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20 March 2017
Crocuses start budding, lambs begin frolicing and birds have migrated home: spring is here! Old Man Winter has packed his bags and thankfully has made way to warmth and sunshine. Sometimes leaving us sooner or sometimes overstaying his welcome, winter’s departure may be unknown, but one thing we do know is that spring is one guest we always welcome.
The astronomical spring season, or the vernal equinox, begins when day and night are of equal length, which typically falls around the 20th of March. Equinox comes from the latin word equi meaning “equal” and nox meaning “night” while spring is derived from the word 'long' as it relates to the lengthening of days.
Because the earth is tilted with respect to the sun, the seasons vary between the northern and southern hemispheres. As a result, whichever hemisphere is tilted or oriented closer toward the sun, experiences summer. Conversely, whichever hemisphere is tilted away from the sun is experiencing winter. As a result, both hemispeheres are always on opposite schedules as one hemisphere is tilted toward the sun as the other is tilted away.
As the days get longer, we get more intense light and Vitamin D. This causes levels of serotonin and dopamine in the body to heighten, which in turn is good for our mood! However, spring can have an adverse effect: spring fatigue. This occurs when serotonin and dopamine take on melatonin. The increased demand of energy from longer days can exceed our body’s capacity, thereby making us feel tired. Fortunately, this feeling usually goes away after a few weeks once we are adjusted to the seasonal change.
With spring comes spring cleaning. This is the perfect time to not only clean your house – including every nook, cranny and crevice – but to clean out, too. There are plenty of ways to donate what you don’t need; besides, the more space you make, the more room you have to go spring shopping!
If spring cleaning is a part of your agenda this month, then don’t forget your stairlift! Indoor stairlifts can be given a quick dust with a dry cloth or feather duster each week to prevent dust from building up. For a more thorough cleaning, you can clean the seat upholstery and track with a dampened soft cloth, being sure not to soak either and drying each before its next use. Outdoor stairlifts are exposed to the elements and may require heavier cleaning, however this can be reduced by using the protective cover that is supplied. It is very important that you do not use solvents, bleaches or abrasive cleaners, such as ones that are designed for cleaning a bath or shower, as these can corrode or short circuit the delicate components within a stairlift. Consult your technician or manual should you have any questions.
As with so many other electrical appliances around the house, it is recommended that you have your stairlift inspected once a year by your certified technician. Scheduling this service during spring cleaning is an easy way to remember each year.
Once your inside cleaning is complete, then it's time to tackle your garden. First you need to remove the winter mess by discarding the dead leaves, foliage and any weeds that have begun to grow. Then, it’s time to prune your plants, making sure you’re following the garden calendar as to which can or should be pruned in the spring versus the fall. Lastly, it’s time to plant or move any indoor plants outside. But, just because the calendar says it is springtime or the weather feels warm during the day, doesn’t mean frost isn’t a concern. Before you plant anything, either wait until late spring – typically after May 15th – or keep an eye on the weather each night to pull potted plants inside or cover plants with blankets that are vulnerable to frost.
Spring is a time for new beginnings. If you’re ready to learn more about making a fresh start and how Handicare stairlifts can provide your more independence within your home, contact us today.
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