The original title of this blog was “Tips for a Stress Free Spring,” but if you’re here reading this, you probably know zero stress really isn’t a thing. As someone who often feels like the Queen of Stress, I’ll say this blog aims to share strategies to help you cope with stress and anxiety during the Spring season (and beyond). 

Please go get some sunshine

Soaking up the sun does a few things for our bodies. Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is linked to calmness, focus and low levels of depression. Sunshine is also important in our body’s production of Vitamin D, which has been linked to regulating mood. 

The benefits of sunshine should still be weighed against the risks. You’ll want to apply sunscreen for longer periods of sun exposure or limit your exposure time (read all about sun protection here). I like to keep a sun hat and a short-sleeved shirt stashed at my desk so I can get some sun on a 15 minute walk during my lunch break.

Appreciate the greenery

Since it’s Spring and everything is either blooming or buzzing, you might as well go outside and enjoy it if you can. This may be tough for serious sufferers of seasonal allergies, so consider bringing the green inside with a houseplant or two (read our Cacti, Succulent, and Houseplant Care Guide). Studies show that even looking at fake plants eases body and mind! 

Now is also a great time to get a garden up and running! Yes, even if you only have a tiny apartment balcony. Learn how to start a container garden here.

Go for a walk

Psst, you can do these first three tips at the same time! Wow, you’re going to feel so rested and ready to take on anything. Davis has plenty of good nature walks including the Arboretum and North Davis Greenbelts. I have been enjoying strolls through West Davis’ Village Homes paths lately as well. 

If you want to go on an adventure, Lake Berryessa (be mindful, no shade on the Ridge Trail), Rockville Hills Regional Park (pictured above), and the Putah Creek Wildlife Area (also limited shade) are all great spots for a nature walk. Of course, even a 10 minute walk around your apartment, office building, or campus will get the good vibes flowing too.

Practice some gratitude

One of my favorite gratitude practices is actually the easiest. When you wake up, before you get out of bed or even open your eyes, make a list in your head of 5 things (anything!) you are grateful for. After you’ve completed your list, smile really big and really cheesy as you get out of bed. That’s it!

Practicing gratitude improves mood and sleep and can even reduce symptoms of illness.

Get a little help from your friends

And by friends, I definitely mean vegetables! Spring brings a bounty to our gardens and kitchens: asparagus, peas, leeks, beets, artichokes, leafy greens, all the alliums, the list goes on. Get these veggies back in the mix, especially those dark leafies. Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and chard are high in folic acid, a nutrient shown to reduce depression and fatigue. These greens also contain magnesium (helps improve sleep and stress management) and antioxidants (protects cells from free-radical damage). 

If you need a little inspiration, check out this guide we wrote featuring an easy veggie-forward recipe for every day of the month.

Get a little help from your other friends

Okay, this time I’m talking about CBD. CBD has been shown to help some folks with anxiety and is pretty safe, but check with your doctor if you’re taking any other medications or have questions about dosage. Wyld CBD Gummies, which are vegan, gluten free, and THC-free, are Owner Extras this month which means Co-op Owners can save big on the CBD gummies. Stock up now and ride those calm waves all the way till Summer.