Doesn’t she just! Even when late, she knows how to make her appearance with intention and attention. The verges green and flood with yellow as the daffs daff, the evening light lengthens, and the veg box assumes a welcome rainbow-like palate. With perhaps the most extended of winters behind us, spring can still hit us like the blare of an early morning alarm clock.
Let’s take a leaf out of nature’s book before the season gallops on and we’ve ended up settling with a quick wardrobe switch. I wonder, will this be the spring that I don’t wear my 3⁄4 sleeved Breton top, fave jeans and a trusty pair of cons, on repeat? Maybe.
Beyond the “rules”, what’s “trending”, the “aim for all and land at nothing” approach, let’s create a moment of spaciousness to allow our curiosity to pique and curate some realistic and bespoke intention.
1. Declutter deClutter.
If winter is synonymous with nurturing any little peeps in your tribe through the latest wave of bugs, or the cocoon of seasonal hibernation, then spring is of course associated with cleaning and indeed clearing clutter. The Beast from the East and Storm Emma may have dampened the vision of National Spring Cleaning Week earlier this month. But just a few weeks on and there have been sightings of windows perched wide open for fresh air to flood homes and let everything breathe!
Whether you are guided to access your inner Kondo or otherwise, spring is the season of new life, and in creating space for further growth, ideas and possibilities, taking a little time to clear out a little clutter is going to be time well invested. If you are looking for a little more help in this area, I like what Helen Sanderson has done in creating her reasonably priced Home Declutter Kit.
Q: Is there an area of your home/environment that is messing with your mind, quite literally?
One step at a time, “that” draw, “that” pile of paperwork, “that” cupboard. What clutter is bugging you? What is possible for you?
2. Words Have New Life.
I’m a staunch believer that words have power. They can create, and they can destroy, so let’s use them carefully.
I was at hospital this week with our son and loved seeing a graphics tee on sale, blazoned with that iconic line from JM Barrie’s Peter and Wendy “I’m Youth! I’m Joy!“. Surrounded by children suffering illness and navigating difficulties, those words YOUTH and JOY were still so evident to me. What a culture! Choose your words and choose to live well.
Q: Let’s start with ourselves. Are there three positive phrases that you declare over yourself every single day this spring? Could you save these words as a smartphone screensaver? For example:
I love well. I am grateful. I create possibility.
And to take this a step further you might even want to try out an affirmations app such as this one.”
3. Dial-Up Your Workout Desire.
Heart rate up, fresh air in those lungs – what a feeling!
The winning part of this workout formula is in the two words “consistency” and over “time”:
exercise choice + consistency + time = results.
As a health coach, I often take time to lead my client’s through a mental rehearsal of their chosen workout. To connect with the pleasure of the endorphins released, to engage with the sensory experience through the exercise and the satisfaction of having finished. Why? To increase their desire to start.
With desire in place, success becomes inevitable. Imagine being able to connect in a flash to the sensation of completing your weekly Parkrun or the satisfaction as you’ve nailed your Cardio Barre class and the slower paced stretch music track kicks in. How powerful a pull that can be.
Q: On a scale of 1 through 10, how would you rate your level of desire to start your current choice of exercise, if indeed you have a “norm”?
If your connection to your current exercise regimen is weak, it’s probably time for a rethink, refigure, refresh.
4. Honour the Zzzzzz.
I love getting up early, nothing quite like watching a stunning sunrise as I set my intention for the day ahead, filled with optimism and possibility. That hasn’t always been the case, I assure you!
I’ve done this two ways. Having struggled with 6 hours or less a night, I’ve made some changes to land at a median of 8 (or even 7.8 is good, good enough for me).
“Every important mistake I’ve made in my life, I’ve made because I was too tired.” – Bill Clinton.
It’s a hot topic, and for those who haven’t yet read Arianna Huffington’s book The Sleep Revolution. I highly recommend it – an easy read backed by some excellent research.
