We often put all our energy into creating a fresher, cleaner version of ourselves in January. From a logical new year perspective, it does make sense. But there is something to be said for hibernating up until March. As the days roll into April and we start to notice the evening sky is brighter, our minds start to reawaken like a budding tulip peeping through the thawing soil. This is when ideas start to burst open and optimism for the rest of the year starts to grow.
Be honest with yourself — how much of the stuff surrounding you do you use regularly? A good way to start is by identifying some of your emotions linked to the past or future that are forming attachments to things. Let’s start with clothing. Maybe it was at one time your favorite jacket, but it’s been out of style for a decade. Or maybe you bought an adorable top last year on sale, but don’t have anything to wear it with yet. Do yourself a favor -if it hasn’t been worn in a year, or you have no plan for including it in your rotation this season, out it goes. The same solution can be applied to bad habits or toxic relationships -it’s not just physical stuff. De-cluttering makes your home and mind feel more open and free. It’s all about being mindful about the present moment and letting go. This will give you the motivation to be more reflective of the season and bring new positive energy into your life.
Many studies have found that simply getting out into natural environments could be an easy and almost immediate way to improve moods. Nature is therapy. Find a park/field/balcony/allotment/backyard or anywhere with an ounce of green; look up at the sky, notice the wind blowing through the trees, listen to birds singing and breathe some fresh air. If you are lucky enough to have an outdoor space to call your own, then now would be a great time to give it some TLC. Start a garden or add your personal creative touch to a sunbathing area. If you don’t have an outdoor space, then make time on the weekends, on your daily commute, or on your lunch break to connect with nature. Take a drive to the ocean. Go for a hike. Snap a picture of a budding flower with your camera if you wish, but switch your data off and upload that photo once you get home. Take a minute to forget social media exists. You’ll survive — promise.
It’s important to prepare the body for nature’s new beginning. Self care is often associated with preventative medicine because many self care activities result in beneficial effects on overall health. If you’ve been feeling “off” or “burnt out,” that’s usually a sign that you’ve been neglecting your mind, body and spirit. The good news is, spring provides a perfect opportunity to make adjustments. You can start by introducing a healthy meal, snack or smoothie into your day since many more fresh vegetables start coming into season this time of year. Making a conscious effort to eat more fresh and raw veggies is a lovely way to bring in that spring energy and of course get a boost of nutrients for your body too. More physical activity like walking instead of driving or taking the stairs instead of elevators (whenever possible) is a smart way to get fit. Most importantly, get right with your spirit by exploring inner peace through journaling, meditating or treating yourself to a simple pleasure like a hot epsom salt bath (this is great before bedtime). Don’t forget to get more sleep!
“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” -Eleanor Brownn
So dust off the cobwebs and shake off those winter woes. It’s time to turn the heater off, open the windows and experience the delights of the new spring season. This is your second chance at a new year’s resolution. So go ahead…plant a seed and watch it grow!
Originally published at medium.com