Spring Forward: A Guide to Rebuilding and Fresh Start
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Spring is upon us and it's time to get active again! Take in all that nature has to offer and use this season as a chance to give your life a spring clean. Ahead are some tips to help you move forward and make the most of the fresh start that spring has to offer. Let's dive in!
Top 6 Tips for a Fresh Start
1. Learn to Let Go of the Past
There are many things in life that are beyond your control, including the past. The act of detaching from things outside the sphere of your control, such as ended relationships, unmet expectations, and situations that didn't materialise as hoped, frees you from being stuck in a cycle of negative emotions, such as guilt, anger, anxiety, worry, and fear.
Psychiatrist Abigail Brenner writes that, however painful letting go is, it's something you must do because "it is the path to growth." According to her, your past is part of your history, but it's not who you are. You are, in fact, so much more.
Not only does letting go allow you to better manage everyday stress triggers. It also enables you to create a space for you to make the changes you need and want. Take time to remember that the best is still ahead of you and not behind you.
2. Reset Your Sleep Habit
Sleep is a powerful thing. Good, quality sleep can help lower your stress, boost your immune system, impact your mood as well as improve your cognitive functioning, among other benefits. More often than not, however, it is the least of many people’s priorities.
If you have picked up some bad sleeping habits during winter, then this springtime– when the weather is warm and the days are longer– is a great opportunity to make a reset, according to Katherine Sharkey, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University.
Spending more time outdoors exposes you to natural light, which will help reset your body’s natural circadian rhythm, explains Sharkey. A reset in such a case means readjusting your bedtime and the time you wake up.
3. Prioritising Physical Activity: Tips for Moving More
Similar to better sleep hygiene, exercising makes a huge difference in your physical, mental and emotional well-being. This season, start anew by committing to workout activities that best suit you. You should start small to build and sustain this change until it becomes part of your habit.
For example, challenge yourself initially to do some walking around your neighbourhood thrice a week for 4 straight weeks. In between, you may engage in basic stretching exercises that you can do both indoor and outdoor. As you get used to working out, you may choose to level up your routines to start targeting the various areas of your body.
Take advantage of the good weather this season to be active again. Complement this effort by improving your eating patterns. Exercising and eating healthy are powerful combinations that make for a great restart if you have been inactive and easily indulging in junk food, most especially during the winter season.
4. Declutter Your Physical Space
Cleaning Consultant Marie Kondo, the Japanese author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” points to the mind as the root cause of constant home clutter. For the popular author, the success of organising your space and consistently keeping things in order is “90 percent dependent on your mindset” and such success could profoundly affect your lifestyle and perspective.
In the US, spring is the perfect time for thorough house cleaning, freshening up every nook and cranny of your home as you prepare for the hectic days that come with spring and summer months. Giving your living space a makeover can do wonders for your mental health and help get the boredom out. It’s time for your creative side to come out!
Additionally, as you go about your stuff, see what are the things that you don’t need but you can donate to charities such as your old clothes, books or pieces of furniture. Family Nurse Practitioner Heidi Stenerson points out that spring cleaning your home allows you to be creative, gives you a sense of accomplishment, and helps lower your stress and boost your mood.
5. Practice Gratitude
Practising gratitude enables you to take control of your mind. By intentionally shifting your focus to things– be it small or big– that you are grateful for and away from what’s missing or lacking, you experience joy and contentment in your everyday life no matter the circumstances. Psychologist Lisa Kentgen writes that practising gratitude is “one of the best ways to usher in the spirit of spring.”
If you embrace the attitude of being thankful, you’re adopting a perspective that does not tie your reactions to outside triggers or stress-inducing situations. Therein lies power that can have significant positive effects on your well-being.
Numerous studies have found a link between gratitude and happiness. According to Harvard, for instance, practising gratitude has proved to boost health, improve your relationships, strengthen your ability to handle life’s challenges better, and make you relish your experiences, among others.
This season, take time to remember and reflect on all the small and big blessings of the present day. Write them down in your journal. Additionally, you may also express your gratitude to others and cite why you are grateful to them.
6. Surround Yourself with Positive People
Having a reliable support system or people who motivate and help you to be better is vital to making and sticking to changes that you want for yourself. Surround yourself with positive friendships and let go of relationships that are no longer serving you.
An article posted to the website of prominent Life and Business Strategist Tony Robbins explains that you’re highly likely to embrace empowering beliefs if you surround yourself with positivity. The adage that you become who you hang out with holds true. Physician Dr. Kristen Fuller writes that re-assessing your friendships form part of spring cleaning your relationships.
Spring is the perfect time for new beginnings and transformation. But making changes in your life takes courage and resilience. It's not always easy, but it's worth it.
As you start your journey to spring clean your body and mind, it's important to set realistic expectations and not be afraid of failure. The most important thing is that you're taking small steps every day towards your goals. Stay motivated and make real progress towards creating the life you want!
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