Spring is (basically) here, even if the weather doesn't seem to want to cooperate. Either way, I'm ready. Not necessarily for the warm (I like to keep my apartment super cold...), but for the fresh start and lightness the spring brings into our lives. Spring also ushers in the time when many of us start to think about spring cleaning, usually in the form of our closets. Don't get me wrong, that is great and probably 110% necessary, but it shouldn't be the only part of our lives that we spring clean.
Spring Clean Your Nutrition
Have you let some not-so-great foods slip into your regular routine? Are you feeling a little bloated after meals or after winter in general? Maybe it's time to take a look at what is on your plate and start to focus on eating as anti-inflammatory as possible. What does that look like? You know the drill - protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables. Pick your source of animal protein the size of your entire hand. Load up on as many vegetables that you can. Add fruit or a starchy vegetable if needed, and top it off with a dose of healthy fat (avocado, olives, butter, etc). Then, start to push out the vegetable oils, gluten, processed foods/grain products, sugar, and artificial sweeteners. Trust me, you'll definitely notice a huge difference! You can read more on my approach to building your plate here.
Spring Clean Your Sleep
We all need more quality sleep. Sleep is the body's time to rejuvenate, repair, and recover from all the life stressors that are thrown at us every single day. If we aren't getting enough, it will catch up to us and our health in the form of weight gain, thyroid issues, digestive upset, inflammation, headaches, cravings, hormonal imbalances, and so much more! Make sleep a priority, and it will definitely help other things fall into place.
Spring Clean Your Self-Care Routine
With our busy, on the go lifestyles, self-care often gets thrown aside. But, in those super stressful times, we often need more not less self-care to help our bodies through the additional stressors. Now is the time to schedule a massage for this month and once a month during the summer. Go outside for a walk. Take a bubble bath. Visit a friend you haven't seen in forever. Take some time away just to yourself. Whatever it is, just do it! Self-care is so important, and if you don't make time for it now, it will catch up to your sooner rather than later.
Spring Clean Your Exercise
If you fell away from exercise a bit this winter, now is the time to jump back in, especially with the weather slowly coming around to accommodate going outside. Start by talking for 30 minutes a few times a week. Then add in the strength component for another 15-30 minutes a few days a week. Before you know it, you're feeling and looking better from the exercise and the awesome endorphins it produces as well.
Spring Clean Your Self-Talk
We become what our thoughts tell us each day, so if we are constantly thinking stressful, negative thoughts throughout the day, we come negative and stressful. Start to notice how you talk to yourself about your abilities and about your body. Would you say those things to your best friend? To your child? Probably not, so why don't you show yourself the same respect? Self-talk, self-care, self-confidence - they all are intertwined so intricately with our overall health and often are in desperate need of spring cleaning.
What about your life? What needs spring cleaning (beyond the closets of course!)?