Spring’s Awakening

The lawn that rolls down to the Willamette River may still be soggy at Homewoods, but we are thinking springtime thoughts.

From the raised garden beds to the newly set rosebuds, we are seeing signs of spring everywhere. Here at our “home in the woods” we are continually renewed by the natural surroundings, the return of the birds, and by the smiles we see on the faces of our neighbors and friends during coffee hour.

Spring and the longer days lift our spirits. If you’re happy and you know it, scientists report that you are 65 percent more likely to live happily for the next five years.

Happiness leads to longevity. Many Homewoods residents find happiness in tending their raised gardens. They also find happiness in talking with neighbors, volunteering  in “Granny’s Attic,” sharing meals with friends, or reading in our library.

As we approach Easter and the spring season here are some simple tips for finding personal renewal:

Take your vitamins, especially Vitamin D. This vitamin boosts your immunity, promotes healthy neuro-muscular functions and protects you from some forms of cancer.

Cut (down on) caffeine. Coffee increases anxiety levels, and irritability. Instead of coffee, try green tea. It has one-quarter the amount of caffeine found in coffee and green tea is loaded with antioxidants.

Express simple spiritual gratitude. Think about all those small acts of kindness that make you smile. Writing a note to a friend, or just making a list of what makes you smile, stops us from taking the wonder of our world for granted.

Experience kindness by being kind. If you perform small acts of kindness, you will like yourself more and think of those around you in a positive way.

Appreciate the little things.  Rainbows, craft projects, a good joke, the beauty of nature, savoring a delicious meal — take the time to notice the everyday gifts of life!

Don’t forget to smile. The simple act of smiling is called facial feedback. Smiling sends a signal to your brain that you are feeling content, secure and happy.