Spring is finally here, and the warmer weather is on the way – although ironically, as I write this I can see the rain quite literally pouring down outside! However, despite this minor set back, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the meaning of Spring and the emotional and energetic shift that occurs with the return of the sun. We find ourselves feeling more motivated, better connected and in most cases, happier.
Spring is the perfect time to rejuvenate our internal and external environments. For many this may come in the form of a detox, signing up to the gym or giving the house a good clean. Busy lifestyles, both at work and home mean that it can be difficult to put aside time to do these things: That’s why this month I’ve put together a few ideas to inspire small changes that can be implemented without too much fuss, leaving behind the heavier energy of winter in preparation for balmier Spring weather.
8 simple ideas to invigorate body and mind
1. Goal set, think positive and use your imagination!
Spring is the season of new beginnings, & there’s no better time to think about how you’d like your future to look. How can you restore balance to your life? Being in the right place (mentally) to accept change is as important as implementing the change itself. Take 5 minutes out of your day to think about your goals; write them down, make your ideas tangible, one step closer to reality. They don’t have to be material either; think about personal development, further education, places you’d like to visit, or family & friends that you want to reconnect with. Think big, the sky is the limit!
2. Liver health, digestive balance and detoxification
Of course, making sure your body is running well on the inside is equally as important as how it runs on the outside. Spring is a good time to take a mental inventory of any unpleasant symptoms you’ve been experiencing and get them addressed. Gut and liver health are pivotal to ensuring the rest of the body is running well, so I often recommend a good detox for both. Herbs such as St Mary’s Thistle (Silybum marianum), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis), and Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) are great detoxifiers and also provide some serious antioxidant protection too. As always, check with your qualified naturopath or herbalist before purchasing these herbs.
3. Get that body moving!
Exercise is seriously the best thing you can do to improve your health and wellbeing, along with a diet based on fresh food. Regular physical activity reduces chronic disease risk, improves concentration, promotes a restful sleep and boosts mood. Set a goal that is achievable, and go for it! Make sure it’s something you enjoy doing and something you’ll be able to stick at. Routine helps to cement exercise as a long term part of your lifestyle, so pick a time that suits and lock it in each day.
4. Reboot your diet.
It’s quite easy during the winter months to indulge in a few extra comfort foods here and there. Being stuck indoors often means that our bodies run more sluggishly and there may be increased dependence on caffeine or carbohydrates as a pick-me-up. Fortunately, warmer weather means an abundance of beautiful fresh fruit and veggies so there’s no better time to spring clean your diet! Removing processed foods, and substituting with fresher choices nourishes your body with loads of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants to boost energy naturally. (A quick side note – if you need assistance with creating a cleaner, leaner you, book in an appointment with me and we’ll create a tailored program, just for you!)
5. Take a mental inventory and release anything that no longer serves you.
Our minds as well as our bodies need a clean out regularly. Busy lifestyles, combined with multiple stressors lead to overactivity of the nervous system and adrenal fatigue. Feelings of anxiety, irritability and exhaustion are common. Spring is a great time to release the things that have been bothering you. Some people like to write them down, then burn or even bury the paper, but feel free to choose a way that seems right to you.
Nourishing the nervous system nutritionally helps to restore balance and energy. B vitamins and magnesium are great nutrients, and herbs like Withania (Withania somnifera), Lavender (Lavandula officinalis), and St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) are rejuvenating for the nervous system and adrenal glands.
6. Spring clean your environment.
Spring is the best time to declutter or redecorate. Removing or giving away things you don’t use anymore, giving a room a fresh coat pain or even moving the furniture around can change and reinvigorate the energy in a house or office. Open up the windows and doors and let fresh air in to remove any energetic stagnation that has occurred over the colder months. Using essential oils in a diffuser or even burning sage freshens up the air and brightens the atmosphere in your home or workplace.
7. What are you grateful for?
This might seem a little unusual to include with all this releasing going on, but gratitude is a great way to put yourself in a more positive mindset and attract the things you want into your life. A nice idea is first thing in the morning or last thing at night, think of 3 things that you’re grateful for. It might be your family, your friends or even a goal that you’ve achieved. You could even keep a diary of your positive experiences: Research shows that expressing gratitude in a written form significantly improves mental health (1).
8. Reward yourself with some ‘me’ time.
Most of us are so busy looking after others, we simply don’t have time to take care of ourselves. Nurturing and nourishing your body and soul is an important part of health and wellbeing. Ask yourself, ” What can I do to take care of me right now?” and listen carefully for the answer. It could be a massage, sitting down with a good book, going somewhere you’ve never been, or simply doing nothing at all. Taking time for yourself should happen daily, even if it’s only 30 minutes.
These few points are tried and tested means of rejuvenating your entire lifestyle to take full advantage of this wonderful new energy. Be sure to have a sit and think about those things/feelings/habits that longer serve you, and your wants and needs for the future. As always, respect and nourish your body with wholesome foods, fresh air and rest. If you have any nagging symptoms that you’d like addressed, now’s the perfect time to book in an appointment and get them resolved!
(1) Wong, Y.J et al. (2016). Does gratitude writing improve the mental health of psychotherapy clients? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial. Psychotherapy Research. May 3:1-11. [Epub ahead of print]