How to Take Care of Yourself in the Spring

Just as we think we can’t bear winter’s austerity any longer, the first glimmers of spring begin to appear. A tiny bud of green here, a delicate flower over there. Also, lots of mud as the snow begins to melt and raindrops replace snowflakes. If winter is a cold and serene constant, spring is a season of change and transition. Of birth, rebirth and transformation. Of infancy, childhood and youth. Of plants and trees and life awakening from sleep to stretch their limbs again. Spring is hope and warmth and optimism arising after a long winter. It’s a time when the self-growth you’ve been cultivating all winter gets ready to bear fruit. A time when the caterpillar readies to emerge a butterfly. It’s also resiliency as winter may not quite be over yet! At least in Maine, hah! Last year we had snow on Mother’s Day although I was told that was quite unheard of …. 

Spring is time for resets – spring cleaning anyone? Take inventory of your possessions, dust off those lighter spring tops but maybe still keep your winter sweaters available just in case a colder day reminiscent of winter pokes her head. Spring is also a great time to clean up your diet especially if winter had you eating one too many pastries and sipping hot chocolate by the fire (guilty as charged). Switch to lighter fare and eat seasonally. A stir-fry with the seasonal veggie of the week is a great choice. 

Spring is a time to get outside and breathe fresh air. Open your windows and air out your home. Welcome the changing winds. Lean into the winds of renewed energy … refocus your intentions, passions and purpose as you prepare to make your impact on the world. 

It’s that time of year… spring! Birds are starting to chirp again. Baby blades of grass are poking out from frost covered fields. Trees are shaking off their snowy dustings and preparing to grow some new leaves. Spring is a time of birth, hope, rejuvenation … of fresh beginnings and a chance to start anew, to shake off the frost of winter and stretch our limbs. It’s also a time of transition and change. A transition from winter to summer. And with transitions always comes the need for good self-care. Here are a few ideas to enjoy spring while getting the self-care you need.

1) Write in a journal. All right I have a confession to make. While I started a lot of journals, I have never actually gotten in the habit of consistently writing a daily journal. I also have a secret to tell you … who said you have to write daily? Sure, daily writing (much like other daily practices) can be very beneficial but don’t let the prospect of daily writing intimidate you into not writing at all. Don’t let perfect get in the way of good. Write whenever you feel inspired to write … once a week, once a month … and write whatever your heart feels inspired to write. It can be total stream of consciousness and turn out to be terribly therapeutic. If you feel stuck or don’t know where to start, try setting a 15-minute timer and just start to write random words until it turns into something more.

2) Pick up a new hobby. In the spirit of spring transitions and change and new beginnings what better time to try a new hobby? Take a painting class or try your hand at pottery. Always wanted to try salsa dancing but never had the courage? Try something your heart has always yearned to try or maybe something completely unexpected. As children we are exposed to so many new activities and by the time we are adults we have settled into our routines – this is my hobby, not that. Why not break out of that shell and use the energy of spring to catapult you into new beginnings and new activities?

3) Get in touch with your inner child. When I was 13, I would have early morning tennis practice out on these public courts and every morning a little old lady would be walking her dog in her wheelchair. We would always say good morning and chat briefly and one day, in all my 13-and-ready-to-be-grown-up manner, I asked, “So when did you grow up?” She laughed and replied “Now why would I ever want to grow up? I want to keep growing and learning every day of my life!”

The energy of spring is very much the energy of youth. When was the last time you had a good old -fashioned conversation or playdate with your inner child? Lose the structure and simply step outside and let your imagination wonder. Allow yourself to simply be. To laugh. To dance. To play.

Remember play? Nothing but you, nature, your imagination and maybe your friends’ imagination beautifully mingling with your own. No time frames. No places to be. No agendas. Who says we can’t still do that? Sure, we have places to be and responsibilities to uphold but how about taking just a few hours sometimes to just be and see where your imagination and musings take you. Laugh and act goofy and swing on a swing. Run and skip when you’re supposed to walk. Eat ice cream for dinner without thinking about nutrition or calories – just once –it’ll be our little secret. Look at the world as if for the first time – because this moment, this spring, truly is a new moment you’ve never seen before!

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