The first hints of spring have finally crept into the air, and the effects of winter are beginning to fade. As you awaken from your winter slump, you may be wondering if it is too late to start working on a new year’s resolution. Thankfully, self-improvement doesn’t have to be a once-a-year event. If you want to start working towards a better you, and are ready to reach the goals you have set for yourself, check out these four ways you can improve yourself this spring season.
The first thing you should during the changing season is go outside and enjoy the fresh air. According to research done by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, being out in the sunlight can aid in your body’s production of serotonin. Serotonin is also known as a “feel-good” hormone, as it can help reduce feeling anxious or depressed. This is why you may notice a significant change in your normal mood during the winter, as opposed to during the summer.
Getting out and eating some of your favorite frozen treats can also help raise your dopamine levels, which is another feel-good hormone. So keeping your favorite ice cream on hand can also help you find your groove again if the cold weather has left you feeling down. If you’re not sure what flavor to choose, just go with vanilla and add whatever toppings you want. It remains the most popular ice cream flavor, and can be a simple treat when served at the recommended temperature (between six and 10 degrees Fahrenheit).
Indulging with your favorite frozen treats isn’t the only way to boost your serotonin and dopamine levels this spring season. Just getting outside and going for a quick walk can help improve your mood. Not only does this help you get some sunlight exposure, but exercise is one of the most researched methods for boosting serotonin.
If you are new to regular exercise and don’t how to get into it, consider activities that you already enjoy doing. For example, swimming is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health, and is an enjoyable way to get a great workout in. If you don’t like the way the chlorine makes your hair and skin feel, you can always install an ozone sanitation system into your pool instead. Although it will not completely replace the need for chlorine in your pool, it can reduce the amount of chlorine you need to use by up to 90%. This can, in turn, reduce the dryness in your skin and hair you may feel when you get out of the pool.
Practicing meditation and self-reflection can be a productive way to work through negative emotions you may be feeling. And, the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health notes that meditation increases the production of 5-HIAA, which is directly related to the production of serotonin. If you have never tried to meditate before, start by leaving yourself 10 to 15 minutes at the beginning and end of each day to think about how your day went. Think about what you may be feeling, what went well, what didn’t go the way you had planned, and if there are any behaviors or actions you would like to change. You can start setting daily tasks that can help you work towards your goals. Meditation is very personal, so it is important to find a meditation plan that works for you.
As many as 81% of philanthropic acts are performed by individuals, not big companies or corporations. This is why it is important that members of a community feel empowered to give back and support communal values. Becoming involved in your community can be as easy as you want it to be. It could be joining a community organization that has similar values to the values you have, volunteering to clean up a park, or even donating to local sports clubs to help promote youth athletes. Regardless of you choose to become involved, the whole community will benefit from your contribution. Plus, it feels get to believe you belong in the place you live. This can also help you meet new people, and give you a great excuse to leave the house and socialize. You can even use your involvement as a platform to help promote a healthy lifestyle for other community members.
The woes of winter don’t have to hold you down forever unless you want them to. Allow yourself to change with the season and grow into a happier person. You can take small steps toward change, like enjoying frozen treats or going for a quick walk to improve your mood. Or, you could make a slightly larger commitment by finding time for daily reflection and getting involved in your community. If you’re feeling especially ambitious this spring season, you could combine these options by organizing a community event that promotes happy habits. Regardless of what you choose, understand that change is a process. If you don’t notice improvements as quickly as you’d like, understand that it takes a different amount for different people.