As spring has now officially arrived, these rituals will help your well-being to align and blossom with nature.
This year spring will be welcome with a bit more hope than usual. As the nation begins to emerge from its winter hibernation and daffodils start to pop up, we will begin to feel brighter and happier. But did you know our bodies and minds fundamentally change with the seasons too? We are all connected to nature, and so just as the seasons change, our inner nature shifts too.
According to Emma Cannon, an integrated Women's health expert and acupuncturist, the energy transitions from inwards to upwards, often creating a surge in emotion. "We see this [transfer] demonstrated clearly in bulbs pushing up through the soil," she says. But "spring can make anger rise in some, too. Winter is associated with fear, and we have been exposed to a great deal of that. However, as the energy rises, we may see more anger and irritation, so watch out for that and meet it with compassion."
Try these seasonal rituals to ensure your body and mind are in Harmony with nature this spring.
Detox with a dry brush
Dry brushing is quick and easy to incorporate into your daily self-care regimen. It's exactly as it sounds, which may not sound appealing at first - but trust me, it's oddly enjoyable.
Skin is the largest organ in your body, so brushing it encourages Qi (energy) to flow. Brush before your bath or shower, once or twice a day, and use a long-handled, natural fibre brush. Always brush towards the heart and start with the soles of your feet. Work your way up your legs, towards your torso. Next, brush from the tips of your fingers to your shoulders. And when working the stomach, trace the direction of the intestines from right to left, following the natural flow of the body. If you are pregnant (or think you might be), ensure the pressure is very light on and around your stomach area.
Don't rush it, and enjoy the tingling feeling of the Qi moving around the body before jumping in the shower.
Writing down a series of life goals at this time of year helps you stay on track with your health and wellness. A definitive list will always help you to focus on what it is you're aiming for.
Setting personal wellness goals is an excellent way to improve life balance. By considering the different wellness areas, you can keep yourself from becoming too focused on just one part of your life. In 'Wellness 360', we holistically look at wellness, covering all aspects of health from food, movement and rest to careers, finances, and mindset.
When you work towards personal wellness goals, you aim to improve yourself holistically. As such, you don't just throw yourself into your dream job or marathon training at the expense of other aspects of your life.
Personal wellness goals are about profound, meaningful life balance. Think of these ideas for life goals as a way to guide your life holistically.
If you have never really considered your emotional wellness before, it's not as scary as you might think! Your goal might be as simple as 'Daily journaling' to see what comes up for you.
If you are considering nurturing relationships, your goal might be to 'foster social connections that support me every day.' Ask yourself - where do you feel a real connection with others? While we all need love from our families and close friends, we should evaluate if those relationships build us up or break us down. Do we surround ourselves with people who are supportive of our dreams?
Or what about your Intellectual Wellness?
'The intellectually well person values lifelong learning and seeks to foster critical thinking, develop moral reasoning, expand worldviews and engage in education for the pursuit of knowledge.'
Read more books! Whether you are already an avid reader or haven't touched a book in ages, set a realistic goal to read more in the coming year.
Also, don't feel like every book you read has to be about personal development or wellness. If you like fiction, you'll enjoy the escape into another world. Reading has great stress-busting benefits for you, too! And if you're a woman over 40 who isn't sure what's going on with your body, my 'must read' Books on Menopause can help you figure it out. Education is the quickest route to empowerment!
Melissa Eisler, a certified meditation, yoga instructor and author, suggests moving your mediation practice outdoors. "Find a spot to meditate that's outdoors, but not in direct sunlight. Take a comfortable seat, a few cleansing breaths, and tune into the surroundings. If you are in a green park, in front of the ocean or a body of water, on a mountaintop or in any location that is quiet and beautiful, start with your eyes open. Take in all of the sights in detail—the colours, the landscape, the flowers or other pieces of nature that inspire feelings of beauty.
Then close your eyes and tune into the sensations in the body. Notice the temperature, the sun as it warms you up, and the wind gliding over your face or body.
Then bring your awareness to any sounds of nature that might be humming around you—birds, animals, laughter, trees, waves. Take it all in through your ears, honing in on nature's music.
Then tune into your sense of smell, identifying any scents your environment may offer. Salt air, flowers, food, a crispness …
End by bringing focus to your breath while enjoying the fresh air."
Engage in self-care.
Your self-care is important. A routine of looking after your body and mind helps you keep strong and healthy emotionally, physically, and spiritually for daily life demands.
Spring is a time of new beginnings, transformation and growth. Remember that you're important, and you deserve and need to prioritise yourself now and then so you can carry on looking after everyone else!
There are plenty of tips for your daily routine, healthy habits and wellbeing ideas for a healthy and happy body and mind. Here are just a few:
Find time for YOU - Putting some time aside each week to forget about everything and clear your mind of any negative thoughts is a great practice to feel less stressed and anxious. I find that meditating and practising yoga is great for taking some time out, forgetting about the world, and focus on myself for 20 minutes.
Spring-clean your home – Give a little time to cleaning those areas which don't usually get a look in. A detailed, deep clean of your home will freshen things up and make your home feel and look nicer. Think about washing those sofa covers, cushions, curtains and carpets.
Sort out your spring wardrobe - If you still haven't embraced your inner Marie Kondo, now is the time! Declutter your wardrobe and go through your clothes. Wash and store your cold-weather clothes if you're unlikely to use them. Choose your Spring wardrobe, thinking about colours, your go-to signature style, your lifestyle and what type of clothes you need most of. Sort through the items you can donate to charity or those that can be recycled.
Meet a friend for coffee – Enjoy chatting, having a laugh and catching up on life with a good friend.
Journal – Get your thoughts out of your head and down onto paper so you can see them clearly, and take action if it's needed.
Throw open the windows as much as possible – let in the light and fresh air.
Take care of your skin – Winter dries out our skin, so make a point of rehydrating and moisturising dry, cracked skin. When I was brainstorming spring-inspired self-care ideas, I couldn't help but think of skincare. When spring starts, I swap my heavy moisturisers for a lightweight version instead.
Exfoliate. Speaking of skincare now is the time to get serious about exfoliating. It's time to shed your dry winter skin and get glowing. After all, now that the weather is warmer, you'll be showing more skin.
Buy some fresh flowers for your home – Liven up your home, introduce some scent, beauty and pops of colour with some freshly cut flowers. Spring is the BEST time for flowers… so bring in tons of them! Peonies, tulips, daffodils, all bright and beautiful.
Gratitude – Practice daily gratitude and appreciate everything you have in your life instead of constantly searching and wishing for what you don't.
Spring is the time to bloom like a flower with all our beauty. It is the time to spread the fragrance of our love and fill the air with joy. Debasish Mridha.