Stress Relief Ideas for Spring

Let the beauty and renewal of springtime fill your heart and mind.
Let the beauty and renewal of springtime fill your heart and mind. | Source

Stress Reduction in Preparation for Summer

Finding ways to reduce your negative reactions to events and situations, things called stressors, is always a good idea, no matter the season. Spring, though, has something going for it that prompts motivation for change more than the first day of January can ever hope to have, namely the time of renewal, when a "young man's heart turns to love" and spring fever, where hope rises in the breasts of nearly every person.

Besides, summer is right around the corner from spring. Summer, the season of lazy days in the sun, picnics and beach outings, brings its own special stressors. The kids are out of school, family vacation is looming and maybe you'd like to lose a few pounds to fit into last summer's swimsuit. Now is the time to learn what you can do to change how you react to stressors. This way, you'll be better able to enjoy not just the warm seasons, but all the seasons to come.


Spring is the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature. Who can be stressed when the world is newly green?
Spring is the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature. Who can be stressed when the world is newly green? | Source
This method is not recommended. Be creative in your methods of stress relief.
This method is not recommended. Be creative in your methods of stress relief. | Source

Spring Offers Fresh Solutions for Stress Relief

You may not realize that you've been experiencing "cabin fever," that malady that makes some people want to jump out of their skin just to be able to get outdoors or at least away from the house that happens after so many winter months and winter conditions. You may experience seasonal affective disorder, SAD, related to the shorter periods of daylight and fewer sun-filled days. You may not recognize those feelings as a stress reaction because they built-up gradually, but they affect you emotionally, mentally and physically.

Your emotions and thoughts affect your physical self just as surely as a hammer hitting your toe would, but the effects are much more subtle and may go unnoticed. You may feel mildly depressed or tense, feel more anxious than usual -- all without knowing exactly why. These reactions to stressors can result in physical changes from difficulty sleeping, lethargy, increased susceptibility to infection, high blood pressure and more.

The arrival of spring brings with it the opportunity to shed winter coats and your "winter self."

Here are some tips to take advantage of this time of re-awakening and reduce your stress:

* Throw open the windows: Just as soon as the temperature becomes more moderate, open the windows in your home and allow the freshness of the spring air inside. Open curtains and blinds to allow the sunshine in. It will lift your spirits naturally.

* Take notice of the changes in nature: From the crocuses pushing through the last bit of winter snow to the swelling buds on the trees heralding the new green of spring, take time to notice the details. The colors of spring replace the whites and grays of winter, an uplifting change for your psyche if you'll only take notice.

* Get started on spring cleaning: Whether it's the garage, piles of leaves left over from autumn, or your home, there's something almost magical about spring cleaning. You are sending winter and its woes officially packing as you take charge once again of your surroundings. You are being active and vital through the process, a re-invigoration of spirit.

* Go outside: Walk nature trails, take a hike with the family, visit the beach and notice the changes that spring brings there. Trade your treadmill time for time walking outdoors. Sit on the porch or the balcony and allow the sun and fresh air to renew you. Get the bike out of storage and take it for a spin.

* Get your hands dirty: You can't get back to nature any closer than working in the soil. Clean out last year's flower beds. Turn over the soil to start a new flower bed or vegetable garden -- the size isn't as important. If you have no yard, purchase some containers and potting soil for an herb garden. Take your family to a local park and renew it by picking up litter. Volunteer for a community garden or as a guide for nature walks.

Best Book Available on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Guided Meditation

Positive Thinking and Positive Attitude Key to Reducing Stress in Your Life

There are many techniques that can help to prevent and/or alleviate negative reactions to stressors. For any of these techniques to be successful, you'll need a positive frame of mind and that may be the most difficult part of stress relief for you.

Goal-oriented, type A personalities and perfectionists are driven people by nature, a factor that lends itself to internally-caused stress reactions. Procrastinators often bring stress into their lives by just getting things done in the nick of time; some people thrive on last-minute pressure but it can take a toll on their physical well-being. Those people with poor self-image or low self-esteem have frequent doubts about their abilities to handle certain situations or relationships. Folks who routinely view their troubles as being someone else's fault or who shy away from taking responsibility for their own actions and reactions feel out of control over themselves and their futures.

