The few hints of Spring we've been getting lately fill me with energy and optimism; I just love this season! It's feels like it's been an extra long Winter, this year, with so much rain. It makes it extra special to see the flowers blooming again and to hear the birds singing; it is so nice. It's time to shake off the dreary Winter vibe and welcome the new energy that Spring brings.
Get Out and About
With the brighter evenings it really feels like there is more I can do with the day. Make the most of the longer hours of daylight, we live in such a beautiful city with so many great places to stroll around or jog through in the evening. Whether it's a bike ride up to Mount Vic to check out the beautiful views or a catch up with a friend on the waterfront, get outside as being outdoors is good for us. Sun is the best source of Vitamin D which help us to maintain a healthy immune system, it also helps us to maintain our natural body clock; our circadian rhythm. Too much time indoors exposed to artificial light blocks this natural rhythm while being outdoors recalibrates it.
A study led by Stanford University found that taking a walk in nature is beneficial for our mental health as well. The study looked at brain activity after a 90 minute walk in nature and saw a reduction in activity in the key area associated with depression. Participants also reported less heavy thinking, whereas participants in this study who walked through a city instead didn't experience this or achieve the same neurological effect. So get your walking shoes on!
Spring Clean (of course!)
Yes do a bit of Spring cleaning- an obvious tip but a good one all the same. It feels great to be in a newly cleaned and reorganised home, it really does freshen up the energy of the space. Put on some music you like to make the task more pleasurable and open up those windows. Some of your heavy Winter clothes can now be packed away, heaters and heavy blankets can be put out of sight too. I use this time as an excuse to get rid of some clothes. Take a look at your Summer wardrobe, anything that doesn't give you a spark of joy pack it off to your local op shop. Items that have been broken and have remained in the fix it pile seriously consider if you are ever going to get around to fixing them. If not let them go, the space you are living in will feel must better once it's a little clearer.
Once I've reorganised and decluttered I do a general clean, it's amazing how moving a few things rustles up so much dust! I use a really simple natural spray to clean with. In a glass spray bottle I mix ¼ cup white vinegar, 1 ½ cups distilled water, and 25 drops lemon essential oil. It's great to not have to worry about exposing yourself or anyone else in your home to those nasty chemicals that can come in some cleaning products. After I use this my house smells so nice, it's really uplifting. As a final touch pick some flowers and pop them into a vase or jar.
If you are interested in natural cleaning solutions check out our previous blog post, it gives some great solutions for all kinds of cleaning conundrums.
Take a Fresh Look at Your Eating Habits
The change of seasons brings so many great options to our plates. Another reason to be fond of this season. The markets are full of so many great vegetables- asparagus, zucchini, peas, artichokes, avocados, tomatoes, to name just a few. As much as I enjoy some of the heavier Winter food it's great to be able to lighten up my meals with quiches, Spring risottos and salads. Get inspired again about what you are eating, cook something new or something you've never attempted before. Keep an eye on our facebook page for our latest recipes!
Make this Year Count
There's still a few weeks in this year left so that means there's still time to tick some things off your list! It's not too late to come back to some of those things you had said you'd do at the beginning of the year; in fact I think it's the perfect way to end the year- with gusto! Think about the year so far and consider if it has been as successful as you had hoped. If not, why not? For some of us it'll be a case of taking action on some tasks, for others it'll be more about doing a little less. Using these weeks wisely makes taking a Christmas holiday feel even more like a deserved reward!
If you are feeling like some tasks are just impossible to complete take a look at what you may need to help you. Break down jobs into easier to manage pieces, get somebody else on board if that's what you need and praise yourself for every step closer you get to your goals.
Gamification has been talked about quite a bit this year. Putting a small game element into a task makes tasks much more fun to achieve. It works with children so why wouldn't it work with us adults?! If this is something that you feel may motivate you then give it a shot. There are a lot of these types of websites and apps cropping up, personally I use trello, which is great and also free. I've always been big on making lists but as I've been getting busier and busier I've just had too many lists to keep on top of. This tool takes list making to another level and you can really divide up your tasks and view them clearly. You can make it accessible to a team for your work place or even your family for things you are doing together- it's such a simple motivation tool.
Wishing you a wonderful Spring!
~The Be Well team