Because getting enough sleep isn’t just about feeling better in the morning, and nor is sleep deprivation a hallmark of hard work and determination. Sleep is CRITICAL to our overall health, our work performance, clarity of mind, and productivity. A lack of sleep prevents us from fulfilling our potential. To quote Huffington:
“It’s (our) collective delusion that overwork and burnout are the price we must pay to succeed”.
March is National Sleep Month. It’s timely to take a look at our sleep. Neom Organics has a beautiful essential oils Scent to Sleep range. My typical routine is an epsom salt bath, a mug of calming tea and a few chapters of a good book. In truth, I probably win 5 out of 7 nights a week. Which is progress, right?! Perfection gets us nowhere.
Q: What are you connecting with here? What feels possible so to uplevel the quality and quantity of your sleep? Could you donate one more hour to your sleep and see what happens?
[Sidenote; for those with babes and toddlers, my advice would be to focus your attention on two areas – What would give you life? What would fill you with peace? Be it a day nap, a buggy run, fine-tuning your diary. Think about how you can invest in yourself so to be free to invest in others. Delegate. Remember that it takes a village to raise a child. Let the sun’s rays rest on that beautiful face of yours, keep a check on your vitamin D and iron levels. And declare this truth over yourself – “I am Enough!”]
5. Eat the Vegetable Rainbow.
From your local farm shop to your online grocer, it’s hard to miss the onset of spring.
Let’s set our intention and take more than a leaf or two out of the kitchen garden. Fill our plates with (preferably) locally sourced vegetables, which by definition are both delicious and nutritionally rich given their “at their very best” in season status.
Spring produces rhubarb, purple sprouting broccoli, greens, rocket, spinach, aubergines, radishes, asparagus, fresh peas, beetroot, broad beans, not to mention some delicious accompaniments in chive, samphire, chilli, tarragon and lime. That’s one delightful rainbow!
And beyond the taste, the health benefits pack a hefty punch. Eating vegetables of different colours helps to foster a diverse microbiome which is such good news for our gut health, not to mention the increase in our phytonutrient intake.
High praise to those industry leaders who are acknowledging that “diets” can be useful reference tools but no longer have a role as dogma. If you want to learn more in this area, I’d recommend Dr Rangan Chatterjee’s interconnected view of health in The 4 Pillar Plan including this helpful Rainbow Chart – great for the fridge door!
At a basic level, when prepping food, the high-level question to ask is “Am I / Are we eating a range of colours here?” What needs to switch in and out? And why would you do that, beyond the flavours and taste? Connect with your desire to be well nourished, energised and to thrive with longevity.
Q: Whether it’s the vegetable rainbow or something else, what one thing could you commit to with your eating this spring – to freshen it up, mix it up, or even strip something out? What’s resonating for you?
6. Start Something New.
Start something NEW. Yes! There is nothing quite like a project to build momentum, unleash your creative gifting and, ultimately, energise you!
A client of mine recently attended an improvisation class, something she’d always wanted to do. The skip in her step was 100% tangible as she recounted her positive experience, and what it had ignited in her.
Q: Is there a class that you have had your eye on for a while but just not quite got round to? A skill you’ve been wanting to acquire for oh so long but haven’t yet committed it to your schedule?
7. Spring Water.
Spring wouldn’t be spring without water on the menu.
Without exception, all of my clients are on a journey with hydration. We know the deal, don’t we? Being mindful to onboard this stuff is one sure way to uplevel our health, literally in days!
And as the temperatures begin to rise, remember all the ways we can infuse the H2O with natural flavours – lemon, mint, cucumber, berries and citrus. So appealing to have a sizeable glass bottle on chill for those days when I’m working from home.
Q: What one thing could you commit to daily so to increase your water intake? A litre by lunch? A full glass on waking?
And that’s us done. I’m cheering you on as you stride out in step with the season – in 1 or all 7!
Do let me know how you get on.
I’m off to dig out the Breton top ????