An equinox and a solstice occur twice each year, once in the Spring/Summer and once in the Autumn/Winter.
The equinoxes sit between the two solstices and mark the point where the sun crosses the earth’s celestial equator and becomes equally positioned between the northern and southern hemispheres.
The Spring equinox, beginning on 20th March signifies the days becoming longer and the nights shorter.
Long dark nights paired with low temperatures and unsurprising downpours can take a toll on our mood and make us feel sluggish. With daylight hours increasing and the sun sitting higher in the sky we now have the opportunity and the time to not only give our homes a much-needed spring clean, but also consider whether our minds and bodies need a refresh as well.
The 5 Ways to Wellbeing
The 5 Ways to Wellbeing is a proven group of steps that we can use to check and identify the ‘dust’ we collect as a result of Winter’s stressors. They provide suggestions for what we can do to help manage our wellbeing.
The first step ‘Take Notice’ encourages us to pay attention to what is going in our environment. In spring, this may be done by taking a walk and noticing the new life that comes with it. For example, new plants sprouting, trees budding, or a rise in temperature. This stage lends itself nicely to the next, which tells us to ‘get active’
‘Getting active’ isn’t as scary as it sounds – try thinking low impact, high reward. Walking for example, is a free, easy way to get active if you’re able to get out and about. It helps to build stamina and improve your heart’s health. And with warmer climes on their way, a long walk in the sunshine is a sure-fire way to blow away cobwebs and flat moods. In Dorset, we’re lucky to have plenty of soul-reviving walks on our doorsteps. From glorious beaches and harbours, to lush woodlands and farmland in the north of the county, we truly have it all.
With spring comes hopeful change. ‘Learning’ something new, the third step, can help us stay spry and build new neural pathways. So why not pick up a new hobby or learn something new?
Speaking of which, the fourth stage of this check list is ‘give back.’
So why not make your new hobby/activity fundraising for a charity or volunteering? Dorset Mind offer a number of volunteer positions across the charity and you can support them to help local people’s mental health.
I know that when we feel overwhelmed with life it may feel like we have nothing more to offer people. However, when we ‘give back’ we ‘get back’ in return. Not only in the form of validation that we are doing something good, but also that it is making a difference.
The final stage, ‘Connect’ motivates us to work on our connections with our loved ones and social groups but also our own body and our mind too. This stage might be considered the most important – without connection to our body and mind, the other four stages become difficult to implement.
For example, without connection to our minds we cannot ‘take notice’ of what is weighing on us or ‘learn’ something new. And without connection to our body we cannot know how best to nourish it.
Our guest blogger:
Huge thanks to our Marketing Placement Student, Izzy Anwell for writing this positive blog for Spring.
Help and Support
Find out more about the 5 Ways to look after your mind and body here: https://bit.ly/5WaystoWellbeing
Dorset Mind’s range of support groups can keep you connected to people like you have lived experience of mental health. Our groups encourage peer support and will help give you the support you need to recover from mental health ill and maintain your wellbeing.
Find out more here.