Lack of sunlight during short, winter days can adversely affect older adults’ moods. But now we can celebrate! Longer days brighten the sky, birds sing joyfully, and trees begin sprouting bright new leaves.
I love this photo. I lived in Washington State for a few years and loved watching the crocuses break through the frozen soil to announce that spring was right around the corner. I now live in the California desert. We’re not exactly famous for crocuses here; however, spring still manifests itself in beautiful ways. The wildflowers bloom, the jacaranda trees explode in purple flowers, and even the cactus display flowers in brilliant colors.
How can you celebrate this spectacular time of year? Here are five simple ideas to get you started:
Take A Spring Break
Who says college students are the only ones who can have all the fun by taking a spring break? Plenty of baby boomers get itchy feet and take trips to sunny beaches with lots of fun outdoor activities. Take a Sunday drive to a local flower festival. I’ve listed ten you can try out in my blog, Top Ten Flower Festivals. Or visit one of the National Parks. According to research by AARP, baby boomers have seen more national parks than other generations – on average 14. But since there’s 58 in the U.S., there’s plenty more to explore!
Plant a Garden
If you’re looking for a way to bring the beauty of spring and nature back into your hectic life, think about planting a garden. After many years of threatening to plant a vegetable, herb, and flower garden, I finally did!
One of my favorite activities is picking out seeds or plants at the garden center with my grandchildren and planting them when we get home. The joy of walking outside, enjoying the beauty of greenery shining in the sun, the sound of bees buzzing nearby, plopping an irresistible strawberry in your mouth, and then gathering vegetables and deliciously aromatic herbs for a recipe – what better way to celebrate spring! If you don’t have a garden, visit a Farmer’s Market instead.
Eat Al Fresco
Spring is finally here and we have that precious extra hour’s daylight. Head outside, have a picnic at the park or some other scenic area, and enjoy eating fresh food with a view. Or simply throw a bright and cheerful tablecloth on your patio table, add some fresh cut flowers into soup cans painted in spring colors, and a few floral napkins. Then enjoy a magical spring dinner with the family outside to welcome the season. Or simply eat outside at a local cafe.
Take a Hike
We all know that baby boomers need to keep moving to stay healthy. This is a no brainer, but put on your hiking boots, pack up some water and snacks, and go discover the great outdoors. As I pointed out in my blog, Hiking and Happiness, no big surprise, a new study shows that walking or hiking in nature can bring us inner peace, joy, and happiness. Or if you prefer, gently stroll on a deserted beach with your loved one or take a bike ride with your kids or grandkids. Just get out there!
Bring the Outdoors In
Open your windows and listen to a spring shower or simply enjoy a gentle spring breeze. Take a few calming deep breaths and enjoy all that fresh air. Buy some showy tulips or daffodils with their bright, cheery colors or clip some spring blossoms and display them in your home.
Don’t let spring zip by without some kind of celebration. These are just a few ideas, I’m sure you can come up with more. For example, when was the last time you flew a kite? Bring out that inner child hiding inside. This carefree activity can get you outside, help you focus on the present moment, let go of stress and worries, and do something just for the sheer fun of it.
Whatever you choose to do, shed that winter coat as soon as the weather allows, grab a pair of scandals, and get out there and enjoy the glory of spring!
Images courtesy of Simon Howden, Carlos Porto, franky242, and phanlop88 (in the order the photos appear) at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.