Last week’s balmy temperatures were a clue that spring is coming. Other signs such as blooming daffodils, jonquils and forsythia are emerging.
And those Bradford pear trees. What a beautiful spring tree. What a nuisance they can be in abundance! My wife asked the other day, “What is that smell?” I pointed above her head to the row of Bradford pears that creates a living border next to my office building. “Yuck! How can something so pretty smell so bad?”
In spite of the pungent scent, the blooming of these ubiquitous trees intensifies my anticipation for spring and the hope that it comes soon. Here are your seven tips to help you get ready.
1. If you are one that likes to dig in the dirt, you’ll need to get ready to spend some time kneeling and squatting. Stop by the garden store and pick up a couple of those handy kneepads. You’ll need to get your knees conditioned for the extra weight you put on this winter, so practice kneeling in the house. Maybe throw the kneepad down in front of your kids’ beds and muster up the courage to look underneath. You’ll probably need the vacuum and possibly rubber gloves to handle what you find.
2. Pretty soon warm weather exuberance is going to hit and you’ll think it is a perfect day to start walking the neighborhood. New walking shoes are a good idea. Even if the ones you have look fine, if you have worn them for a few months the soles are compressed to the point that they don’t provide the cushioning that you need. While you are in the store, think about what you are going to be wearing while treading the streets in front of the neighbors. Go ahead and get a new comfortable outfit, you’ll be more likely to walk more if you look good.
3. Get rid of a ton of stuff. I read a book a few years ago with the premise: If you want new “things” in your life, get rid of the old, unused, out-of-date items that clutter your space and life. There are many places to donate old or seldom used items. You could have a garage sale or simply recycle everything by donating it.
4. Take advantage of a change of seasons to make a positive change in your habits. Improve your nutritional habits, stop smoking or other negative habits, start a new exercise routine, turn off the television and pick up a book (or the Murfreesboro Post), make a list of friends to visit with once a month.
5. Plan a weekend getaway. Tennessee has hundreds of interesting places that are drivable within an hour or two. Visit a local bookstore and browse the books about nearby sights and day trips.
6. If you plan on traveling this spring or summer, get that luggage out now. Plan ahead by making a list of essentials that you don’t want to leave behind and put together a travel kit that has the list and items that are only used when traveling. By planning today, you are likely to be more prepared and less stressed on departure day.
7. Start some gentle stretching and movement exercises. Unless you have been very diligent over the past few months, you have lost some flexibility and strength that you will need when you are overcome with spring fever.
As always, the Post likes to deliver more than promised, so here are the Murfreesboro Post bonus tips:
8. Get your painting tools together and pick a room to paint. Paint is an inexpensive way to change your interior surroundings dramatically.
9. Change the air filters. If you have allergy symptoms, changing the filters frequently can help. Adding a HEPA room air filter is a very good idea.
10. Get a health check up. It is much easier to address health issues in the early stages. Spring is no fun at all without good health.
Next week I’ll share some helpful tips for readers that like to eat. Until then, enjoy the anticipation of warmer weather!
Dr. Mark Kestner