Swinging into Spring...Lifestyle Changes to Embrace this Spring

For many, this extra sunshine and warm weather has been a new lease on life. Understandably so. I think everyone is ready to emerge from the dark, cold winter and embrace the cheerful, vibrant energy of spring.

We might not realize it, but our lifestyles adapt quite drastically with each season. Its natural for us to take cues from our changing environment and reflect it in the way we live. We often change the way we eat, sleep, move our body, and what we spend our leisure time doing.

I have already started to notice the changes for myself and I am sure you have as well. I find I am naturally starting to get up a little earlier and believe me it's been a while since I have been consistently waking up before my alarm clock. Daylight savings time has impacted that a tad, but I am sure I will bounce back soon. I am finding any excuse to get outdoors and move my body, it’s really saying something when I am looking forward to a run simply to get outside. I have traded in my big hearty pots of soup and casseroles for trying out new fresh recipes.

If you are ready to embrace the spring and all the changes that come with it, try these lifestyle tips:

Cut back on sleep. This might sound counterintuitive, but if you are allowing the sunlight to set your sleep schedule, you are going to progressively get less and less sleep as we move into spring. Don’t worry, our bodies are designed to have this variation in our sleep quantity throughout the year. You will likely notice you naturally start to wake up early and go to bed later as we start to have longer and longer days.

Eat seasonal produce. As we move into the start of the growing season, our options for seasonal (and hopefully local) produce are becoming abundant. Where I am, we are looking forward to fresh rhubarb, strawberries, cherries, beets, asparagus, carrots, leeks, cabbage and mushrooms. This variation in our diet is a great way to ensure we are getting an array of vitamins and nutrients and really supports our gut which thrives on diversity. So break out of your usual grocery routine and opt some more seasonal options.

Eat lighter, fresher meals. As we move out of the season for hearty soups and stews, this is a time to start to embrace eating lighter and fresher meals. Many of our favourite winter veggies, like squash and turnip, often require us to cook them in order to eat. Now that our options for seasonal produce are expanding, we can start to choose fresher, and often lighter options. This time of year we often start to crave more raw options like salads and veggie bowls.

Embrace endurance exercise (ideally outdoors). It is time to enjoy the nice weather and seize the opportunity to move our bodies outdoors. Everyone is looking forward to getting active out in nature whether that is hiking, biking, swimming, canoeing or gardening. This is a shift from our more restorative forms of exercise that we were embracing throughout the winter to more intense, longer duration forms of movements.

Get outside. This is the time to soak up all the gorgeous sunlight we have been deprived of the past few months. It is best to expose yourself to sunlight first thing in the morning after you wake up to remind your internal clock it's time to start the day. And also great to get at least 10-20 minutes of sunlight in midday, when the sun is the strongest, to help top up our vitamin D levels.

Get spring cleaning. I don’t think we truly appreciate the impact a clean, organized space has on our mental and emotional wellbeing. It’s time to be ruthless with all the clutter that has built up over the winter (or several winters) and give everything a deep clean. It you need a little inspiration, check out The Home Edit show...I promise you will be tackling that closet, junk drawer or space under your stairs in no time.

One thing to be mindful of, the spring is often a time of lots of new opportunities to take part in and a time of more social gatherings (although this year might be a tad different). Be mindful of what you say yes to and ensure you are being intentional with your time and energy. If you are anything like me, where you have a tough time saying “no” or “not right now”, you might have the tendency to over commit yourself. Remember, if it’s not a “hell yes”, it's a “no” and that’s okay.

What aspects of spring are you most looking forward to?

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