Breathe in the Woods
Spring? As I sit here and reflect on this topic, I hear birds chirping outside of my office window. There is a brisk chill and the smell of fresh grass is in the air. There is a presence here at the Woods that cannot be explained nor denied. A stroll through the Woods on a day like today will bear witness to many beautiful views, harmonious sounds, and various aromas.
In a previous blog, Providence Associate Jude Magers talked about well-being. She elaborated on defining what well-being means, why it is important, and how we find the balance for it. The topic of spring and the idea of well-being bring me to reflect on the vision here at Providence Health Care, “Healing for Body, Mind, and Spirit.” I believe this vision reflects one’s desire for well-being. We know that well-being crosses the lifespan and for most, there is a desire to have constant physical, mental and emotional balance. So, now I am led to the following questions: How do spring and well-being collaborate? How do the seasons effect healing for the body, mind, and spirit?
A sure sign of spring are pastel colors. Many pastel colors filled the lawn at Providence Health Care on Tuesday, April 16, when staff were treated to a surprise Easter egg hunt! Residents watched and cheered on their favorite nurse or CNA while staff scurried along to find those prized eggs. For many residents and staff, memories came flooding back.
One staff member said, “I haven’t looked for eggs in years. I always just watch my kids. It was so much fun!”
Residents smiled, laughed and a few cried. Memories are so important. Memories can take us back to many places.
To some, this was a memory of their children, maybe remembering their little girls with pigtails in their best Easter Sunday dress, running through green grass, giggling, during a time that was most certainly different from what the current days hold. Watching memories come to the surface and watching the smiles on the faces of staff and residents during this beautiful spring day appeared to me to be healing for the mind and one’s spirit.
As we think about spring, let’s reflect for a minute about the effect sunshine can have on our bodies, mind, and spirit. Have you been sad on a sunny day? Arguably, it isn’t as easy to be sad or down on a sunny day as it is on those dreary, rainy days. Have you experienced a walk on a sunny day here on the beautiful campus at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods? If not, I highly recommend it. On a campus walk, you will pass many smiling faces, sunbeams shining through beautiful leaves on trees, a cool breeze, and a touch of warmth on exposed skin.
On a recent trip to Florida, the “Sunshine State,” I found the sunshine to be very healing. I immediately felt “well.” It was as if my heart was smiling. Wouldn’t you agree it is easier to have a sense of well-being on those nice sunny days?
Spring and sunshine collaborating so beautifully to aid in a nice balance of mental, physical and emotional “well-being.” As a member of the HOME (Helping Ourselves Meaningfully Engage) Team, I am thankful for the opportunity to help in efforts to create a holistic campus-wide, Positive Culture of Aging and witness the effects these efforts have on all of those we are here to serve. May we be blessed with many sunny, spring days!