Spring has sprung which means more daylight during waking hours!! The birds are singing. The snow is melting. Spring positively feels like the season of opportunity! It is a time to start choosing movement, not rest. An opportunity to choose a smile, not a frown. Spring confirms to us that life is an endless beginning, a continuous opportunity, and a continual springtime!
So, how do we make the most out of this seasonal opportunity? Well, let’s start by initiating some spring cleaning. Spring cleaning can be a great way to improve your overall wellness by decluttering your physical space and creating a more organized and harmonious environment. The arrival of spring is the perfect time to take stock of the habits that might be holding you back — and to form new habits that help you become an improved version of yourself. Spring cleaning serves a great way to not only refresh your living space but also boost your overall wellness. Here are some steps to start spring cleaning for wellness:
1. Start with de-cluttering…Getting rid of things, you no longer need can reduce stress and promote a sense of calm. Sort through items and decide what to donate, recycle, or throw away. Be mindful of the items that bring you joy and the ones that do not.
- Remove everything from your cabinets, drawers, and countertops: Start by taking everything out of your kitchen cabinets, drawers, and countertops. This will give you a better idea of what you have and what you need to declutter.
- Sort through items: Sort through each item and decide whether to keep, donate, or toss it. Be honest with yourself about what you really need and use on a regular basis. If you haven’t used an item in the past year, it’s likely that you won’t use it in the future.
- Organize items: Once you’ve decided what to keep, organize your items by category. For example, keep all your baking supplies in one cabinet and your cooking utensils in another.
- Consider storage solutions: Think about how you can best store your items to keep your kitchen organized and clutter-free. This may include adding organizers to your cabinets, investing in storage containers, or using a pegboard to hang your cooking utensils.
2. Spring clean your kitchen…Keep your kitchen organized by regularly decluttering and cleaning. Make it a habit to put things away immediately after use and regularly check your cabinets and drawers to ensure that they’re still organized. Remember, decluttering your kitchen is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. By maintaining organization and regularly decluttering, you’ll be able to keep your kitchen clean and clutter-free throughout the year.
- Declutter: Start by removing any unnecessary items that are taking up space in your kitchen. This includes old appliances, expired food, and utensils you no longer use.
- Clean your fridge and pantry: Take everything out of your fridge and pantry and wipe down the shelves with a mixture of warm water and dish soap. Check expiration dates on all your food items and dispose of anything that has gone bad. Organize your pantry by grouping similar items together.
- Swap out toxic cleaning products: Look for natural cleaning products to replace any toxic ones you may currently be using. Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice are great natural cleaners that can be used to clean most surfaces in your kitchen.
- Invest in glass containers: Swap out any plastic containers you have for glass ones. Glass is a healthier option because it does not contain harmful chemicals like BPA, which can leach into your food.
- Filter your water: If you are not already using a water filter, invest in one to remove any impurities that may be present in your tap water.
- Check your cookware: Make sure your cookware is made from safe materials like stainless steel, cast iron, or ceramic. Avoid non-stick cookware, which can release toxic chemicals when heated.
- Stock up on healthy foods: Fill your kitchen with fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid processed foods, which are often high in sugar and unhealthy fats.
- Reduce plastic use: Replace single-use plastic products with reusable ones such as cloth napkins, bamboo utensils, and reusable water bottles. This will help reduce plastic waste and create a healthier environment.
By following these steps, you can detox your kitchen and start fresh for spring. Happy cleaning!
3. Spring clean your daily routine…There is another significant area in our lives that could use a good sprucing up with the change in seasons: our wellness routines which truly lies in what we do in our daily routine. Just like we organize and declutter our space with the transition from winter to spring, we should recharge our self-care and inner wellness.
- Let’s start with a healthy sleep-care routine. Healthy sleep is an essential component of overall health and wellbeing. It refers to getting sufficient, high-quality sleep on a regular basis. By focusing on a good night’s sleep, you are helping to strengthen your immune system and increasing your ability to repair, recharge and focus during the day.
- One bad habit to break is spending lots of time in front of a computer or phone or laptop just before bed. These devices turn on your brain and make you think it’s time to wake up. Studies prove that the blue light from our devices can affect our circadian rhythm. Engage in non-screen activities such as stretching, meditation, or reading.
- Other ways to clean up your pre-sleep routine include not exercising or eating large meals within two hours before bedtime, avoiding alcohol for at least four hours before bed, and avoiding caffeine in the afternoon.
- Get up at the same time each day — ideally with exposure to light right away. Consistently waking up at the same time day after day gets your body and that routine — and it becomes easier to stick to.
