We’ve made it past the brisk Illinois Winter and into the beginning of Spring, at last. We have finally gone from snowy mornings and icy grounds to chirping birds and rainy afternoons. With that though, lots of people’s moods and outlooks are beginning to change and improve, mine included! The warm weather seems to do a lot for people, and that means that motivation levels will rise and people will start to enjoy the outdoors again perhaps. I think that now that things are also looking up a bit with Covid-19, most specifically with more and more people going to get the vaccine, lots of people will start to get back into their old routines. So, to take care of yourself mentally and physically, I have some ideas for people who want to try new activities or acts of self-care this Spring.
First, I think it is important to address what we put into our bodies first and foremost, and since lots of different fruits and vegetables are coming into season this Spring I highly recommend maybe going to a farmer’s market or your local grocery store to buy the tasty foods that are finally back. Not only is the farmer’s market a cute idea for weekend plans with friends or a partner, but you will also get benefits out of the delicious foods that are often discounted at places like this. Good foods make for good chemicals in the brain, which makes for a better mood and more energy. Start of this season on the right foot, I will also be committing to giving this one a try more often this Spring!
I also believe that nature is meant to heal people. As humans, we come from nature, we are literally made up of this planet. Since the weather is getting warmer and tamer, it is the perfect time to start planning picnics or cook-outs with the people you’re closest with. This activity gives you a chance to enjoy the outdoors (especially after quarantine and then winter), as well as enjoying the company of people you love. And if you prefer to ride solo, then a one-person picnic at a public park or by the river would be perfect for some good alone time outside. The next thing I would recommend for this season is a good, new playlist. It might sound weird, but in my eyes, a new playlist is a whole new adventure. Whether it’s for nights alone indoors or late night drives with friends, a new playlist keeps you guessing and lets you get a chance to explore newer music. For extra fun and enjoyment, taking this new playlist on a solo bike ride kind of feels like being in a movie. Trust me, it’s fun to pretend that you’re in your own movie scene. As Tik Tok has taught many of us, it is important to be our own main characters! Make a playlist for your life and live to it.
Now I know that meditations and journaling might not sound that riveting to a lot of people, in fact to some it might sound dreadful. I myself have a hard time sitting still long enough to really get a meaningful and worthwhile meditation session. Five minutes is all you really need though, try it in the morning when you first wake up. Open the windows, listen to the birds chirping or the rain falling, and just let your mind go for a bit. We are all really in our heads all day long, it is important to let yourself detach a bit. As for journaling, just writing down what you accomplished yesterday or what you would like to accomplish that day are all you really need to. It gives you a sense of purpose for the day and also can help you set mini goals for the day ahead. If that isn’t your cup of tea, then journaling whatever comes to mind really helps relieve the mind. Many of us are still sequestering or quarantining, and if you’re not, maybe you’re in school and struggling to get through. Some people don’t have spring break this year and are feeling burnout. Write it all, but it all down on paper, and if you feel inclined, do something symbolic with it. Letting your emotions go can do wonders for your mindset for the day.
Lastly, I think creative outlets are needed for everybody. Not everybody is as creative as the next person, but you don’t really need to be Picasso for you to let off steam through art, for example. These outlets can look different for everybody, whether it is making music, dancing, painting, embroidery, etc. If something catches your eye, invest in it. By investing in a creative outlet, you are also investing in yourself. There is something really magical about creating something by you and you only, and it means there is nothing else really like it in the world because there is no other you in the world to make it. It really is a beautiful feeling and I find it one of the biggest forms of self-care that there is!
Now, everybody has their own definitions of what self-care might look like, but with there being so much pain and struggle in the world right now I think it is important for everyone to take care of themselves more than ever before. There are a million other different ideas that could’ve gone on this list, and everybody needs something different in their lives. I just hope that whoever needs this can benefit from it. Let’s start of the Spring with love for ourselves and keeping our well-being in mind!