Spring is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf! Rest assured that although the pun is intended, the sentiment should be taken literally. March is a time of renewal and rejuvenation. Flowers start to bloom and the sun stays out longer. Make like the flowers and find your own way to blossom.

From a therapy standpoint, a lot of seasonal mood changes are psychological. This is where an Allen Counselor comes in who can help you figure out how to be your best self. Here are four activities to help find your emotional spring thaw and turn over a new leaf.

Keep It Simple

Leave the grandiose resolutions for New Year’s and start small. Real Simple suggests making a checklist of all the things you want to do during once the seasons change. The idea is to add very small, seemingly unsubstantial things in order to create an entire philosophy about how to approach the new season.

The truth is that people don’t take enough time to appreciate the little things, and spring is the perfect time to do so. For example, you may take the sun for granted by the time the end of summer rolls around. However, that feeling is fleeting after only a few months of winter. Take a moment to appreciate the fact that light is returning and you can see the grass again. Simple pleasures are the most exquisite.

Travel

You don’t have to be a college kid to go on spring break. U.S. News & World Report offers a list of the most affordable vacation destinations for spring break. If you want to vacation on a budget as the months start to get warmer, now is the perfect time. Unlike the peak times during summer or cruise season, springtime can be a great time to travel. This is also the perfect opportunity to plan a trip if your kids are off to college. While spring is a tough time for kids finishing up classes who are inundated with tests, if you’re not in that position as a parent, you’re guaranteed to get the best deal and least crowded vacation experience this time of year.

Traveling is good for the soul and allows you to have new mind-opening experiences. You also don’t need to go far from home. The core idea is to benefit from a change of scenery, whether it’s an hour drive into nature or an hour flight to another part of the country.

Get Ready for Sunshine

Honing your mentality to be optimistic and ready for renewal is one thing, but real life physical activities can prop that perspective up substantially. Country Living suggests laundering your warm weather clothes as you get ready for spring. Many people store their seasonal clothing to free up to space in the closet. Pulling these garments out can feel like shopping your own wardrobe since just like spring, everything seems brand new. Going through the motions of cleaning and ironing your spring clothes can be calming and cathartic since it’s a gradual, slow process.

Exercise in the Fresh Air

Exercise and wellness resolutions are a staple type of self-improvement during the New Year or other major holidays. However, if you’re really serious about shaping up and getting into springtime, alter your routine and commit to exercising outdoors. The key here is going outside, rather than to the gym. Although it’s great if you manage to get to the gym to exercise, going outside is more important in this case. There’s no replacement for fresh air, and running outside rather than on a treadmill makes a world of difference in how your brain processes the exertion.

In the outdoors, whether you’re jogging through a city or the woods, you interact with more sensations and are therefore more aware of what’s going on. Smells, textures and sounds become more present, though it’s possible to tune them out if you want to. The point is to take yourself out of the comfort zone of routine and treadmills, and dump yourself somewhere unexpected and thought-provoking. The ability to run outdoors combined with mental sensual stimuli is an excellent spring activity that develops a renewed, inspired perspective.

Being proactive in the spring to get ready to embrace optimism and change is essential to your mental health. Involving an Allen family counselor can help if you want mental and emotional counsel on how to best proceed. Whether you want to get involved in a cause which you’re passionate about or simply work on self-improvement, spring is a time of renewal and the perfect point in the year to truly turn over a new leaf.