5 Ways Springtime Renewal Can Promote Health and Happiness
13 April 2021
Spring is the season of hope, transformation and renewal in cultures around the world. To our delight, the sun slowly warms us, the days lengthen, the air seems fresher and cleaner, seeds are sown in freshly turned soil and plants start to grow.
Amid the long COVID-19 pandemic, many older adults in Canada hope and expect to be vaccinated by the end of March, into early April or through the spring months.* As opportunities for outdoor recreational, social and nature activities open, we can look forward to a world that may feel a little bigger, less confining and brighter. It's important to note that people will need to continue following Public Health safety precautions before and after being vaccinated to allow the opportunity for some easing of restrictions.
Here are some tips to help find hope, transformation and renewal this spring season:
- Spend time in nature. Taking 20 minutes each day to stroll or sit in nature lowers stress cortisol levels,* reported a Frontiers in Psychology study. Spending time in nature also improves and contributes to a more hopeful outlook,* according to a University of Regina study in the Journal of Positive Psychology.
- Heal and grow from adversity. People who experienced and overcame some adverse life events reported better mental health and overall well-being than those who experienced either no or many negative life events,* reported a Journal of Personality and Social Psychology study. Reflect on challenges you overcame in the pandemic, how you did it, and how the resilience gained can make you feel stronger and more hopeful about the present and future.
- Do yoga breathing in fresh air. As the days get warmer, try doing mind-body activities such as yoga, tai chi, or mindfulness meditation alone or inphysically distanced groups outdoors. People who exercised outside reported greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement than those who exercised indoors,* according to an Environmental Science and Technology study. They were also more likely to repeat the activity.
- Revitalize and reconnect with outdoor visits. In spring weather, embrace opportunities to visit more often and for longer periods with family and friends outside for a walk or festive picnic lunch at a safe physical distance. Socializing boosts feelings of well-being,* according to University of Toronto. Face-to-face social interactions have an even greater positive impact than video or phone calls, especially among older adults,* according to Psychology Today.
- Brighten your outlook with sunlight. Moderate sunlight exposure helps improve your mood and alertness by boosting your body’s levels of serotonin,* also known as the “happiness hormone,” advises Cleveland Clinic. Be sure to take proper skin care precautions.
Chartwell Retirement Residences offer a lifestyle that is safe, social and supportive for older adults looking to enjoy their retirement years to the fullest. The majority of our retirement residences have now received their prioritized vaccinations! To learn more about retirement living at Chartwell, visit their website today.
*The following sources provide references for this blog, in order of appearance:
Government of Canada. “Vaccines for COVID-19.” (2021), online:https://bit.ly/3uwhbvG
Harvard Medical School. “A 20-minute nature break relieves stress.” (2019), online:https://bit.ly/39S6awV
CTV News. “New study shows spending time outside can improve one’s mood.” (2019), online: https://bit.ly/3mqcEbk
Scientific American. “Adversity is linked to lifetime satisfaction.” (2010), online: https://bit.ly/3fXdHOG
Science Daily. “Benefits of outdoor exercise confirmed.” (2011), online:https://bit.ly/2Q13Nkk
Psychology Today. “The health benefits of socializing.” (2016), online: https://bit.ly/3dEqUcM
Psychology Today. “Face-to-face social contact reduces risk of depression.” (2015), online:https://bit.ly/3cZo5E2
Forbes. “Why sunlight is actually good for you.” (2018), online: https://bit.ly/3sZoiwu