Let the sun shine
North America is now coming into a better position for its residents to soak up rays, which is important for your physical and mental health. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, vitamin D levels are lowest in winter months, and a recent study showed the vitamin can prevent colds and flu. So to start upping your level, spend at least 10 minutes outside a day. “A daily walk allows you to get outside and enjoy a dose of sunshine and vitamin D,” suggests Palinski-Wade. Indoors, clean your windows to let the sun’s rays in and brighten up your home. “Sunlight is great natural light for our mood and our professional performance,” says Dr. Augustin.
Give in to spring fever
Spring can have us feeling restless, so start the new season off right by recharging your own batteries. “Do you like to dance? Give yourself permission to have a mid-day dance party or go out dancing with a friend,” says life coach Marci Moberg. “Always wanted to paint? Go to a crafts store and buy a painting set.” Or, schedule a “me time” day. “For one whole day, only do what you feel,” Moberg says. “You feel like you want to take a nap? Do it. Feel like you want to jump in rain puddles? Jump away. Feel like you want to grab dinner with a friend and then take a stroll? Make reservations.” You can’t pour from an empty bucket, so taking some time to honor your own needs can lead to more contentment. Read about eight ways to reconnect with your creative side.
Try going vegetarian
Scientific research has shown that plant-based diets have many health benefits, including a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. With its wealth of fresh veggies, spring is the right season to try out vegetarianism. “Studies have demonstrated that replacing various animal-based proteins with plant-based protein is associated with living longer,” says Dr. Ostfeld. “Plant-based diets can be anti-inflammatory, rich in antioxidants and other healthful nutrients, and the body, accordingly, benefits.” Palinski-Wade suggests aiming for a variety of colors to increase your intake of different nutrients. “Fresh berries such as strawberries are a great way to boost your antioxidant intake as well as add flavor and color to your plate,” she says. “Spinach is an excellent source of iron and vitamin C, and broccoli is packed full of antioxidants and cancer fighting compounds.” If you can’t go full vegetarian, try having a veggie night once a week. “Something is better than nothing, and multiple studies reinforce how the more plant-based diet you can eat, the more health benefits you can accrue,” Dr. Ostfeld says. Find out the top 10 sources of plant-based protein.