Spring is here. And as always, this time of year brings us rebirth and renewal.
While plants and trees are going through their own cycles of new physical growth, the start of spring can influence us both physically and psychologically—affecting our bodies and minds.
Besides cleaning and clearing out physical spaces that have been lying dormant during the winter months, we can also replace old, stale ideas with new, fresh perspectives. In the words of musician Henry Rollins, “In winter, I plot and plan. In spring, I move.”
After a winter of hibernation in colder climates, many of us are ready for the changes that come with springtime. While our summer clothes and recreational toys wait patiently to be taken out of storage and be brought back into the light of day, many of us start cleaning and organizing our indoor spaces first—including our emotional spaces.
So in the spirit of preparing for summer, here are a few simple tips to help get the spring back in our physical and emotional momentum this season:
Get a head start. Now that Daylight Saving Time is in effect, we have the opportunity to take advantage of more light during our waking hours. Even though the mornings are darker at first, spring is a great time to begin setting a pattern for reaping the benefits of waking up early. Getting a jump start on a longer day of light also gives us pockets of time for quiet solitude in the morning to set our intentions before starting the day off right.
Spring clean our lives. Just as our drawers and closets collect things over time and eventually need to be cleaned, our emotional clutter may need to be purged. Old feelings, thoughts, or beliefs can eventually fill our brains. Just as cleaning out physical spaces seems to make our physical surroundings seem larger, resolving old wounds and releasing old patterns of thought can create the space for more happiness and balance. Forgiving soured relationships or tossing out old love letters can be a good start.
Go greener. Think we’re being green? We can do more. Keep in mind the 3 Rs: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Most anything that is glass, paper, plastic, metal, or leftover food can be recycled or composted. And there are so many more ways to continue cleaning and greening our lives, so look into the options for your community and help keep our planet alive for the next generation.
Find tech balance. We live in two worlds: real (physical) and virtual (online). So how much are we here versus there? Think carefully about where you spend your time and with whom. How much of your attention is spent with friends and family versus on your phone or tablet? If you’re feeling imbalanced, a good place to start is by considering your relationship with your phone.
Eat clean, drink clean. We can control our eating habits so that we can be healthier. The first step is to learn more about what we’re eating and drinking by reading labels and becoming an informed consumer. If you’re feeling stuck, try replacing one non-healthy item with a healthy one—for example, substituting carrots for chips or adding natural juice to water instead of drinking soda. Healthy eating and drinking habits start one bit—and one bite—at a time.
Just move. Along with healthy eating habits, movement brings us good health. When we move, we not only affect our bodies, but we can change our thinking as well. Some ways to start moving more often include taking the stairs instead of the elevator; walking or biking to work; or simply taking a refreshing walk after lunch or dinner. Moving more often will always bring us benefits, so when you get the nudge to stir it up, don’t wait—just move!
Michael Thomas Sunnarborg helps people maintain balance during transitions in their work, relationships, and life. Learn more at michaelsunnarborg.com