When the calendar turns to March 1, I want the snow to magically melt and for spring flowers to magically appear! I certainly don’t want to see snow fall, but those of us living in the Upper Midwest know that’s possible even after the calendar declares the season is officially spring.
Does the “spring ahead” time change affect your mood, too? I’m usually a morning person, but it takes my body a while to adjust to Daylight Savings Time. It’s harder to get up and get my exercise class during the first few weeks after the time change, but I honestly have more energy when I do. Exercise helps us fight stress and is a mood booster, which got me thinking about other ways I can choose happiness daily.
Here is a list of 10 ideas that I put together to fight spring fever:
Give gratitude. “Starting my day with an attitude of gratitude sets my thoughts on a positive path,” writes Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, who begins her day by writing down five things for which she’s grateful. “Thinking about all that I have to be grateful for fills my heart with job and sets the course for my day.”
Get creative with cosmetics. It’s too early to pick berries from our garden, but ‘tis the season to enjoy “shimmery pinks and berry tones,” which are trending lipstick colors this season. Buy a new lipstick in a soft pastel or a bright color inspired by spring gardens.
Pamper yourself with a pedicure. What feels better than freeing your feet from stuffy stockings? Even if it’s too chilly to break out sandals and slides now, we can still put some color on our toes. Southern Living magazine has published a polish color guide for each month of the year with fun colors like “Excuse me, Big Sur!”
Lather up with lotion. My daughter and I recently made a trip to Bath and Body where we spent more time than you’d imagine taking our sniffer on “spring break” with scents like Waikiki Beach Coconut and Island White Sand. After recently spending two weeks in bed with Influenza B, I stocked up on sweet smelling hand sanitizers that will fit in my purse.
Go green. Visit Reiman Gardens in Ames or the Des Moines Botanical Garden. Reiman Gardens offers weekly events and activities for people of all ages, including its weekly Early Childhood Development program featuring stories and creative activities around a nature-based theme. Likewise, the botanical garden offers a variety of programs to appeal to all people. One of the most unique is Yoga in the Garden on Saturdays from January through June. (NOTE: Central Gardens in Clear Lake will open in May. Members of my Scout troop and I have enjoyed taking Live Love Yoga hikes at Lime Creek Nature Center in the summer.)
Buy a bouquet. I always look forward to the arrival of tulips and daffodils, but it’s going to be a while before these little beauties peek their heads above the ground. Each time I walk into a local supermarket, I’m tempted to brighten my day (or someone else’s) with a bouquet. Why should fresh flowers be reserved for occasions like Mother’s Day?
Make memories. When my kids were small, I enjoyed reading to them and then making related crafts. One of their favorite books was “What’s in a Rainbow?” You could make a simple rainbow craft using white paper and colored marshmallows, bake rainbow cupcakes or create a colorful spring/summer bucket list that includes a trip to an ice cream shop like North Iowa’s iconic Birdsall’s in Mason City. If your family is up for an ice cream road trip, I recommend touring Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy in Hudson and then eating ice cream on the farm. It’s “dairy good”! You can find more ice cream road trip ideas from Val of the Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids blog.
Walk this way. Did you know that chemicals playing a role in happiness are released when you exercise? Learn fun facts like this one and get motivated to move through Live Healthy Iowa’s quarterly challenges! The 10 Week Challenge will end March 30, and the results have been positive. This challenge has prompted me to exercise more regularly, as well as to eat more intentionally. Now I’m looking forward to the Strut Your Pup Challenge in April. Walking my Black Lab, Bailey, down Sheffield’s Path of Progress is one of my favorite ways to unwind and to also enjoy nature.
Plan a plot for fruit, veggies and flowers. It’s time to plot what gets planted where in my backyard garden, as well as at Enchanted Acres. I’m eager for my pollinator gardens to wake up from their winter’s nap. If you’re interested in learning what you can do – even in a simple container on your patio – to
provide habitat for butterflies and bees, click on these links: