Spring always feels like a time for new beginnings and fresh starts. I’m not much of a winter fan myself, so spring brings a lot of new energy for me. I’m always excited to see more sunshine and longer days and people out and about, enjoying the nice weather.
Our society has conditioned us to feel like spring is a time of year that we need to do cleanses or make drastic changes to get ready for the warmer weather and the clothing that comes along with it. I believe that we are better served though when we make small changes that can become a lifestyle of healthier habits. These can be very small shifts in our daily activities that we can incorporate without a lot of stress or shock to our bodies.
Instead of a drastic spring cleanse, here are 10 small changes you can make to feel your best for spring:
1. Start moving, if you haven’t already. Exercise is one of the best ways to generate more positive energy in your body and your mind because of the endorphin release you get. One of the most important mindset shifts you can make is that you exercise to feel good and have more confidence, not to punish yourself or to “make up” for a calorie splurge. Exercise to move stagnant energy through your body which could possibly manifest as anxiety or another low-vibe feeling in your body if it isn’t moved through. If you’re already into exercise and movement, consider switching up your routine. Try a new class or a new workout to change up your perspective and keep things fresh for your body and your mind.
2. Get glowing by drinking a glass of water first thing every morning. Because you’ve been asleep and without water for 7-8 hours, your body is in a dehydrated state when you wake up in the morning. Drinking water upon waking can help to flush the digestive system, rehydrate your entire body and wake up your lymphatic system. Remember that glowing skin also has everything to do with being properly hydrated. I like to warm a large glass of water in my tea kettle first thing upon waking (not boiling, just warm) and squeeze half a lemon into it, drinking that before I drink coffee or tea. If that’s too much trouble, the next best thing is room temperature water. Fill up a large glass or bottle of water and set it next to your bed or on the kitchen counter, and drink that upon waking the next morning.
3. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. Cold and dry winter weather can cause skin to look dull and dry. Get it warm weather ready by sloughing off the dry skin. I like to use a gentle facial exfoliator by Acure once or twice a week. For my body, I swear by daily body brushing before showering (which is great for the lymphatic system as well), and a coffee body scrub once or twice a week to help remove the dead skin cells and hydrate my skin.
4. Make a fresh new spring playlist. Load some of your favorite, high-vibe spring tunes into a playlist on Spotify and turn it on whenever you need a mood boost. Music is so powerful like that, it really can change and influence our moods.
5. Get outside and take advantage of mother nature’s energy reserves. Sunlight increases serotonin levels (serotonin is a feel-good chemical that your body makes). Walking barefoot in the grass or in sand is thought to decrease stress. Either way, getting outside and connecting with nature will help you to slow down and disconnect from the digital world for a bit.
6. Stock your kitchen with healthy snacks. I notice that when I’ve got healthier snacks on hand, everyone in our family tends to snack healthier. One of my favorite tenets of the Intuitive Eating philosophy is that eating healthfully feels good and nourishing to your body. It’s not that you can’t eat unhealthy foods if you want them, it’s that you know that when you eat too many unhealthy foods, you are physically uncomfortable and no one wants to feel that way. Some of my favorite healthy snacks to keep on hand are seasonal fruits, nuts and nut butters, hummus and veggie sticks, whole grain crackers, granola, good dark chocolate and Larabars for when we need something on the go.
7. Switch out your daily breakfasts to lighter and more cooling dishes. According to ancient Ayurvedic medicine, our bodies prefer cooling foods during the warmer months, and warming foods during the colder months. You might find that as the temperatures increase, you crave more cooling foods. Spring is a great time to start implementing those, if they sound good to you of course. In the warmer months, my go-to’s are overnight oats served cold, smoothies, juices, fresh fruits, a bowl of granola or whole grain cereal with almond milk and berries or a yogurt bowl with sliced fruit and a sprinkle of granola or nuts on top.
8. Hit up the farmer’s market. This is a great way to get out into your community and get to know new people, get your hands on some of the seasonal produce in your area and also be out in the sunshine (see #5). For me, taking a leisurely Saturday morning stroll around the farmer’s market is what a slow spring weekend should feel like. I find it to be very grounding to be around all that local produce and talking to the farmers who grew it. Then, you can take your fresh produce home and…
9. Commit to just an hour of meal prepping each weekend. In an hour or less, you can do enough prepping to last you through most of the week ahead. It’s time very well spent. Each week on Saturday or Sunday, I’ll make a tray of roasted sweet potatoes and prepare a batch of quinoa or brown rice, all to use for meals in the week ahead. I also like to go ahead and rinse and drain beans or cook lentils, and I usually make a homemade sweet treat that my family will have for snacks and desserts that coming week.
10. Unplug at night. Lately I’ve been setting an alarm on my phone at 7:00pm to remind me to put my phone into do not disturb mode and spend quality time with my family before bedtime. We’ll usually pick a family movie or show we can watch together, and I’ll also do some kind of self-care like a face mask or a hot epsom bath. Turning off my devices not only makes me feel more connected with them, but it also helps me go to sleep easier (blue light interrupts melatonin production, in case you haven’t heard).
I’d love to hear your thoughts and find out more about how you transition into spring. Feel free to share in the comments below or reach out to me on social media.
Love, Elizabeth x