As blistering cold winds finally give way to spring showers and sunshine, some deal with the weather changes better than others. Although we have blamed the forecast for achy joints and the flu for generations, there was little evidence for how weather specifically affects our well-being—until now. From your physical health to your everyday mood, the changing seasons has a quiet but effective impact on your quality of life. And, as weather patterns become even more volatile, taking care of your home in addition to yourself becomes increasingly necessary.

Where to start? Handling the transition to warmer months begins with establishing little habits for your own health and that of your family. It also involves a bit of elbow grease when it comes to projects that protect your home. Here’s how to properly prepare:

Your Body

  • Seasonal allergies affect more than 50 million Americans each year. Beyond consulting an allergist and taking your required meds, you can also change your diet to make your symptoms feel less intense. Onions, garlic, apples, fish, pineapple and yogurt all contain enzymes and probiotics to that end.
  • Shake off those winter blues with some Vitamin D! It positively affects your serotonin production and sleep-wake cycles. Also, shoot to have your bedroom’s temperature to be in the ideal window: 60 to 70 degrees. Taking a warm bath 1-2 hours before bedtime helps your internal temperature drop for a deeper sleep. This is especially beneficial during hot and humid summers.

Your Mind

  • Whether it’s exam time or the start of “busy season” at work, managing your stress and mood changes is a big part of jump-starting spring. So, get outdoors with your pets! The psychological effects of man’s best friends are many. If you don’t have one of your own, consider signing up for a pet walking service. Even hearing the birds chirp on a nature walk can be super uplifting!
  • There’s no shame in being a homebody to withstand the winter. But, the lack of socialization contributes to Seasonal Affective Disorder, which can extend well into April and May if you’re not so quick to reconnect with friends and family. Invite friends over for a start-of-season bash, or consider signing up for a rec sports team like kickball!

Your House

  • In addition to spring cleaning the usual as well as often-forgotten areas of your abode, you’ll want to make sure it’s properly fortified rain or shine. Here are the top places to focus on:
    • Roof shingles: Most often, they are lost or damaged over winter and summer.
    • Wood trim: Spring rains attack the trim around windows, doors and railings.
    • Gutters: Leaky gutters can flood your basement – make sure the spouts point away from the building.
    • Driveways: Cracks in the concrete can get more severe, especially in early spring as water alternates between freezing and melting.
    • HVAC systems: This is the cheapest time of year for a specialist to look at your air conditioning. Make sure the filters are cleaned or replaced if need be.

Kids love to embrace nearly everything about springtime, so why not join in on the fun? Explore some DIY projects you can do together

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