While cooped up in our houses, our apartments and such, avoiding catching or spreading the virus, we may forget that seasons keep on keeping on and we may miss some of the signs that life is continuing its heartbeat.
Spring fever is a real thing, especially this year when we are house bound & focused on the television radio news, or getting our latest virus updates from the web. Science has long proved that getting outdoors and also trying something new, can and is good for our mental health. There is nothing like fresh air, fresh dirt and birdsong to lighten our moods and make us feel normal again.
So here are a 7 small things we can do to ease the stress of the planet’s current situation….
- Meditate: Step out doors and find a comfy chair, likely on your deck or balcony, and away from the cacophony of city sounds if possible. Breathing in deeply and exhaling can clear the mind for a few minutes and take us away from our troubles and anxiety. Try the apps, HEADSPACE or CALM to help with this.
- Go on a nature watch. From your window or from an isolated park, grab those binoculars and see life happening in the trees or parks close by. See if you can identify birds in your area. Throw some bread crumbs to the ducks or geese. Sit, and listen to the trees rustle in the wind, skip some stones on a pond, photograph any wildlife or bugs you may find. A back yard is often enough to spot some pretty cool insects and birdies.
- Plant a mini garden. I have a black thumb so although I have a new yard I don’t plan to grow vegetables except for in pots on my back deck. I guess maybe committing to a vegetable garden may be too much until I get my confidence up so growing tomato plants, carrots or strawberries is simple and doesn’t cost much if you misjudge the watering or sunlight. I DO know that growing things gives us a sense of control in these crazy times and it’s exciting to check on your plants each day to see how they are coming along. You can start with seedlings in your kitchen window or grow a pot or two of your favourite veggies or flowers.
- Start a virtual Bookclub. Many families are now using ZOOM or HOUSEPARTY to connect with family members, and it’s fun. I have a bookclub with my neighbours and we will be doing it virtually until we can gather again. We talk about the chosen book, but more importantly, we just share thoughts and neighbourhood news which maintains those friendships amidst isolation.
- Create a bouquet from tree branches, flower or berry bushes, or pretty grasses. Bring the outdoors inside or display your natural bouquet on your front deck.
- Create a space for reading, relaxing and enjoying the neighbourhood from your front deck. Set a comfy chair or two. Set up twinkle lights for a evening sip of wine. Play board games or cards outdoors with your family on the deck or a blanket on the grass. Make this a nightly event for the kids. Make popcorn or roast marshmallows and read them a story.
- Star gazing. I use an app on my phone called SkyView Lite and it shows you all the constellations, the space station, the horizon line and identifies stars. As you lie on your blanket, you will likely see satellites travel through the sky and shooting stars. Your kids will love this.
No matter what you do to battle the constant warnings and dire predictions, , remember that you are in the driver’s seat to monitor your stress levels. Connecting with nature and finding fun ways to appreciate the planet, keeps us grounded in these uncertain times