Take 5 – Ideas for Spring

And no, I’m not going to suggest reading Nietzsche.

The term “Spring cleaning” is probably one that you’re incredibly familiar with (and possibly sick of). The exact origins of the phrase is still speculated with some suggesting religious (the Jewish festival of Pesach or the cleaning of the Catholic church the day before Good Friday – northern hemisphere seasons) and/or cultural (Persian New Year) beginnings. Some of it was out of necessity especially for those areas subjected to cold and/or wet winters. However, I’m sure cleaning is not at the first thing to pop into your mind when Spring rolls around, although somewhat inescapable with COVID-19.

Decluttering, both physically and mentally, is an effective measure to improving your home and wellbeing. You’d be surprised how much of you is attached to things in and around your home, and how lifted you can feel once you’ve re-arranged, donated or disposed of certain items. A sense of radical honesty and willingness to change can bring great and unexpected positive results. Humans can only deal with so much clutter, chaos and stimulation, and from time to time it is needed to work out what is important and what you could do without.

Overstimulation from electronic devices/screens is a significant problem in modern society and thankfully Spring offers us a chance to do activities which are conducive to alleviating this. The warmer and sunnier weather makes it ideal to come out of the winter burrows we’ve been in and socialise, catch up with friends and family over a drink or meal or host a small gathering and listen to some great music. We can go to a local park or beach and play with our kids or pets. We can grab a good read and find a nice public place to enjoy consuming it. Connection with people and the environment is essential to our survival and wellbeing and more so under strenuous circumstances.

Amongst the "tall timber", Boranup National Park. Photo by Martyn Foster.

Spring time is a great time to get back in touch with nature. Walking, cycling and swimming are great activities to do, be it in the bush or at the beach. The advantages to your physical and mental health these activities provide is abundant, and you can even turn it into a social event. The South West (of Western Australia) is perfect for such interests. Mountain Biking has become a popular exercise and we have some great trails just out of Bunbury up at Pile Road and there are some decent ones down south in Margaret River and outside of Perth.

Day trips are both manageable and enjoyable. Photo by Martyn Foster.

Planning “Day-Trips” is made easier in Spring regardless of whether it is just for you, you and a partner or your entire family. Travelling restrictions have led to a massive increase in domestic holidaying, making accommodation scarce or expensive in some places, so why not go somewhere you can come home to within a day? Where I live in Bunbury, it is easy to plan a day trip down to some nice wineries in Margaret River. I can go caving in Yallingup. I can go to Cape Naturaliste lighthouse and Sugarloaf Rock just outside of Dunsborough and drop into Eagle Bay Brewing Co. or Wise winery for some “refuelling” if need be. There are plenty of family fun parks with mazes and animals scattered throughout the South West. You could even do Augusta and visit Jewel cave, Cape Leeuwin lighthouse and Flinders Bay. Not to mention, it is wildflower season!

A loaf of sugar and rock. Photo by Martyn Foster.

If you are feeling energetic, you could always roll out the plants, paint and plaster and do some home renovations (or fix ‘em ups). Other ways of making use of the spring in Spring, you could join a sport. Plenty of sporting leagues have come back or are starting up and they double as good social interaction.

Utilise the ‘extra’ sun by getting up early or by extending the day. It’s not necessarily the case of trying to jam pack your days, but making the time work for you. If you can fit in some extra light reading or coffee catch up in the morning or a walk along the beach at the end of the day then this is going to improve how you feel about life.

I’ll leave you with a few quotes which emphasise the sentiments of my post:

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu

“The earth laughs in flowers” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A flower blossoms for its own joy” – Oscar Wilde


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