Will Winter EVER end?
The days are getting longer, but the persistent cold and rainy weather in the PNW has been affecting everyone. No matter where I go lately, people are complaining about the weather and I'm right there with them. "Where is spring?" they say. I'm sure it's coming and before we know it, us PNW'ers will be complaining about the 80 degree weather we are desperately pining for now. It does look as though we may have some warmer, drier days coming our way soon, but when winter starts in October and extends through April, we all get a little antsy.
In anticipation of warmer, sunnier days, let's start coming up with ways to enjoy our spring and summer before we are swamped by graduations and summer vacations.
Here is a short list of ways to use nice weather to better your overall health.
Get sunshine first thing in the morning directly into your eyeballs. No sunglasses, not even through a window, just outside looking at the sky. This helps kickstart your cortisol cycle and circadian rhythm. (We should do this all year round, but it's much easier when it's not raining or sleeting on our upturned faces.)
Forest Bathing. This is one of my favorite new terms. The idea behind this is simply to go outside, undistracted by digital devices, and take in the sounds, sights, and smells of nature. Listen to birds sing, watch the trees sway in the breeze, and literally smell the roses.
Family after dinner walks. There is plenty of light left in the day to take a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood with your partner, your kids, your dog, or everyone. You can use this time to reconnect with each other while getting some outdoor time into your day as well as some extra steps.
Plan a hike with a friend. We live in an amazing place, where the mountains are just a few miles away. Look up some hikes near you and plan a time to go out and explore. Reach out to a friend you haven't seen in a while, or one you have been meaning to reconnect with and plan a day to go explore together. Social relationships are extremely important, and using the nice weather as an excuse to go hang out with others is mutually beneficial.
Plant some vegetables. You don't need a whole yard or acreage to plant a few veggies. Get some tomato plants in a few pots on your deck, that's good enough for me. Vegetables you grow yourself, you are more likely to eat AND they always taste better than store bought veggies. They are easy to care for and are usually quite forgiving if you don't have a green thumb.