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It’s SUPPOSED to be that time of year but currently, we’ve just had an ice storm in my region (although really, my city was barely hit at all) and now it’s snowing. In any case, the calendar says it’s spring so we’ll go with that. It’s funny because winter is a time of hibernation and summer is a time of relaxation and basking in a slower pace for me but spring and fall are both times of renewal for me. In spring, it’s all the new plants popping up and the yucky brown grass turning green again. In fall, it’s back to school time which even without having school-age kids still speaks to me of getting back into a routine. So, it’s only natural that we think of this as a time for getting everything fresh and clean. Everyone is talking about spring cleaning (including me!). But have you ever thought spring cleaning your life?
SPRING CLEANING YOUR LIFE
We all know about giving the house a good scrubbing in the spring, but what exactly does it mean to spring clean your life? I look at it as taking the time to check in with yourself. Think about the new things you’d like to try and old things you’re ready to retire – even if only for the season!
Clutter Doesn’t Only Exist in Our Homes.
You can have a cluttered mind too and that’s what we’re going to tackle first.
I suggest you try to pay attention to those frustrating moments in your day and think about the source of the frustration. Is it trying to wade through your Facebook feed to find the people and groups you really care about? Oh but maybe you’re like me and you’re uncomfortable with the whole leaving groups or unfriending people. Just unfollow them. You can always go check on them if you decide to but they won’t clutter up your feed anymore. If someone is truly toxic though, cut the ties. You don’t need them in your life causing you that stress! Beyond your social media accounts, you might want to get in there and unsubscribe from a bunch of emails too. Unroll.me is one of the fastest and easiest ways I’ve found to do this.
Next up for your cluttered mind? I suggest a brain dump. Grab some paper (we’re going old school) and just start writing. Don’t overthink this. Write down any of those things on your mind that are overwhelming you. Those things that need to be done and keep getting added to each daily To Do list but then are never completed. Jot down all of those things that weigh on your mind when you’re trying to go to sleep. From there, you can go through the brain dump list bit by bit. Cross some things off – just let them go! Give others some deadlines and add them to your planner so they get done once and for all.
Revisit Your Goals and Resolutions
Did you make some resolutions at the new year? Or maybe you set new goals seasonally? Either way, now is a great time to revisit them and check in on your progress. This is not about beating yourself up over what you haven’t accomplished. Instead, I like to go over things and decide whether it’s time to step things up when it comes to some of those goals or perhaps to set some aside. You aren’t a failure because you remove goals from your list. Instead, I think it takes great insight and strength to know when a goal simply doesn’t fit you or your needs anymore. Let them go. Spring is the perfect time to release the dead weight and start afresh!
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Freshen Up Your Water Intake
Water is an important part of our lives. Our bodies are composed of 60-65% water. We need water to keep our body temperatures within a normal range, to keep our joints cushioned and lubricated, to hydrate and protect our body tissues, and to help us better eliminate waste.
Did you know though that those numbers that people toss around about needing 8 glasses (64 oz.) of water a day aren’t entirely accurate? Water recommendations vary according to your age and how much water you’re getting from your foods. In addition, you may need more water if you are in a hot climate, are breastfeeding, are working out a lot, or are at a high elevation.
If you’re like me and just not that fond of drinking plain water, freshen it up with some fresh fruits or vegetables. You can just cut them up and drop them into your water or use a bottle especially made for infusing water with flavor from fruits and veggies. Cucumber, oranges, lemons, limes, watermelon, and berries are some of my favorites.
Add a Little Color to Your Diet
Spring is the perfect time of year to perk up your diet with a little color. You’re heard of “eating the rainbow” (and no, I’m not referring to Skittles commercials!)- well with all the fresh local produce available, now is the time to really establish that habit. You might be wondering why you need this. Well, regularly eating a full range of colors in your food, helps ensure that you get all of the nutrients that you need to stay healthy and reduce the risk of disease.
You really should try for all of the colors every single day – but I know that can be tricky. In my case, for example, I have some food allergies and sensitivities that limit a few of the colors. That along with my Crohns disease can make for some imbalances here and there. So this spring, I’m going to try to make sure that I eat foods covering the rainbow every 48 hours and I’m going to really focus on getting in my dark leafy greens.
Having trouble getting those colors in because you’re just not fond of fruits and veggies? Think of adding them to smoothies, blend them up and add them to soups, sauces, and casseroles, and roasting them. Roasting can turn a veggie you thought you hated into one you crave on a regular basis (I’ve turned Brussels sprouts and radish haters into fans by roasting them. The veggies, not the fans.).
If you want more ideas for bringing more joy into your life, check out these fun and creative ways to add hygge to your life this spring!
They Say Sitting is the New Smoking
We all do so much more sitting than previous generations. Okay, maybe not all of us but many many of us! And it’s not good. We need to move to stay flexible and keep our joints lubricated. As someone with permanent injuries from a car accident, I can attest to just how much damage it can do to my body if I don’t keep moving on a regular basis. My joints and muscles stiffen up so quickly! Not only that, but a little movement can get our heart pumping better, give a boost to our brains, and help us feel more energetic. So movement begets movement! Finally, stretching and moving can ease tension and relieve stress. It can help relax and calm you and help you to sleep better too.
Speaking of Sleep…
I’m going to reevaluate my sleep hygiene. Of course, as I type this it’s 1 am and I’m sitting here working on a blog post instead of sleeping, so now you know why I need to work on this. But I find it easier to get a better sleep this time of year so it’s a good time to try to get a routine established. I’m outside more and the sunshine and fresh air really seems to help me get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. I tend to be more active at this time of year too and that also helps. Did you know that a recent study has found a correlation between night owls and a 10% reduction in life span? Yikes. I’ve written about good sleep routines before but it’s easy to put them aside and slip back into bad habits. I personally think that sleep is something many people take for granted and undervalue. For me though, I know that it’s the foundation for healthy living.
Spring Clean Yourself Too!
Winter, for me, is a time of dry skin and dry brittle hair (which in the heat and humidity of summer will turn into a mass of frizz if I don’t do something about it now). I love to take some time to pamper myself heading into spring. A good facial, a body scrub, a foot peel (I need my feet to be flip flop ready!), an intensive hair mask, and mani-pedi are all on the agenda for me.