Though the weather might not seem like it, yesterday marked the first day of Spring – a wonderful time of year, offering us the promise of more light, letting go of what’s no longer helpful for us, and beginning again.
This celestial event auspiciously coincided with the third and final supermoon of 2019, pulling the moon closer to the earth, making it brighter and bigger. This powerful combo brings in some much-needed fresh energy and is the perfect cue for a ‘spring clean’ – not just of our closets but of our minds, re-energizing our bodies and freshening up our routines. The key now is to welcome in smaller, realistic changes that are achievable rather than big things. Consistent progression is better than perfection.
Here are some top tips for spring cleaning your health routine:
- Have fun with fitness – too often, exercising revolves around physical appearances instead of how we want to feel. To succeed at fitness, we need to move in a way that makes us feel good and have fun while we do it. Otherwise it will just feel like a punishment and why would we want to keep doing something that makes us feel bad? Take this opportunity to try something new that you like the look of, like a dance class. Add your favourite music or find a partner or group of friends to workout with. There are so many ways to do this, you find what works for you. Your body and mind will thank you for it!
- Get outside – Being in nature, or even seeing scenes of nature, increases happiness and reduces stress, anger, fear, and stress. It not only makes us feel better emotionally, it contributes to our overall physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Just 10-20 minutes of sun is enough to get our recommended daily dose of vitamin D. As the practice of Chi-Gung teaches us, a practice central to Leon culture, getting outside is also about recognising the beauty and pleasure in the simple things of life, tuning into the nature of our bodies, and helping us to create a sense of flow as winter leaves us.
- Practice self-care – You may have heard the phrase you can’t pour from an empty cup. To be our best selves, we need fill our cup with more of the things we love. Do that bit of drawing, cooking, writing, gardening, walking, dancing, or whatever brings you pure joy and say no more to the things that don’t. Just ten minutes of ‘me-time’ a day will help you relax and reconnect with yourself, particularly when you’re feeling stressed. As Psychology Today suggests, tuning into your inner voice of yes and no will help you discover what’s important to you and set healthy boundaries.
- De-clutter – Not just your drawers, but also your phone, mind and body. Take some time to bring forward the unhelpful beliefs, thoughts, or habits you’ve developed that are no longer useful for the future. Ask yourself, what clothes make you happy and inspired? How many of your contacts do you enjoy spending time with? Imagine your ideal life. Let go of the things that provide no service, spark no joy, or weight you down. This will put you back in a position of personal power by freeing up mental and physical space. What new ideas, plans, or perspectives are possible now?
- Evaluate your eating habits – If your diet has fallen off the rails, don’t worry. This is the case for most of us! But now is the time to revisit your food choices and reintroduce healthier habits and options. LEON’s Health Advisor – Marc Antoine – says the key to success is having a plan. Aim to cook 2-3 meals at home a week. If you are short on time, order your food shopping online. This will help you save time, get organised, and avoid impulse purchases. Some of his other top tips include remember to eat breakfast, more veggies, and wholegrain foods.