6 more days until Spring! I love the change of seasons because it reminds me of the steadfastness of the earth and the grandness of our globe. With winter fading, there is the process of the earth coming out of hibernation and our call and ability to move forward in growth and change, trusting we are held and supported. Seasons are an important, transitional time to take good care of ourselves. Here are a few tips to help bring in Springtime with some kindness and lightness.
1) Breathe in for you, breathe out for others. Breathe in for you, breathe out for others. Create balance through breath to regulate your body and to create equality in your thoughts. Thinking about ourselves too much and being in our head can lead to depression and anxiety. If we can move outside ourselves to think about where we can be of service, who needs some kindness from us, and where our gifts, talents, and curiosities might bless others, we are moved beyond our own experience to belonging and being a part of something bigger.
2) Treat yourself like the precious soul you are. Be kind. Stay connected to what you are feeling and create space rather than compounding your feelings with questions and analyzing. When we notice a feeling inside of us, we often meet it with a critical voice inside saying, “Why am I feeling this?”, “How long will it be there?”, “I bet no else feels this way.” Feelings come and go and just want to move through us. It makes it harder to let them move through us when we try and analyze them every time we feel them. There’s something inside of us that wants to stay awake and conscious to what we feel, without numbing and without judgment. One of my favorite poems, Guesthouse, speaks to this idea.
3) Eat real, whole foods and drink lots of water. Make it about the nutritionally dense foods that are best for you and fill your meals as much as you can with these. Stay away from words like “cheat, good/bad, and allow.” These words in connection with food can be self-shaming and actually make us feel powerless over something (food) that was never intended to have that much power.
4) Know what grounds you. Create a grounding stone or crystal to keep in your pocket. Buy yourself a bracelet to wear that reminds you of the work you’ve done to become who you are.
5) Buy yourself some flowers or plants. I like to have fresh flowers in the house regularly. Right now with spring unfolding it’s the perfect time to bring in some yellow, pink, or white flowers to remind you of the warmth and color that is to come.
6) What gear are you in? Often when we are going through growing pains or change, we shift into high gear. We do this without even thinking. Take some time to check in and regulate your breathing, visualize stress leaving your body, and allow your shoulders to drop lower than they have all day.
7) Play to learn a new skill, or just play for playing sake. ”Scientists have recently determined that it takes approximately 400 repetitions to create a new synapse in the brain - unless it is done with play, in which case it takes between 10 and 20 repetitions!” (Dr. Karyn Purvis). Changing the way we do things is good for the brain, and bringing play into the picture makes it that much more fun. Practice learning a new language while you ride you bike or kick a soccer ball while you memorize a poem or verse.
8) Move your body to shift an emotion. Dance, run your hands under water, twist at your waist, stand on your head. Physically changing what our body is doing and drawing it to experiencing something new can move an emotion out of our body.
9) Continue to befriend yourself in your goals. Our desire for growth (change) and our desire for stability are always at work within us. These operate simultaneously which explains why change is so hard. Recognizing these forces at work within us can help us to understand our nature and to be mindful of having kindness and patience in the change process.