Take a nice long deep breath in…and with a big sigh, exhale all of the air out of your body and feel a sense of relaxation wash over you. Spring has finally arrived and just like with nature, it’s time to thaw.
Notice where you hold stress and tension in your body. Now add cold temperatures, terrible weather, a reduction in sunlight, dry skin, minimal exercise and an overall lack of motivation to want to do anything. All of these factors affect our bodies. We become stiff, sore and even sad. Have no fear folks, Spring is here, and now is the time to soften, release and refresh.
Spring is a transitional season full of growth and new life. The Earth explodes with colour, the air becomes sweeter and everything melts. This is a chance for us to shed our Winter blues and welcome change and new beginnings. Need a little guidance? Here are 3 simple yet powerful ways to help you move from the darkness into the light.
1. Intention setting. This simple yet impactful practice can change the way you live your life every single day. The actual definition for ‘Intention’ is: a determination to act in a certain way. Intentions can be set every day, or you might set an intention for the week, the month, or even the entire year. The best way I know how to practice this is to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself these questions. How do you want to feel today? (or this week, this month, etc). Maybe you want to feel happy, calm or less stressed. What is one thing you can do today to assist you in feeling that way? Follow through with doing that one thing. Who do you know that helps make you feel that way? Surround yourself with the people who lift you up and help you achieve the feelings you desire. Intentions can change all the time. You can set multiple intentions that don’t just revolve around feelings. Other questions to ask yourself can be: What is one thing I wish to accomplish today? What is it I need to focus on today? Set those intentions and go after them!
2. Get outside! I can’t think of a better way to feel more alive than to step out of your front door and take a nice big breath of fresh air. Springtime helps with that since the outdoors begin to look more appealing and we don’t get hit with that wall of frigid cold air that makes us want to turn around and run back to bed. Nature is all around us and it’s good for us to reacquaint ourselves with this beautiful planet. Bring your yoga practice outside. Go for a run. Go for a walk. Go for a hike, or a bike ride. Skip, dance, play, swim, explore or somersault your way across your lawn, just GET OUTSIDE! You will feel more alive and refreshed, I guarantee it.
3. Meditate. I know, I know, mediation. Everyone suggests meditation. Save your big eye roll for something else because meditation is cool! There’s a quote that says ‘if you’re too busy to sit in meditation for five minutes, then you should sit for an hour.’ It’s true. If you can’t take five minutes out of your busy day to sit quietly and try to clear your mind, than you’re not really willing to help yourself at all. Find a quiet place at home, work, the subway, bus, wherever. Sit down comfortably and close your eyes. If closing your eyes isn’t for you, find one place or item to focus your gaze on and try and blur out everything around that one focal point. Connect with your breath and pay attention to how your breath is moving through your body. Think of something that calms you and makes you feel relaxed. The ocean, clouds, a big open field of green grass, whatever works. Sit here and breathe. If the mind wanders, which it will, come back to your breath. Meditation is a practice. Whether or not this practice ever makes perfect doesn’t matter. You’re on your own journey to finding freedom in the mind and body. Five minutes a day is a great place to start, over time you can sit longer, just don’t give up!
Now is the time to make a change. Let the season of transformation help guide you on a new path. Stay focused and make time for yourself. Your own health and wellness should be your number one priority. From the late great Robin Williams, “Spring is nature’s way of saying let’s party!’ So party on my friends, happy Spring!