Today I felt as if the first day of spring was sprung on me. I didn’t know it was spring until the weather forecaster announced it! Where did the winter go?
I’ve been so busy with multiple projects for the past few months that I feel like I didn’t get that much deserved “hibernation” period. How about you?
To get into the spring groove, I thought I’d check in with myself and see what I’m doing to enhance my overall health and well-being. I realized I was short in a few areas and thought having a list was helpful, so I wanted to share it with you. Check it out and let me know what you think.
1. Spend Time in Nature
After being cooped up all winter, it feels good to go outdoors and soak up the sun even if it isn’t quite beach weather yet. Being in nature puts you back into balance and is especially important in this day of relentless technology. In fact, there has been research on how spending time in nature, such as in a forest setting, has positive physiological effects like boosting your immune system as I discuss in this post. So, maybe check out your garden, go for a walk in the park, or explore new territory and go hiking. Even a simple walk around the neighborhood will do wonders.
Several celebrities, such as Oprah, Jerry Seinfeld, and Ellen Degeneres, are big promoters of just how effective meditation is and I couldn’t agree with them more. Meditating on a regular basis reduces stress and is extremely rejuvenating and energizing. If you haven’t tried it, one way to get started is try a free on-line meditation program from the Chopra Center or a local program offering Transcendental Meditation.
3. Love & Connect
It’s true that Valentine’s Day is long gone, but our focus on love, whether self-love or love for others, shouldn’t be. I find when I put my full attention on others it makes me feel better, too. Simply spending time with others you care about boosts your immune system; in contrast to feeling lonely or disconnected, which has been shown to lower your immune system according to this 2007 study published in Genome Biology. So, why not consciously consider love as part of your wellness routine? Call an old friend. Invite the family over. Show your heart!
Doing a spring detox always puts me back on track by focusing on healthy choices and getting rid of ones that don’t serve me any longer. Check out “Top 10 Reasons to Do a Spring Detox” for more information. And if you want to dabble with the idea of a short-term detox, check out this 3-day detox from Dr. Oz. He’s laid out a handy shopping list for recipes you can print out and take to the grocery store.
5. Have Fun
It’s absolutely necessary to break out of the daily grind and have some fun. Wouldn’t you agree? Having fun reduces our stress levels, increases endorphins, and can even help reduce pain as noted in this article, “Happiness is Healthy: The Benefits of Having Fun.” So, having fun supports a happy and healthy lifestyle. Have you forgotten when the last time it was you had fun? If so, you need to get out there! Hey, wait up for me!
Ah. Let’s have a zen moment together. Imagine clean, clutter-free surroundings with spa like music in the background. Feels good, doesn’t it? Having things clutter free makes us feel good on the inside. Our outside world is a reflection of our inside world after all. So, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to put closet sorting and donating on my to-do list! Need some help in how to declutter? Check out this article, “10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home.”
Just as not having clutter around keeps your mind clear and balanced, so does having things clean. I enjoy green cleaning, which is the use of non-toxic cleaners and/or natural ingredients, such as vinegar and baking soda. They’re safe to use unlike many conventional cleaners, so they don’t disrupt your hormones or cause other health issues. Plus, when you use your own natural cleaning ingredients, you can literally clean a whole house with them! For more details, check out my post, “Spring Clean on the Cheap with These 5 Eco-Friendly Cleaning Ingredients.”
8. Take Spa Time
That’s right. You heard me. Time for some self-TLC and spa therapy. Spa treatments have many health benefits. For example, taking a bath, such as this DIY remineralizing salt bath, can actually help lower your blood pressure, relax your muscles, and nourish your skin. Facials are great, too. To nourish and rehydrate skin dried out from indoor winter heating, whip up a homemade facial mask, such as one made from plain yogurt and honey. The next most important thing, of course, is to set a time period aside and do it.
Walking, yoga, you name it, It helps clear the mind and body. If you feel you aren’t exercising, because you always have an excuse, check out this article, “Creating Solutions for Your Exercise Excuses.” That way you’ll get back into your exercise groove again and enjoy a renewed sense of energy.
Last, but not least is sleep. With the recent time change, have you been struggling to get to bed earlier? I know I have. Hitting the hay at 10:00 pm or sooner is best for our natural circadian body rhythms, because our deepest, most regenerative sleep occurs after 10 pm. Also, make sure you shut off electronic devices (e.g., computers, e-readers, and cell phones) at least an hour or two before bedtime and ensure your room is completely dark when you go to sleep. Otherwise, your melatonin production (which is a hormone that controls your sleep and wake cycles) can be adversely affected by the blue light emitted from electronic devices as this Harvard Health article explains. Considering a lot of recent scientific evidence, such as this study done on breast cancer, has suggested evening light exposure may be a risk factor for certain cancers (e.g., prostate, colorectal), having the lights out is not just essential for a good night’s sleep, but your health and longevity, too!
What do you think?
How are you springing into spring with renewed energy and vitality? Do you find something else helpful? If so, share it with me and let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Other Articles You May Be Interested In:
- Springtime Visualization Exercise
- 10 Quick Holistic & Healthy Ways to Boost Your Energy Now!
