How to Prep Your Body for Spring
Can you feel it? Springtime is coming! All around us, the natural world is preparing for the impending season of rebirth and rejuvenation. Don’t get left behind in your snuggle of winter blankets! It is time for each of us to get back in touch with our selves, shake off the coziness of hibernation and prepare for the season of reawakening! Give yourself a head start this spring with these 4 tips to prepare your body, mind and spirit:
Wake up earlier! Whether you are more like a chirping morning robin or a hibernating bear who will not be disturbed, it is important to wake up a little earlier as spring rolls in. Our wintertime sleep patterns can get a bit out of whack, causing us to want to sleep in later and later. But in spring, it is important to reset your sleep-wake patterns. The goal is to feel refreshed and productive, greeting the day with an energized outlook; and that outlook doesn’t come from the incessant hitting of SNOOZE. Challenge yourself to wake up one hour earlier than you have been (hint: that means going to bed at least an hour earlier as well). It doesn’t matter what time you wake up. Remember, there is no right and wrong time to start your day. Whether you naturally rise around 5am or 10am, it can be helpful for our waking patterns to reflect the sun as it begins to rise earlier and earlier with each morning.
Eat light and color. After a winter of hearty stews, root veggies and me-oh-my-so-much-pie, it’s time to reacquaint your palate with more delicate foods. Look for incoming seasonal greens, like ramps, fiddleheads, fresh lettuces, nettles and dandelion greens. Add plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables back into your dietary vocabulary. Make your meals more vivid and colorful with nourishing smoothies and juices, energizing veggies, sprouts and teas. The idea is to add more good into your diet, not restriction. The more good you consume, the more good you’ll crave.
Get outside and move. Are your joints as creaky as mine? Last week, on the first beautifully warm day of the year, I went for a 25 mile ride on my mountain bike to and from an appointment. While that may have been a little overambitious after 3 months sans any biking whatsoever, feeling that endorphin-promoting release of physical exertion has sculpted my face into a glowing, shelf-stable grin for the foreseeable future. Get yourself outside and squint into the sunlight. Take a short walk outside every singleday, for at least 15 minutes, rain or shine, brisk or pleasant, to move your stiff joints and inflate your lungs with the fresh air. As the weather becomes more welcoming, it is so important for your mind, body and soul to spend time recuperating outdoors.
Opt for seasonality. Springtime is a time of transitional rebirth, so let every facet of your being reflect that. Steadily clean up your diet by adding in more greens and plant-based foods. Practice rejuvenating, invigorating exercises, such as yoga or mindful running and biking. Clear out the cobwebs of your mind, including the gnarls of self-doubt and negativity that formed in the winter whirl of over-analysis. Marvel at what an incredible creature you are and allow yourself to be reborn in the last flecks of frost like a wild, violet crocus. Don’t be afraid to allow yourself to shed what is no longer serving you and embrace a better you.
Let’s welcome springtime with open arms. It’s time to shed your puffy winter layers and open yourself up to a new, fresh, vibrant energy. Good morning!