Making changes to your basic personality and reactor type isn't easy or done quickly, but it can be accomplished through motivation and perseverance. To find optimal stress relief, and to avoid many stress reactions altogether, you have to learn the art of positive thinking, to face moments in life with a positive attitude. You must learn to take control of your actions and reactions. You can do it; you just have to want to try.

* Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction: This is a program that helps you learn how to make choices in your actions and reactions. You'll learn to see how your reactions have become habits and learn to change those into more positive, productive and stress-reducing reactions. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn first pioneered the program in 1979, working with people who were experiencing chronic pain that didn't respond to medications. He was successful with that group of people and the program has been ongoing, now in more than 250 hospitals throughout the United States and helping people conquer depression, anxiety, addictive behavior and more.

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Comments 14 comments

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

With the luxury of living in Florida I've already began most of the suggestions on your list. Today I'm planting more annuals. I just hope we don't have any more surprise "Florida Freezes." Excellent ideas to welcome the spring season.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 3 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Sunshine625, you've got the jump on me. Here in central Oklahoma, we are usually planting peas and other early vegetables at the end of the month, but looks like we'll have to shovel through snow this year!

Hope your area stays warm enough to avoid calamity. Thank you for reading and your comments.


torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 3 years ago

L.L. Woodard,

i think that using nature as a way to relief stress is a good idea.

i feel that the change of seasons does have alot to do with wanting stress relief

and the ideas that you have included in your article are perfects. thanks

voted up


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 3 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Torrilynn, appreciate your comments and vote. I think that we tend to make life more complicated than it needs to be. Taking time to get back to basics is grounding and comforting.

C'mon springtime!


livingsta profile image

livingsta 3 years ago from United Kingdom

So true! Interesting hub. It is almost time for spring and thank you for sharing this hub! Voted up and sharing!


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 3 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Livingsta, it's been a roller coaster winter here. I'm looking forward to the change of season.

A very big part of negative stress reactions happen when as an individual, we feel loss of control over our time, energy and resources. As a season, winter takes just a bit of control from us -- at least that's how I perceive it to be -- and springtime ends that loss of control due to the elements.

Thank you for the read, comment, voting and Sharing.


Gail Meyers profile image

Gail Meyers 3 years ago from United States

L.L. Woodard, you are not alone! Until a couple of weeks ago I had hoped spring would come without incident. Then we got about 10 inches of snow followed by another foot or more and ice. That is stress to me when I am ready to start planting flowers! I needed this reminder that spring is almost here! Voted up and useful.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

You are right L.L. Being as close to nature and working with it is a great stress buster.

Voted up and useful. Shared.


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 3 years ago

I am looking forward for spring time . I always admire the different plants and flowers. Wonderful hub.


bridalletter profile image

bridalletter 3 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

Those are all the things I love to do in the spring. I am anxious for that time. I love playing in the yard and garden. I do feel outdoor activities are the best answer to cabin fever.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 3 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

@Rajan Jolly: It seems the older I get, the more fond I am of the outdoors and take notice of things I long took for granted. Thanks for the read, comment, vote and Sharing.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 3 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

ignugent17: Thank you for the read and your comments. I'm looking forward, too, to seeing the colors of spring in the landscape again.

bridalletter: It just wouldn't feel right for it to be spring and not be able to work in the soil, would it? I'm more than ready to bid cabin fever adieu. Thanks for reading and commenting.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 3 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Gail Meyers, these last-minute winter offerings will make spring's arrival all the sweeter, won't it? I hope your green thumb isn't throbbing to badly by the time you are able to get outdoors for planting.

Thank you for the read, comment, and vote.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

I tend to stress... a lot! My hubby says I want everything to be perfect, in an "unperfect world". I find that I have to de-stress myself quite often. That is when I love to get outside in the warmer months and either work in my gardens or go for a walk. You have some great suggestions here! Voting up, useful, interesting and sharing! :)

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