Ah, Spring is finally here. Can you feel my sense of relief? I’m always so ready for this season.
Because with this season come new beginnings and opportunities for renewal. If you live in the northern hemisphere in a place with four distinct seasons and you've been feeling in a slump, this is the perfect time to take small actions to get back that energy and sense of feeling light….and get that spring back in your step (no pun intended!).
This is a time when nature transitions from cold to warm, from dry to wet, from dead to alive. The body, mind, and spirit feel it too and are ready to take on their own changes in celebration of the season. The transition to Spring offers a doorway to aligning yourself with the dynamic rhythms of nature.
Here are some wonderful ways to celebrate the start of this season and begin to re-awaken from the slumber of Winter.
Gravitate toward lighter, wetter, purifying foods. Winter often has us craving heavier foods like stews and meat. Have you noticed that you tend to gravitate toward lighter foods in the Spring and Summer? This is your body's way of telling you it's ready to cleanse and purify. According to Ayurvedic tradition, this is a wonderful time to eat foods that are warm and light, and have pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes. Warm and light foods tend to be easy to digest and the pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes help to purify and detoxify. Steaming vegetables and legumes is ideal during this time.
Here are a few fruits, veggies and grains that are perfect for the season. But these are simply a guide. Listen to your body. If you're feeling full of energy one moment and then tired and lethargic the next consider if what you ate just before may have led you to feel either way. (For a longer list check out this article: https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/living-ayurveda/seasonal-guides/spring-guide/)
Fruits: Apples, Apricots, Blueberries, Dried Fruit, Lemons, Limes
Veggies: Bell Peppers, Beets & Beet Greens, Broccoli, Carrots, Dandelion Greens, Endive, Onion, Garlic
Grains: Buckwheat, Millet, Quinoa, Basmati Rice
Legumes: Aduki Beans, Bean Sprouts, Black Beans, Black-Eyed Peas, Garbanzo Beans
Fish: Bream, Catfish, Trout, White Bass, Shrimp
Animal Products: Eggs, Rabbit, and Poultry
Clear your mind and let it rest. Mindfulness and meditation for me have been the most effective tools to not only calm my body and let go of stress, but also to clear the mind. Just 15 minutes leaves me feeling recharged. I'm in the midst of reading the book Stress Less, Accomplish More by Emily Fletcher, who founded Ziva Meditation. I'm truly loving the technique she teaches and how effective it has been for her and her students. It’s only been a week for me of practice, but I love the way it makes me feel like I can slay the day all day! In the past, I've done silent meditations where I scan my body (Vipassana), focused on the breath, guided meditations. The Ziva technique combines mindfulness, meditation, and manifesting together in one 17 minute package twice a day. If you've been trying to start a daily meditation practice or have been curious about its real, tangible and scientific benefits, check out this book.
Welcome Spring with a resplendent floral scent. I just purchased and have been diffusing and wearing Geranium essential oil. Its sweet aroma is uplifting and immediately puts me in a positive mood. The floral scent is also calming and relaxing to the body and mind. It's a perfectly safe oil to apply topically with a carrier oil like jojoba (or any carrier oil you prefer!) and to diffuse during pregnancy. I love Rocky Mountain Oils, they're 100% pure and of the highest quality.
Spring's a perfect time for, well, Spring cleaning. As nature renews, you may find yourself also wanting to literally clean house. As I sift through my drawers looking for that one shirt that I love to wear all the time, I realize I have drawers full of clothing I haven't worn in over a year. So last weekend, I purged. My drawers are organized and now I can easily find that favorite shirt. Take a couple of hours on a rainy Spring day to purge your wardrobe of clothes that don't bring you joy. I haven't read Marie Kondo's book, but joy seems to be the essence of her simple, yet brilliant, art of tidying up. And there's always more joy in a tidy and clean house because somehow magically, our minds feel less cluttered too.
Remember, how we take care of the mind, body, and spirit, and the space we keep whether it's our home, our workplace, our relationships ,all affect each other. So even if the only thing you are able to do is wear the Geranium essential oil, and it's the one thing that draws you, know that you're taking care of yourself and aligning with the rhythms of nature that reflect in your beautiful being. Know that everything's connected, and we don't have to "do it all" to reap incredible benefits on our health and well-being.
Small mindful actions matter.