National Public Health Week is observed during the first week of April every year. Since 1995, communities across the United States have observed the week as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation. It’s also a week when we campaign for health policies that are fair, inclusive, and accessible to all communities. That’s seven days to champion the health of all Americans! There are many ways to begin the journey to lead a healthier life. Remember to involve your friends, family, and the larger community.
April is also the season of spring rejuvenation. With longer days and more sunshine, it’s a wonderful time for fresh starts, to shake up routines, and become active.
As you plan activities for your residents, here are some ideas on how to celebrate the season:
● Dig into container gardening - This is a great activity for those with limited space and/or mobility. Research has shown gardening can help reduce stress, depression and anxiety, promote relaxation and improve mood.
● Embrace seasonal flavors - Take a trip to a local farmer’s market, pick fresh herbs from those container gardens and infuse springtime produce into meals.
● Go on a picnic - Dining al fresco is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors and get some vitamin D. If a full meal isn’t feasible, grab some water bottles and packaged snacks and head outside to break up the day.
● Tidy up - There’s a reason it’s called spring cleaning. Help residents swap out their wardrobes, organize their rooms and declutter. If you need some inspiration, host a “Tidying Up” viewing party with light refreshments and a spring-themed treat.
● Get in touch with nature - Build DIY bird or butterfly feeders and place them near easily accessible windows. It will be fun to watch what type of critters the feeders attract. Another idea - contact your local nature center or community college to see if someone could come in and give a presentation about local wildlife.
● Take me out to the ball game - Spring marks the beginning of baseball season. Field trips to the diamond are always fun, but for those who prefer to stay close to home, host a major league celebration with the game on the big screen and all the ballpark favorites - hot dogs, peanuts and popcorn. Encourage residents to wear their favorite team apparel or team colors.
Celebrating the change of seasons is a great way to encourage socialization among residents and get everyone active and enjoying the fresh air, which is a great step to leading a healthier and happier lifestyle.