Every May I get the fever
and it isn’t about my health, it’s about spring. Spring fever finds its way into every age group. For our older and less able adults, the desire to go outside and enjoy the warmth, sunshine and fabulous smells of spring is like a siren song. If you are an older adult and less able to do some of the activities you once did with great vigor, you still have creative choices for activities that allow for spring fever relief!
The following outdoor ideas are creative ways to indulge in activities for spring in ways that allow great satisfaction without being as time and labor consuming:
- Gardening – For those whom a large garden was a big part of spring tradition, the joy of planting a not so big kitchen garden or potting geraniums for a window box is pure joy. Gardens do not have to be labor intensive projects. A trip to the green house is like going to an art museum for a garden lover. Design the garden by planning…talk about what pots are available and what favorite plants are desired. Think about where you would love to have some spring and summer color. Choose an easy to see and easy to care for space. The plan is the first phase, greenhouse visit (s) is the second, and planting is the third. The spring into summer season of your not so big garden will provide you with beautiful satisfaction. (don’t forget to hydrate both plants and people)
- Outdoor Walks and Talks – Start with a short spring walk…just around the house…check out the lawn and talk about the house exterior chores that may need to be done. Make sure you have some chairs outside with water near for drinking. Breathe deep and enjoy the spring air. Listen and watch for birds. Think about your favorite springtime rituals, and relax.
- Picnic alone, with people, and/or pets– Plan a picnic lunch and get out of the house. It could be the back yard or a nearby park. Consider a lake side bench with some shade. Pack your favorite picnic foods and plan in advance (part of the fun) to have an outdoor party. Hats should be included for sunny days… drink lots of water…and be with friends and grandkids whenever possible. The most important opportunity is to just enjoy and make it an event. Bring a comfortable lawn chair or two, a blanket — pick up a newspaper or read a good book (maybe out loud), and don’t forget the picnic basket.
- En plein air – if painting is part of your life…outdoor painting might be a very joyful suggestion. The French expression means “in the open air,” and many artists love out door light to inspire a painting. The canvas can be small, easy to handle, and not always in need of an easel. Consider oil pastels instead of oil paints…be creative and consider the possibilities.
- Putting – if golfing is a love…make a putting green your destination. Putt Putt golf might be ideal or get in a cart and go out for nine holes rather than eighteen or thirty-six. Just being in the cart might bring joy beyond words. Go with a friend and enjoy the clubhouse afterwards.
- Water therapy – a little cool down in a pool or wading at the shore of a lake…just water on the feet can feel fabulous. Bring sun screen and don’t forget the towels! And, do drink the water…always bring a supply of drinking water!
The key is to be creative and get out into the spring air. If you can’t get out…get the spring air in and open up the house, clean the windows, and bring the sounds and sights of spring to your home. If you are less able to move around outdoors, bring a freshly potted plant in-doors like a scented geranium or lemon verbena, and frequently smell the wonderful scent that will lift your spirit. Ask yourself, “What’s my favorite remedy for spring fever?” and make it happen!
Great ideas to do by yourself, with family, friends, or a Caregiver!
Ramona Hunt, with Touching Hearts at Home