- Spend time outdoors. If you do this during the daytime, the light will naturally trigger your brain to feel more awake. Being outside makes our bodies happier too! Studies have shown that people who live close to nature have reduced diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, and stress.
- Sleep in an environment that promotes rest. This includes lighting, a supportive mattress, and a comfortable temperature.
4. Spring clean your workouts…
Spring cleaning your workouts is a great way to freshen up your fitness routine and make sure you’re making progress towards your goals.
- Assess your goals: Take a moment to evaluate your fitness goals and make sure your workouts are aligned with them. Are you trying to build strength, lose weight, or improve your cardiovascular health? Make sure your workouts are structured in a way that supports your goals.
- Mix it up: If you’ve been doing the same workouts for a while, it’s time to mix it up. Try a new fitness class, switch up your cardio routine, or try some new strength exercises.
- Increase intensity: To continue making progress, you need to challenge your body. Consider increasing the intensity of your workouts by adding weight, increasing the speed of your cardio, or shortening your rest periods.
- Recover properly: Recovery is just as important as the workout itself. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and incorporating rest days into your routine to avoid burnout.
5. Spring clean your diet…Spring is a great time to take stock of your diet and make some healthy changes. Here are some tips for spring-cleaning your diet plan:
- Start with a clean slate. Clear out your pantry and fridge of any unhealthy foods, such as processed snacks, sugary drinks, and high-fat foods. Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources, whole grains, and healthy fats.
- Incorporate more fresh produce. Spring is the perfect time to enjoy a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, such as asparagus, strawberries, and leafy greens. Try adding a serving or two to each meal or enjoy them as a snack.
- Include vegetables like leafy greens and fruits in the form of berries and grapefruit. When you plan your meals around local, in-season produce, you’ll not only get more nutritional value out of them too!
- Drink more water. Staying hydrated is important for overall health, and it can help you feel full and energized. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day and consider swapping sugary drinks for water or herbal tea. Add fresh berries to your water for added antioxidants and natural flavour.
- Experiment with new recipes. Spring is a great time to try new recipes and experiment with new ingredients. Look for healthy recipes online or in cookbooks and get creative in the kitchen.
- Practice mindful eating. Take the time to savour your food and enjoy the flavours and textures. Eat slowly and pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.
6. Spring clean your skincare regimen…Spring is a great time to refresh your skincare routine and make sure that your skin is ready for the warmer weather.
- Get rid of expired products: Check the expiration dates on your skincare products and toss out any that have expired. Using expired products can be ineffective or even harmful to your skin.
- Switch to lighter products: As the weather gets warmer, your skin may need lighter products to avoid feeling heavy and greasy. Consider switching to a lighter moisturizer, serum, or sunscreen.
- Incorporate exfoliation: Spring is a great time to incorporate exfoliation into your routine to remove dead skin cells and reveal brighter, smoother skin. Choose an exfoliant that’s appropriate for your skin type and use it once or twice a week.
- Protect your skin from the sun: As the weather gets warmer and the sun gets stronger, it’s important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Make sure you’re using a natural based broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day and reapply every two hours if you’re spending time outside.
- Hydrate your skin: Drinking plenty of water is essential for healthy skin, so make sure you’re staying hydrated throughout the day. You can also use hydrating skincare products like a hyaluronic acid serum or a moisturizer with humectants to lock in moisture.
7. Spring clean your schedule…I confess, I too have trouble not glancing at work emails over the weekend. Spring cleaning your schedule means taking a close look at how you’re spending your time and adjusting what’s important and what’s not. Here are some steps you can take to spring clean your schedule:
- Assess your current schedule: Start by looking at your current schedule and noting how you spend your time. Make a list of all your activities and how much time you spend on each one.
- Prioritize your activities: Once you have your list, prioritize your activities based on what’s most important to you. This might include work, school, travel, family time, exercise, or hobbies.
- Simplify your routine: Look for ways to simplify your routine, such as streamlining your morning or evening routine, meal planning, or delegating tasks.
- Use a calendar or planner: Use a calendar or planner to schedule your activities and block off time for your priorities. This will help you stay on track and ensure you’re making time for what’s important.
As you finish up your spring cleaning, take a moment to reflect on the progress you’ve made. Feel proud of the positive changes you’ve implemented in your life, and soon enough you will start to see and feel the benefits. As you step back and look at the bigger picture, realize that these changes aren’t just temporary, but rather they’re part of a new way of life. You’re dedicated to taking care of yourself and prioritizing your health and well-being.
By: Adele Kiriakou
Transformation Trainer & Lifestyle Coach
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