There’s a warmth in the air, the sun has peeped out for more than five seconds, and Easter is well and truly here - that’s right - we are finally inching towards warmer days and lighter evenings: in Bristol, at least, spring has sprung.
With the changing of the seasons, I often find it satisfying to engage in a little bit of a reset: whether it’s simply giving your cutlery drawer a proper once-over, or going for a walk in nature to appreciate the new sights and sounds. And if you’re like me, simple actions to help you keep in sync with the seasons can really help you keep on track of things, and keep your head engaged in the bigger picture.
So, here’s a simple list of practical tips to help you welcome spring with open arms.
Go for a walk
I know, I know. We’ve all done a whole bunch of walking over the last two years. When the lockdowns first were enforced, I can’t have been the only one pootling about my neighbourhood once-daily in an attempt to soothe the mind and calm the soul. But guess what? The benefits of walking haven’t gone away just because we’re no longer in lockdown. And spring is a perfect time to get out and about in nature. Spring bulbs, little bunnies, bouncing lambs - who wouldn’t enjoy a stroll out and about, wellies and raincoat in tow? Side note: try going solo, or without headphones - you’ll get to listen to the cheerful sounds of spring springing!
If you're looking forward to some company whilst you walk, or discovering a new part of Bristol, why not check out Bristol Walk Fest that happens every May in and around the city. Click here to check it out.
Cook yourself some springtime goodness
After the long slog of winter, seeing new colourful veggies in my local greengrocer’s is a sight for weary eyes: bright candy radishes, near-neon rhubarb, and zingy spring greens feel like a rainbow to me after months of taupes and browns.
So, make the best use of the produce that’s in season right now - stir-fry’s, salads, soups and steamed greens are packed full of mood-enhancing nutrients - as well as supporting no-fly food. My personal favourite is wild garlic at the moment: perfect in a pesto, in a salad or wilted in pasta!
Bristol food blogger Kym Grimshaw has a beautiful spring Orzotto recipe, packed with green and lemon goodness, which you can check out on her incredibly aesthetic site, On The Plate, here.
Give your laundry some love
Take all laundry items that you don’t wash on the reg (think: bath mats, rugs, curtains), wash them thoroughly and let them air dry (outside if you’re lucky enough to have a garden.) As we step into the warmer months, it’s such a joy to be able to dry laundry in the fresh air - and it helps you feel refreshed, too. Clean laundry = clean mind in my house, and I love the smell of laundry that’s been dried in the fresh air, especially those items that aren’t at the top of the To-Be-Washed list. Who says that bath mats don’t deserve some lovin’?
If you're looking for some eco-laundry top-tips, then look no further than this comprehensive list, complied by French-Canadian duo Dans Le Sac.
Treat yourself to a new soap
At Prior we’re lucky enough to stock a whole host of amazing soapmakers - all who make beautiful palm-free, sustainable products that look, feel and smell amazing. And what’s better in springtime than a simple bar of soap to reset and refresh your bathroom - as well as your hands, face and body. Top Tip: before switching to your new soap, do as my Granny always does, and pop it in your knicker drawer to make full use of the fantastic botanicals you’ve invested in.
Check out our range of handmade soaps, here.
Plant seeds as an act of hope
Humans love to nurture things. And what’s better than planting seeds as a little project to keep our busy minds grounded and entertained? If you have a garden or window box, then consider planting some outdoor flowers or vegetables to create a bountiful summer crop. And if you’ve just got a windowsill, cress isn’t just for children, right? A packet of cress seeds costs 25p and you only need damp paper and water to create a whole bunch of joy. Next on the to-do list: perfect that egg and cress sandwich.
One of our lovely makers, Ria Burns, is an excellent gardener, and grows all her own plants to make into handmade natural fabric dyes. Hop on over to her seed collection, here.
Start a new book and turn over a fresh page
Whether you’re inspired by other people’s words or prefer to write down your own in a journal, a new novel or notebook can bring bountiful feelings of refreshment and reset. Why not hop along to a charity shop or independent bookshop to peruse the shelves for a new source of inspiration? The power of the written word is an undeniably joyous thing to behold - and it doesn’t have to be limited to other people’s, either. Consider making a gratitude list or simply writing down your thoughts, stream-of-consciousness style. You never know - you might end up being the next Sally Rooney.
A great place to buy books of black origin is online shop Afrori Books, a compendium of black writing with everything from fiction to children's literature. Check out their webshop, here.
Invest in your friendships
It’s easy during the winter months to hibernate and lean into the cosiness of the indoors. And to be fair - there’s nothing wrong with that. Winter is about rest and reflection, and is a crucial time to prepare the body for the new year. But now we’re in that new year, it feels just about time to start enlivening the special relationships that nurture us, as we nurture them. Call a friend, go out for a coffee, peruse your favourite independents, pop round for dinner, or send a gift in the post. When it comes to showing others we care, no action is too small - and supporting others helps us feel supported, too. So get out of your hibernation, and send them a little something to say hey.
Check out our selection of ethically-made gifts, here.
From us all at Prior - happy spring x
Written by Florence Williams