When I was a child, a few weeks before Easter my father and I would walk through the woods, calling out “Spring! If you’re there, wake up! Come to us!”
Soon enough, the signs of its arrival started popping up through the earth, and I loved to think that I had something to do with it.
Little did I know at the time, from a Chinese medicine standpoint, spring begins to wake up right after Chinese New Year, building up Yang quietly until it gathers enough force to burst through visibly in nature.
Though there may still be snow on the ground, springtime energy is already blossoming when March rolls around. With Yang energies picking up momentum, spring is a time of expansion, enthusiasm, rapid growth, and transformation.
It is the early-childhood season of the year. Nature is budding and buzzing all around us, waking up from winter dormancy to delight in fresh possibilities, actively make decisions, and push them into manifestation.
It’s time for you to do the same, and these springtime health tips will help you tune into the season so you can rise to your fullest potential.
1. Renew Your Resolutions
Many New Year’s resolutions involve making or breaking habits. Aside from a lack of effective strategy and willpower, there’s another reason why most of these resolutions fail.
According the Gregorian calendar, the new year begins at the heart of winter, when the days are short and the weather is cold, and nature isn’t doing much of anything besides sleep.
With all other living things hibernating, who really has the energy to shake things up?
Pushing power and renewal belong to spring, not winter. It’s no wonder that so many resolutions are quickly broken!
Spring is when nature uses all that stored winter energy to burst forth and become more active. As the birds outside become more social, so should you. As sprouts break through barriers, so should you.
Spring is a time when things change and grow vigorously.
So right now, take another look at your “failed” January resolutions. Spring months might prove to be a better time support you in your endeavors..
Tune into spring and use the enthusiastic force around you to your advantage.
2. Invigorate Your Exercise Routine
Feeling restless? That’s normal this time of year.
Instead of letting that agitation irritate you, harness it and take yourself to the next level.
Walk a little faster, bike uphill instead of flat stretches, go to a dance class, join a softball league, or try a flowing vinyasa yoga class.
Of course you should still honor your body and rest when you need to, but don’t use that as an excuse to be lazy.
Conquer your fear and step up to the plate first. You might be surprised at what you can accomplish, and how great you feel, when you do.
3. Wake-Up Earlier and Play Outside
The sun is shining earlier and staying out later. Support your internal rhythms and experiment by starting your day with the sun.
Go outside to watch the dawn.
Let yourself laugh and play and feel the fresh spring air as a child would.
Celebrate the newness and potential of the season as you emerge from your own hibernation.
Even if you’re grumpy when you get out of bed earlier, give yourself the chance to see what happens when you let yourself out of your shell and feel the earth under your feet. You might just discover something new.
4. Lighten Up Your Food
Spring is a time for expanding energy, not storing.
Therefore, heavier, slow-cooked winter meals should increasingly be replaced with briskly-cooked fresh ingredients.
Instead of eating root vegetables, try eating more of the veggies that are popping up above the soil like beans, asparagus, and spring onions.
Replace soups and roasts with lightly steamed or stir-fried ingredients that still have a bit of their crunch.
5. The Flavors of Springtime
Springtime is also a time to support your Liver, (the organ associated with spring.)
Add some sour foods like vinegar and lemon into your dishes.
Also think about pungent flavors. Sprucing up your meals with mint, spring onions, ginger, horseradish, mustard, and pepper will leave you feeling clear and invigorated.
6. Stay Bundled
The winds are blowing stronger this time of year.
Even though the weather is getting warmer, make sure you keep that scarf on and refrain from walking around barefoot until the sun is shining more consistently.
Spring is an exciting time of transition, but don’t let your enthusiasm get ahead of you!
What are your springtime rituals? Leave a comment below!