Happy Spring everyone!
No matter the weather, it is officially Spring which means that the focus is on Spring Solutions!
New Year’s resolutions are great; we put all our intentions in them and hope that we will carry them out this time. Right?
But Spring Solutions are even better! Why? Because we have had time to shed the short, cold days of Winter, as well as the disappointment of the resolutions we let go of, and are ready for a fresh beginning. Now, even if you have kept up with your resolutions, (for which I congratulate you!), the Spring is still a great time to take a look back at the year so far, asses the damage and success, and build from there.
It’s the perfect time now, because the days are getting longer, the weather warmer and the trees fuller! Flowers are starting to bloom and the young ones are eager to get outside again.
What can often happen during the transition between Winter and Spring in particular is that though we eagerly await the spring, it also disrupts the habits we developed during the winter. Whether you were miserable, happy, or just making due during the winter months, you got into a groove. Spring, being quite different from winter in every way, comes and creates quite a contrast and resistance, which in tern can create irritability and mood swings amongst many people. Especially if you find yourself quite low energy and even depressed during winter months, Spring may not make you as happy as one might think.
First things first. We sort out the different aspects of our lives. We all have different “categories” in our lives but these are the groups into which I group my different “pizza slices”, to keep everything in check and make sure I live a well rounded, fulfilling life. Some may prefer to start from within and work their way out, others may prefer the other way around; I personally prefer a bit of both because most things go hand in hand in balancing me.
- Spring cleaning.
The important thing about Spring cleaning is starting. Many people procrastinate and avoid it, others love it. I love it! So if you hate spring cleaning, or if it does nothing for you, just skip this section. For the rest of you, here is my take on spring cleaning:
The first thing I do is go through my entire place and see what I need and what I do not. I try to find a balance between “I honestly do not need this” and “maybe I can start using this more” or “maybe I can use this to make something else”. That’s a fair place to start. By the time I am done, I usually come back to the “maybe” pile and get rid of a few more things. All in all, I am left with what I need and some things I will use for other purposes or start using more regularly. This goes for everything. Example: A jumper that you have not worn in ages could actually come in handy paired with a crisp shirt and give you an entirely new look! I have done that several times. Or baking things that I had not used in a while made me want to take up baking again, so I did. Equally, sometimes I look at things I no longer need and make the rather bitter-sweet decision to part ways with it. None attachment to the item, the money; simply memories and releasing to move on to something new. This last point is very important and will be explored in following points and posts.
2. Stocking up
After the cleaning comes another fun part: that of buying the things you have run out of. I did this yesterday and ended up stocking up on some cosmetics, toiletries, teas, and work supplies. Obviously not everything runs out at the same time but I usually have extra of things and do a few big bouts at a time. Once again, some people really dislike having to go run these errands, but I have to say I do quite enjoy a run to the shop or a few clicks online to order my beauty favourites.
What’s more is that it is the perfect time to make any changes to your wellness and health regimen. For instance, you can start using a lighter face moisturiser, if you tend to do so in the Spring and Summer. I have no switched yet because I’m still feeling my winter dryness, but as soon as I finish my face cream, I will be buying the one I wear in the summer.
Another thing to do, if the weather allows for it, is to change your sheets to lighter ones. That’s always a fun thing to do as part of spring cleaning. Also, a good freshening up of linens and the wardrobe, to get rid of the stuffy smell and simply to air everything out.
Lastly, you can start taking out some spring/summer clothes! Yay! You can start storing away some of the winter sweaters and look forward to brighter colours, low maintenance footwear, and of course, lighter or no jackets! Equally, if the weather is quite a bit warmer, you can leave the house without a coat and actually look different in your Instagram photos. There’s a plus! 🙂
3. Flowers, flowers, and more flowers!
Flowers have shown to increase mood levels for people who have them in their homes or offices. Now that it is spring, so many flowers will be in season so you can start planting. Or at the very least planning on the colours of your garden for this summer. You can buy different bouquets to put around you home as well. The more sun there is, the longer the flowers will last. Just keep them under the sunlight, keep the water cleaned and enriched with the sachets from the florist and voila! Make a point of lifting your surrounding air with bright colours and fresh smells. This really will contribute to heightening in your overall mood and work with the change of the season.
4. Home is where the heart is.
In this case, I mean that home will be where your heart is, in that you will put your heart into making your living space your home. Decorate it in such a way that you feel like you made it. Accessorise in such a way that part of you are on the walls, on the furniture, in the kitchen, and the your heart is in the food you make for yourself, be in cereal or a grand meal. Whether you live in a room in a house share, a studio flat, a condo, or a house, you have to belong in your home for it to be home. For you to belong, it has to belong to you, then you will belong to it. Make it look pretty. It does not have to be expensive or exhaustive. Just don’t keep everything in boxes or in disorder around your place. Our living spaces do reflect how we live and feel. Use this as an exercise to reflect how you want to feel or how you already feel. Make it your own. Design it. If you have the time and the money, maybe go to an in-home decor shop and browse. Look at DIY ideas on Pinterest for example. I’m all about DIY decor! It’s all in the detail, so explore, be adventurous. 🙂
5. Try to get moving
A lot of us barely move during the winter months. If we do it may just be to run some errands close by or we go to the gym because it’s too cold to run outside. We try to do yoga or pilates at home but find ti hard to motivate ourselves but can’t be arsed to go to a class. Sound familiar? It is not the case for everyone, I know, but many find themselves with low energy levels and lack of motivation at this time. The Spring season will not magically bring energy and motivation levels up, but it can help to work toward a more active lifestyle. For example, it will be nicer out so you can start going for runs either alone or will a friend. The days are longer and you will be less tired after work and more prone to actually attend your yoga or spin class in the evening. Moreover, if you are planning a holiday in the summer, it can be quite motivating to think of the shape in which you want to be once the summer arrives! Whatever it is that motivates you, allow it to win over what would normally make you back out. This is always something to aim for, but it is especially important around this time because that’s what Spring is all about. It’s about long days winning over the short and dark. It’s about the flowers bloomer, the trees getting their leaves back, animals coming back out, the sun shining brighter, and so on.
Make sure your up to date with your studies. In Canada, final exams and assignments are in the next few weeks. Here in England, uni students are on holidays.. Either way, it is a good time to check and see where you are at with your school work, make sure your lessons are complete, and you are ready for upcoming evaluations.
Start a new diet if you haven’t already. Stop smoking if you thought you would in January but couldn’t. Cut down on drinking if that tends to be a problem for you. Don’t forget that alcohol can strongly affect your mood and is in fact a depressant.
Go to your doctor for blood and stress tests and see where you are at. Make sure everything is in check and if it isn’t, see how you can make it so. Start a new book. Start a new activity.
Plan for the summer! That’s my favourite one. Think about any holidays you want to take or any special things you want to do.
Lastly, take a look at your finances. Are they sorted? Are they a mess? Sort that out. Money is one of the biggest stress factors for people. Make sure you get all that done for the end of the financial year.
The trick here is to work WITH Spring and lessen the resistance, to make the transition a more smooth and healthy one. If you already do all these things then great! Use this season to spice it up! Bring your yoga practice to the next level. Or experiment with your work outs. Aim to run the same milage in less time. Or increase your milage. Play with the strength in your weight training, as well as the reps. Challenge yourself. Question yourself. Are you doing everything you can to live a happy and healthy life? Are you taking care of yourself? Are you being a kind and loving person? Etc.
Whatever it is that makes your life complete, go with it, work on it, nothing is ever perfect and everything is a work in progress. Welcome that and move forward.
For any inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact me directly!