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Approaching spring with a fresh outlook

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The winter months are often difficult in any normal year. The short days, dark nights and constant cold make it difficult to stay active and positive. But as we emerge from a winter impacted by the ongoing pandemic, there is hope that the spring will begin to lift spirits across the country.

As we reflect on over a year of lockdown measures and restrictions, it’s very easy to fall into a bit of a slump. However, with the clocks about to “spring forward”, our days will be getting much brighter and warmer. In addition, the falling numbers of COVID-19 cases and the “roadmap” to gradual easing of restrictions will have many of us feeling a lot more hopeful for the months ahead.

That said, many people will undoubtedly feel a little apprehensive about going back to normality after such a strange year. It’s important for us to ease our way into any adjustments, as well as recognise and respect the concerns of others. Here we look at some of the ways we can maintain a positive mental attitude this spring and beyond.

Spend a little time outdoors

For those with access to a garden or balcony, sitting outside in the sunshine for an hour or so is a small luxury that many of us can benefit from. Feeling the sun’s rays and cool breeze will be a much welcome change, after feeling cooped up indoors through a combination of cold weather and lockdown restrictions.

As the government’s roadmap introduces relaxed restrictions, many of us will be able to meet up with a small number of friends, family members and loved ones in a public space or in a private garden. It’ll still be important to maintain social distancing, but finally being able to meet up with others in person will give our moods a much-needed boost.

Keep an eye on positive news

Daily news reports over the past year have often taken a strain on our mental health. The constant worries and concerns take their toll on us and it can be especially hard when we might not have someone to turn to and talk to about things. However, we’re all beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.

In recent weeks, the numbers of COVID-19 cases have come down whilst the vaccination programme continues to reach more new people every day. The progress is incremental, but slowly and surely, we’re seeing a trend of good news getting better day after day. Keeping an eye on these positive trends will serve as a boost to our outlook as we look forward to the pandemic subsiding.

Remember to maintain hygiene practices

In spite of the good news and the oncoming return to normality, it will still be important to stay on top of all the new practices we’ve gotten used to. Frequent hand sanitising, mask wearing and social distancing are likely to be things we’ll all need to keep doing to prevent any further spread or resurgence of coronavirus.

In particular, make sure to take extra care around those who may be a bit more vulnerable. It’s likely that older relatives or those with existing health conditions will have received their vaccine by now; while this will boost their immune responses, it’s still possible for the virus to pass from person to person. By sticking to rigorous hygiene practices, the chances of any further transmission are massively reduced.