Visiting Angels, Barrington Blog

Six ways to invite spring into your home and routine

Elderly couple walking together in parkSpring is a well-named season. Every year, it springs us to life after the winter chill. It’s always surprising how good spring feels; it wakes us up in ways that we weren’t even aware we needed to be roused.

Spring feels fresh, joyful and exciting, a time of renewal and hope. Embrace it as such. Here are six ways to invite it into your home and refresh your routine.

Set your outdoor fitness routine

Exercising outside feels great. It can be fun, social, spiritually uplifting and rewarding. Even if you have to work yourself up to do it, halfway through, when your mind and body are pumping in unison, you will feel so glad to be taking such good care of yourself.

Mindfully build your exercise routine early in the season, and it will make it easier to stick to it throughout the summer and fall. Routine-building is an ambition that requires care, diligence and commitment, but it’s doable and beneficial. Author Leo Babauta points out: “The hardest thing for most people, when it comes to building habits, is sticking to it long enough for it to become ingrained.”

So, make a commitment to regularly doing whatever outdoor exercise makes you feel happy and healthy: take a walk or a bike ride in the cooler hours of the day - after breakfast or after dinner. Get some walking or riding buddies, if that makes it more enjoyable.

Think through how you’re going to ingrain your new routine into your life, and then commit yourself to that goal.

Let go

Spring is the time to let go of old baggage - physical, mental and spiritual. Start with the physical, because that’s the least abstract. Get rid of what you don’t need. Someone else needs it and will use it.

Also, letting go of the old things that monopolize our space and our thinking, creates positive energy. In his article The Psychology of Spring Cleaning, Dr. Jonathan Fader explains: “While spring cleaning has the obvious benefits of an organized closet, a sparkling counter top, and possibly more open spaces, more importantly, it has been associated with improved mood, decreased stress, and heightened creativity.”

Letting go of what you don’t want helps you to identify what it is you do want.

Create a mental wellness goal

In the quietness of yourself, where only you are there to evaluate your own tendencies, habits and behaviors, ask yourself what’s working and what isn’t. Do you need to address habits around eating, drinking or smoking? Do you feel like anxiety or depression might be an issue for you? Is there a deep-seeded concern or worry that you have that you’re not sure how to deal with?

Meeting with a therapist is helpful. Mental wellness is just like physical wellness. It takes work and maintenance to achieve it. People experience difficulties throughout their lives, simply because life is difficult and our mental wellness, like our physical health, needs tending.

Decide what you need and pursue it for yourself. You’ll find that many services are covered by insurance.

Drop a habit that’s been bugging you

Some indulges are worth it - dessert, fancy coffee, a glass of wine. Others just feel lazy - too much sugar in the daily cup of coffee, too much daily coffee, too many soft drinks, chips or chocolates. Think about those indulgences that you do almost like clockwork, without really thinking about them or enjoying them. Those are the ones to drop.

An indulgence should be something delightful that you choose to spice up your routine. If you find that you’re overusing something that you know is bad for you, examine that habit and decide if you can let go of it. Remember, spring is all about letting go of what you don’t need and letting in the sunshine.

Create:

Plant, build, whittle, knit, sew, craft, write, paint, draw, dance or sing. Do whatever makes you feel robust and alive this spring. Human beings are made to be creators. So, awaken that within yourself. Get out and get creative - using whatever is available to you. It’s what you were born to do!

Connect:

Find your tribe, your village, your community. Make a commitment to getting out of the house and visiting others at church, temple, the YMCA, the community center, the local theater. Go where you can meet new people and get back in touch with your community. It’s always a bit humbling to try and make new friends, but they are out there. Go and find your tribe.

Use the empowering beauty of spring to make a resolution for yourself. Then go out and pursue a happier, healthier, more self-aware and connected you.

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