- Pep up Naturally with Peppermint!
Note: This article was originally published March 21, 2013 and revised on March 20, 2015.
Copyright © Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2013 – 2018. All rights reserved.
Photo Copyright © Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2013 – 2018. All rights reserved.
I agree with spending time with nature. After being inside all winter long, it is refreshing to get outdoors. Not to mention all the yard work and gardening that needs completing. We have a beautiful lilac bush that blooms this time every year and it smells wonderful!
Hi Karen, I didn’t know it was so important to keep the room dark when you’re sleeping. We have a room that gets a street light peeking in, and we like to keep the curtains open for fresh air.
I spend a day in nature today, and it was so relaxing and a lot of fun! We went for a 5 km walk through a rain forest, to a waterfall. It was great exercise as well, climbing up the mountain.
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Your trek through a rain forest with a waterfall sounds like paradise! How wonderful! I’m glad you had the chance to enjoy the beauty of nature. 🙂
Simplify? Ah yes, simplify!! Clutter has a way of catching up with me all the time. I look at the pile of stuff on my desk, and think, “But I just tidied my desk… um… oh yeah… must have been… was it really THAT long ago?” LOL
Simplifying and forming better sleep habits would help me the most right now. Good list, Karen. Thanks for the reminders. 🙂
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Lol…Like you, I look around me sometimes and think — “Wow! Has it been that long since I tackled decluttering this one area? What a mess!”
It’s amazing how sometimes life can take over and a little too much time passes before I get to certain things. Which is why I guess it’s good to take a pause and reconsider what needs to be done every now and then (like the piles of laundry currently calling my name as I write this!)
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I just gotta get that “sleep” part down. lol
It’s always been an issue because of my schedule. Weekends aren’t bad, but it’s the rest of the week. It’s been a bad habit for years.
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I know, the sleep part is what a lot of us struggle with. Whether it’s going to bed too late, having insomnia, or maybe just not sleeping in a completely dark room, it’s a hard one to get under control. But, it is considered one of the pillars of health, so just realizing it’s something to work on is good. 🙂
Thanks for your comment.
I just started an exercise and diet regimen. I’m feeling good. Thanks for the post to welcome us into spring!
Starting anew with diet and exercise is a great way to welcome spring! Glad to hear it’s working out well for you.
Hello Karen, I really did enjoy all your tips for springing into spring, I especially like #8. Take Spa Time!
This reminds me we have not made our yearly plans yet! My girlfriend and I always take a ride to Stevens Point to go to this Spa, which is an hour and a half drive but oh so worth it.
We make a whole day of it and get the full treatment then we go out and splurge on a nice dinner and spend the night in a near by motel.
Oh Yeh Thanks for the reminder, Time to make out appointments.
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A spa day with a friend is such a great idea! I’ve done that myself in the past and it really is a nice way to reconnect and also relax. I usually go to local spas, though, but going away would be really nice, too. It would seem more like a mini spa vacation that way.
Enjoy taking spa time!
I am currently reading Thrive by Arianna Huffington and there is a considerable amount of the book dedicated to the importance of sleep and meditation to our overall health and well-being. I generally meditate for 20 minutes every morning. If I don’t, I can feel it! I also practice yoga at home almost daily, even if only for 5 minutes. Those 5 minutes can still make a huge impact on the whole day! I am working on expanding the sleep in my life. That is one area I have let go and am working to get back into balance for better wellness. Happy spring!
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I love the fact that you do 5 minutes of yoga a day. All too often, it’s too easy to skip over something if you can’t dedicate a significant amount of time to it. But I think you have the right idea of doing a little each day. I agree that it must make a really big difference! In fact, you’ve inspired me. On the days I don’t have yoga class, I think I’m going to do yoga at home as well, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
Thanks for your comments and insights. And happy spring to you, too!
After being cooped up this long winter, I sure can resonate with this post! Kind of Spring Cleaning, not only my surroundings, but also my business. Have been doing that lately.
De-cluttering is something I do all the time. I cannot function with clutter. I started to give some things in my closet and basement the heave-ho…collecting things I don’t use and giving it to charity.
Spring is a great time to detox. I like to do a cleanse each season. Once the snow melts around here (crossing fingers) I get on a week of detox for cleansing.
Of course, it is also time where I’m finishing a huge project and now need to spend time with mySELF to meditate and visualize the next.
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Thanks for stopping by and sharing all the ways you get ready to spring forward. There’s something about spring that makes us want to de-clutter, clean, and detox, isn’t there? The idea of applying that to other areas of your life, such as your business, is a great idea! What do you do exactly?
By the way, I hope that snow melts soon for you, so that you can enjoy spring! I remember my days of living in “snow country” and honestly don’t think I could do it again.
A lovely article, and thanks so much for posting.
I agree that meditation, sleep and being outside works wonders to your mentality and your body. I’m also recently trying cold showers so I can sleep more effectively (I have insomnia, so undisturbed sleep is a rarity)
Thanks for sharing
Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts.
I never realized a cold shower can help induce sleep. For me, hot water does the trick.