How to Revamp Your Life this Spring
Written by Samra Karamustafic // Illustrated by Miranda Tulcewicz
Celebrate the refreshing and transformative energy of this season with a few simple habits that you can throw into your day-to-day routine.
March 19 officially marked the beginning of the spring season (cue the collective sighs of relief) a time that symbolically brings about growth, change, transformation and rebirth. While we may associate spring with deep cleaning, longer days and an end to the dirty-snow-slush-lined roads, spring also brings an opportunity to refresh some of the more mindful aspects of your life. With just a few simple habits thrown into your daily routine, you can embrace this inspiring new energy this season has brought to us - and, since we’re in Cleveland, we might as well celebrate the fact that it won’t be pitch-black dark at 5 p.m. anymore!
What better way to feel refreshed after the winter’s cold than with some deep cleaning? It may be a cliche, but spring cleaning is certainly a tried-and-true method of clearing out the old to make way for the new in your life. Take a day, a few days, a week, or a month to do some serious cleaning around the house - whether it’s those overflowing drawers that you’ve been too scared to look into the past few months or whatever has been piling up under your bed, there are certainly things hanging around that you can let go of. Like the great Marie Kondo says: “discard everything that does not spark joy” - so, we’re sorry, but that 2014 One Direction wall calendar has got to go. Now is the perfect time to strap on the gloves, grab those Clorox wipes, and get to disinfecting and organizing.
BEGIN A MINDFULNESS PRACTICE
With spring comes a boost of energy in many of us and, while that can be a great thing for accomplishing our goals and staying productive, it can also make us susceptible to burnout. Plus, in today’s incredibly fast-paced world, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the constant phone notifications, news updates, and responsibilities of life. To avoid this energy exhaustion and be better equipped to handle stress, invest in a mindfulness practice. Download some meditation apps like Calm or Headspace and give them a try or visit that yoga studio in your neighborhood and see if you could attend a class. By taking the time to look after yourself and your mental health, you’re giving yourself the chance to rest and use your energy mindfully in order to continue not just accomplishing your goals, but being there for others, too.
There’s nothing quite like rolling down your car windows on that first 60-degree day of the season; you have no giant winter coat weighing you down, you’re not shivering and you didn’t have to wait for the car to heat up. Besides just enjoying the nice weather from your car, take it a step further and actually spend some time in the great outdoors! It could be something as simple as taking a walk, going for a run at the nearest park or switching out a coffee date with a friend for a picnic instead. If certain circumstances (like a global pandemic) are keeping you from enjoying the outdoors, don’t let that stop you - bring the outdoors indoors! Spruce your coffee table or bedroom with some bright and colorful flowers, or make it a habit to open the windows at least once a day -- if the weather permits you to do so. Welcome the warmth and rebirth of nature all around you and relish it!
Remember those New Year’s resolutions you set back in January? How are you coming along with those? Yeah… let’s not talk about that. Spring is known as the season of new beginnings and, in fact, many countries around the world (like Iran) celebrate the new year around the spring equinox. Now is the perfect time to join in on the fun and revise a few of those resolutions that you made a few months ago! Take a few moments to yourself and grab a journal or a piece of paper, sit down, and think about what it is that you would like to accomplish not just during this season, but for the rest of the year as well. Do you really need to do some serious work on that sleep schedule, workout routine or coffee addiction? Maybe there’s a certain project that has been on your mind for quite some time and you want to begin working on it. Whatever it may be, just make sure to jot it down because, according to psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews, you become 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals and intentions just by writing them down! Just like the world around you begins to grow and transform, you can tap into that inspiring energy and do the same!
FIND A NEW HOBBY
Setting a few intentions and finding a new hobby go hand-in-hand. If you find yourself with a little more free time than usual, especially nowadays, avoid reaching for that phone or TV remote and opt for something more fun instead. This could be writing or journaling, painting, yoga or embroidery (just to name a few). It doesn’t have to be the most intricate hobby in the world nor do you have to master it in a week. Avoid placing any unnecessary pressure on yourself and most importantly: just have some fun with it.
...the main goal is to continuously look after your physical and mental health in ways that you find beneficial and fun.
CREATE A SPRING PLAYLIST
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to celebrate, if music is your thing, and if you’re prone to making playlists instead of getting any work done, then you’ll definitely like this one. Fall and winter are prime seasons for listening to those mellower, more acoustic, “coffeeshop” types of songs. As the snow melts, the days get longer, and the world seems to wake up again, it’s time to bring back the more upbeat and happy songs. Head to Spotify or Apple Music, create a playlist with your favorite energetic tunes and in just a few minutes you can have a brand new playlist to blast on those sunny days or whenever you need to feel uplifted and motivated. (Bonus: if you have Spotify, make this a little more fun and create a collaborative playlist that your friends can contribute to as well!)
Whether it’s by showing thanks for our accomplishments in the fall or by slowing down in the winter, each season lends an opportunity for us to care for ourselves in different ways. Embrace the excitement that this season brings (no matter what may be happening around you) and make sure to invest some time to tend to your needs and self-care. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if you formally celebrate the beginning of a new season or not; the main goal is to continuously look after your physical and mental health in ways that you find beneficial and fun.