If you are in the Northern hemisphere, you are probably giddy with joy as you see buds coming out on trees and seeing daffodils, snow-drops, primroses and nasturtiums popping up to say hello from under the snow. We know we are.
My morning walk now goes by a jasmine that just makes me drunk with joy way before anyone else on the street is awake, and I can’t wait to come home at night and see how much my lettuce has grown. We are also venturing out and gathering nettles, which nature freely and abundantly provides in the nature park close to our home.
In many ancient healing traditions seasons are related to specific rituals, foods, dances and songs. Together, these practices ensure our personal and community health and help the transition from one season to the next.
In our culture here we have the idea of a spring clean, so we wanted to expand on that a little bit and invite you to make the most of the season. This time of year your body is ready for change, everything wants to spring forward and it might be the best time to start or deepen your healing practices and habits.
Spring clean your habits
Is there a habit you would like to clean up from your life?
Maybe it’s sleeping on the sofa at night that puts a kink in your neck, or eating that second cookie, or choosing to snooze instead of going out for your morning walk? Think about your typical day and note if there is a habit you would like to clean out of your life? Then use the reminder of each flower you see on your path to stay on track and keep that habit out of your spring routine. It may help to write down the habit you are cleaning out for spring.
Spring clean your fridge and pantry
You probably are well aware of the foods that jump on your spoon when you know they are not the most nourishing options.
There are probably one or two compromise items calling your name from the pantry late at night. If there are foods that have snuck in rotation that you normally don’t eat and that don’t support your health goals – clean them out, donate them or throw them away and stock up on seasonal produce and ingredients that you know will help your body. Spring is asking for greens – spinach, green onions, arugula, kale, butter lettuce, dandelions, nettles, dock and sorrel, endives, english peas, zucchini, fresh herbs, micro greens and sprouts – fill up on those instead.
Let growth happen
Is there an area where you would like to see more growth and change?
For example, you may want to start a morning movement practice, or a walking group with your neighbors, or pay extra attention to planning your healing menu for the week? Whatever it is, check in with yourself and see where growth wants to happen. Only then will you be able to take the small steps in the right direction. If you need help to grow, ask yourself what kind of support you need and reach out. Like young plants, humans need the support of good soil and fertilizer too, and sometimes those are people in your network who can really help you move forward. Spring is the best time for it!
Take advantage of the day
The days are a bit longer now, and that feeling of winter robbing us of opportunities to play, explore and move at night is going away. What can you do after your work day?
Maybe take a short walk, or visit your garden for some weeding. Maybe play with your kids and grandkids outside, or take your bike out of the garage and go for a spin? Perhaps you can walk to the store now instead of drive? Take the yoga mat to the yard? Or pull out the brushes and paint? What will you do with some of that extra light?
Revisit your resolutions
If you made resolutions, this time of year it’s great to revisit them.
Winter does not provide enough energy to follow through on some of our more ambitious goals, so maybe spring is a better time to get to them. If you didn’t have a chance to watch our free video on how to support your body for the greatest changes in 2018, check it out here!
In “Get dirty” – the chapter in Eat Well Move Well Live Well on gardening, we invite you to explore and plan out your back yard, patio, window sill – and use whatever space you have to plant something edible.
Spring is the best time to start new plants, so see what you have space for and make it happen. Right now in our patio garden we have lettuce, arugula, beets, chard, herbs and edible flowers and the crop is going great. Even if you have limited space, a few small containers of herbs may be all you have, but it’s really really worth it.
Gathering food is a unique movement opportunity.
Each bend, twist and squat allows you to move your whole body through various angles – the most beneficial and closest to how we would move in nature. Get to know some of the wild plants in your area and venture out. We gather nettles this time of year and we enjoy them daily – they help to prevent allergies and are super delicious.
If the wild looks too crazy for you, head out in your back yard, many wild plants have found home there too, or some of your own herbs and food may be waiting to be picked and enjoyed.
If your work is inside an office, the winter months have probably asked you to stay indoors or in your car between errands and appointments.
See what you can do to go outside – maybe invite a colleague to have lunch outdoors in the sun, or maybe you can walk to lunch or park your car far enough for a nice walk after you are done – find opportunities to break up your day with outdoor time. Those walking meetings we talk about in the book? Plan those, too!
For the extra brave – take your shoes off in the lunch break and rest your feet in the grass or sand for some much needed grounding.
Re-think and recreate your health spaces
Where does health grow in your home? A kitchen with the space and tools you need? The back patio where you can look at water or mountains? A nook with a yoga mat and some balls and props for home practice? A bath waiting for you to soak in after a long day? The coffee table with your favorite inspiring reading and journaling?
Life creeps into our health spaces and we need to revisit and reclaim our healing territory back all the time. May spring be an inspiration for you to ask yourself where does healing live in your home! How do you want to re-create and reclaim that space this spring season?
We hope these ideas are great thought starters and we hope you can make them yours. If you have time, let us know what spring cleaning means to you – I would love to hear your ideas and feedback!
Happy spring and spring clean!
May your body be well, nourished, happy and strong!
Galina and Roland