Spring Forward! When Seasons Shift, So Can We

By Marilynn Preston

March 20, 2018 5 min read

Spring has sprung. So what? So now's an extraordinarily good time to notice that the birds are chirping, the buds are popping and your own body is primed and pumped to push you down the path to your own personal well-being.

"Springtime is in the air," writes Kenneth Cohen, a qi gong master. "A good time for spring cleaning of mind and body through meditation, healing practices, eating spring greens, drinking herbal tonics and bathing in natural hot springs."

Yes! Sign me up for all of it, depending on what's in the herbal tonic... but what about you? What's your No. 1 wish when it comes to springing toward a healthier, happier life?

Think for a minute. I'll wait.

The truth is, we humans can make positive change any day of the year — if we're really ready. But in spring, Mother Nature gives us an extra push, a cellular push. Spring is the time of new beginnings, new growth. In spring, when all things made of light turn toward the light, it's easier for you to do the same.

So consider these five ways to get your sap rising:

FIND YOUR STRESS AND DEAL WITH IT. Stress happens. Your dog dies. Your president lies. Stress is unavoidable in our complex and anxious world. How you handle it is up to you.

This spring, find your stress, and let it go. It's a little like throwing up: You'll know when it's happening. Choose one activity that you know will ease your anxiety. Meditation? Dancing? Cleaning the garage?

I hate to spring this on you, but health experts agree that more than 75 percent of all sickness and disease is related to stress in your body and in your mind. Don't ignore it. Just begin to explore it.

EAT SMART. Turn over a new leaf this spring — preferably spinach, kale or arugula — and swear off processed foods. Give your kitchen a spring-cleaning, a mindful makeover. Read labels. If the so-called food has line after line of ingredients you can't pronounce, kiss it goodbye. And sugar? Cut back. Cut down. And keep eliminating it, one donut at a time. If you wean yourself off excess sugar this spring, you'll sail through summer with a lightness you've never felt before.

MOVE MORE. Most people insist they'd like to exercise more —more walking, more biking — but they don't have the time. Horse feathers! In reality, you make the time. You organize your day so there is time. This spring, stop making excuses. Find the time. Please. And if it means fewer hours on social media, nice trade.

Some ideas that spring to mind: Get up an hour earlier: to walk, to do some simple yoga stretches, to move your body in fun ways that make the endorphins flow. Take the stairs instead of the escalator. Keep a sturdy stationary bike next to the TV, and sprint your way through every dopey commercial that pushes drugs you probably shouldn't ask your doctor about.

This spring, no matter how many times you've failed to be more active, begin again. Plan for success, and celebrate this summer with a reward that sparks recreational joy, such as a private tennis lesson or time with a swimming coach.

DO SOMETHING YOU'RE A LITTLE AFRAID OF. Fear can keep us from being the person we'd like to be. This spring, face one little fear that's been holding you back. Stop coloring your hair. Take tango lessons. Jump out of a plane tandem with an instructor, screaming.

When we overcome a fear, our whole body relaxes into a feeling of confidence and well-being. If I can do the thing I feared —and thrive! — what else can I do?

MORE HUMAN INTERACTION. The research is in: Lack of human interaction is a debilitating health risk, right up there with smoking and obesity. This spring, cultivate your relationships, separate and apart from Siri, Alexa, all your digital devices. Spend more time with friends and family, walking, talking, playing softball and cooking dinners.

Give yourself permission to play more and text less, because even small, polite, everyday encounters with other humans is a boost to our well-being.

(Today's column is excerpted from my new book "All Is Well: The Art {and Science} of Personal Well-Being." Spring into action and find it on sale, online. Thanks.)


"Despite the forecast, live like it's spring." — Lily Pulitzer

Marilynn Preston is the author of Energy Express, America's longest-running healthy lifestyle column. Her new book "All Is Well: The Art {and Science} of Personal Well-Being" is available now on Amazon and elsewhere. Visit Creators Publishing at creators.com/books/all-is-well to learn more. For more on personal well-being, visit www.MarilynnPreston.com.

Photo credit: at Pixabay

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