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Your March guide to a happier, healthier you, from daylight saving time to the benefits of spring cleaning

Illustration of clock, calendar, asparagus, and cleaning spray
Everything you need to know for a healthy month ahead. (Photo illustration: Katie Martin for Yahoo News; photos: Getty Images, James Steidl/Shutterstock)

Happy March 1! We at Yahoo Life are firm believers in starting each month on the right foot, whether that means repeating "Rabbit, rabbit" for good luck or, more importantly, making a plan for how we'll tackle the days to come while staying on track with our personal health and wellness goals (or maybe focusing on some new ones). Determined to live your best life over the next 31 days? Look no further than this new guide, updated each month with the health reminders you need, the inspiration you crave and the season-specific tips that'll help you make the most of the days ahead. Read on for details on adjusting to daylight saving time (yes, again) and the doctor appointment you should be making.

🔌 Unplug. Today is Global Day of Unplugging, which means that starting at sundown, people are encouraged to spend a chunk of the weekend off their screens and other tech devices. Consider it the excuse you need to go for a long walk (without AirPods), invite friends over for game night or people-watch at your favorite coffee shop.

📮 Order free COVID-19 tests while you still can. Friday, March 8 is the last day to place an order for four (or eight, if you didn't order any in the fall) free at-home COVID tests from the U.S. government. Orders can be placed here, and shipping is free.

Set your alarm for daylight saving time. At 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 10 — which also happens to be Oscars Sunday — it'll be time to "spring forward" for daylight saving time. The good news is that it will no longer be dark outside when you finish work for the day. The bad news is that you'll lose an hour of sleep — which then puts us all at an increased risk for car accidents, workplace injuries, missed appointments and more. While not all states are affected by seasonal time changes, those of us who live in places that do insist on changing the clocks twice a year can plan ahead by going to bed a little early in the days leading up to DST, Sleep Foundation advises.

🍴Add asparagus to your shopping basket. With all due respect to root vegetables, spring means your favorite fresh produce is back in season (and, hopefully, less expensive at the grocery store). If you're partial to asparagus (and don't mind your urine smelling strange after you eat it), check out these springtime recipes. The veggie has plenty of health benefits — it's a great source of fiber and antioxidants, is high in vitamins A, C, E and K, can act as a natural diuretic and contains glutathione, which helps break down carcinogens and free radicals. Can you spare a spear?

👩🏽‍⚕️ Book that colonoscopy. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, which serves as a great reminder to make an appointment to get a routine colonoscopy if you're between the ages of 45 and 75. If you're younger than 45 but have a family history of colorectal cancer or are experiencing worrying symptoms, here's how to advocate for yourself at the doctor's office.

🧽 Spring clean. There's no shame in continuing to use that one armchair as a dumping ground for all the clothes you're too tired to fold and hang up. That said, cleaning up does come with a lot of mental health perks, including making you feel less anxious and more in control (of your overflowing laundry basket, if nothing else). If a daylong deep clean feels overwhelming, try breaking down your chores into mini cleaning bursts (maybe see how many counters you can wipe down before your favorite song ends?) or tackle it one room at a time. Pro tip: Your home workspace or office is a good place to start, as keeping it tidy can boost productivity.

💪🏻 Take your workout outside. Depending on where you live, March represents the sweet spot for outdoor activities — not too hot, not too cold, not too rainy. Whether your idea of exercise is a rooftop yoga class or a round of Frisbee golf with friends, now's the time to take advantage.

👋 Take a day off. Kids get spring break — why not you? If you can, consider booking a day off (or two, or more!) to just relax and recharge. Research shows that a majority of Americans don't use up all their paid vacation days; meanwhile, taking time to switch off from work is beneficial for our well-being and associated with improved job and life satisfaction, better sleep, less burnout and fewer physical health complaints like headaches and back pain. If you can't afford to miss a full day, make an effort to take microbreaks — eating lunch outside instead of at your desk, doing a few minutes of stretches after a long meeting, etc. — throughout the workday.