woodland Trust’s tree ID app or inaturalist (for all plants and animals) that can help with identification or the old school way is also really good of looking in books or ID guides.
4.Get good sleep – Getting out into nature can also help you sleep better, especially if you get outside in the morning as this can help to reset your circadian rhythm and help you feel more sleepy in the evenings as your body clock will be reset. This happens by you being out in natural light as the light from the sun, even on a cloudy day, contains a lot of blue light (you might have heard of blue light from screens being bad at helping you sleep because it wakes you up – but that’s just what you need in the morning!!). If you follow the previous tip and exercise as well then that can also help you sleep better too!
5.Find positive things to look for – This is a time of year when there is a buzz of activity, birds are singing, flowers are springing up and leaves are bursting open their new buds. Noticing positive things or things that bring a smile to our face can increase our happiness and make us more tuned in to noticing other things that make us happy. It’s hard for the energy and growth that spring brings with it to not be contagious so be on the lookout for signs of this happening all around in nature.
Hopefully these tips will help you get a bit of a spring in your step and feel some of nature’s positivity!
This blog was written by Ecotherapy tutor Freya Lovett and all of the photographs were taken by Freya on her nature walks. Find out more about Ecotherapy here.