Your April guide to a happier, healthier you: spring COVID boosters, Earth Day and more

Your guide to living your best life this April. (Photo illustration: Katie Martin for Yahoo News; photos: Getty Images)
Your guide to living your best life this April. (Photo illustration: Katie Martin for Yahoo News; photos: Getty Images)

There's nothing quite like kicking off a new month on the back of a sugar-fueled holiday. If the dozen or so neon Peeps you may have consumed on Easter haven't inspired you to rethink your approach to healthy living, perhaps this monthly guide to all things April — and what you can do to make the next 30 days as productive and pleasurable as possible — will. Will there be rain? Almost certainly. Will you have to navigate both April Fools' Day and Mercury in retrograde at the same time? Yup. Can you get through it with a smile? You bet.

Read on for feel-good activities to try, important reminders to note and other seasonal suggestions that are in the spirit of living your best life.

☂️ Take a walk in the rain. Far be it from us to deny you a lazy, rainy day spent binge-watching Manhunt, but all of these April showers might call for a nice long walk outside (no, really). Despite the dreary conditions, there's a lot of research behind the benefits of walking in the rain — from the intoxicating smell of petrichor to the mindfulness it encourages as you watch out for puddles and slick patches. According to a 2015 study, the air is also fresher, with the rain helping to clear out pollutants. Just be sure to bring along an umbrella.

😎 Grab your solar eclipse glasses. The total solar eclipse on April 8 will be visible from a large portion of North America. If that includes where you'll be, make sure you've got specially designed glasses on before looking up at the sky. The sun is not messing around, and eye damage is a very real threat without a proper pair to protect your peepers. And no, sunglasses won't cut it.

💉 Get your spring COVID booster. If you're immunocompromised or aged 65 or older, it's time to roll up your sleeves once again for another dose of the updated COVID vaccine, per recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

😩 Manage your stress. April is Stress Awareness Month. The nonprofit Mental Health America has a helpful stress screener that can assess how stress is affecting your life, while the CDC has a list of ways to cope, from reaching out to a friend or mental health professional to prioritizing sleep, exercise and a healthy diet. Another idea? Put on a relaxing playlist or play your favorite feel-good tune; listening to music has been associated with lower levels of cortisol, aka the stress hormone.

💰 Don't forget Tax Day. Funny how Stress Awareness Month falls in the same month our tax returns are due, huh? Financial anxiety over all that paperwork, the cost of paying a tax preparer (not to mention any taxes owed) and the fear of getting it all wrong can be really debilitating for some people — but experts tell Yahoo Life that the best way to mitigate that is to stop procrastinating and do it anyway. If you haven't already filed your return (due April 15), get on that right away, or, at the very least, file an extension to avoid penalties. Like a lot of things, it may end up being one of those tasks you agonize over for months that actually ends up taking a couple of hours to actually complete.

🌎 Love on Mother Nature. Monday, April 22 is Earth Day, which is a great excuse to reap the mental health benefits of spending time outdoors (while also doing something that gives back to the planet, like gardening). Our tip? Bring a trash picker, gloves and some garbage bags on your next hike, neighborhood stroll or trip to the park, and collect any litter that you come across. You get fresh air, exercise and more scenic surroundings, while your area gets a much-needed cleanup.

🤐 Stop asking this question. April 21 to 27 is National Infertility Week. In the U.S., about 11% of women and 9% of men of reproductive age struggle to conceive a child. One thing you can you do to show support? Quit asking people when they're going to have a baby.

🫛 Pass the peas, please. Spring continues to spoil us with fresh seasonal produce — including peas, which are a great source of fiber and protein. Try adding the nutrient-packing legume to a salad, serve as a side dish with a pinch of salt and a dollop of butter or make it the star of the show by whipping up this bright, creamy, one-pot pasta dish.