If you’re in the half of North America experiencing the polar vortex this week, it might be a challenge to remember it really is spring. Here the temps are due to hit the low 20s, but that may feel warm to you if you’re more northern than Maryland.
I love watching the plants and trees begin to sprout and flower. Spring is the perfect time for new beginnings and fresh starts. So let’s Spring Clean your wellness routine!
There are so many ways to improve your health and well-being, I’ve put together a list of nine of my favorite ways to spring clean your wellness.
1. Eat in-season vegetables and fruit
Eating in-season and locally farmed fruits and vegetables gives you a lot more benefits like flavor, higher nutrients like vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant), better for the environment since there’s less gas spent getting it to you, and they’re usually cheaper.
2. Purge and organize your freezer
When was the last time you took inventory of what’s in your freezer? I have a small chest freezer because I order boxes of meat from Butcher Box(←-affiliate link) and need more space. But, that also is risky, because then other items end up in the freezer and get lost beneath the latest butcher order. So at least once a year, I like to sort through my freezer looking for older foods that need to be eaten or tossed if the package is damaged or it's clear there’s some freezer burn happening. I make a list of what needs to be eaten first and use that for my meal planning that week.
3. Clean out your pantry and spices
Just like your freezer, you can’t forget your pantry and spices. While sorting and purging through your pantry, look for foods that don’t meet your health goals, things that are packed with artificial ingredients, preservatives, and most importantly sugar. Donate any unused, unopened, and unexpired items. Tossing anything that’s stale or passed its expiration date.
4. Refresh your morning routine
How you start the day definitely impacts how the rest of your day goes. Having a routine will help you be more productive and successful. Whether that means planning your breakfast and clothing the night before, or getting up even 15 minutes earlier, a morning routine will help you feel more confident, calm, and prepared. What’s one goal you want to achieve this spring? Do it in the morning before everything else. Make it a habit!
5. Switch up your exercise routine
If you’ve been doing the same exercise routine for the last few months, years, or decades, it's time to change it up. Our bodies acclimate to our routines really well, it’s what we’re conditioned to do, achieve homeostasis. So this spring, challenge yourself: add weights, try online Pilates with me, go to a new hiking trail, swap out your chest machine for dumbbell chest presses on the bench, etc.
6. Stop screen use 30-45 minutes before bedtime
Better yet, keep your cell phone and TV out of your bedroom altogether. I know this one’s controversial, but mostly among those of us attached to our electronics. I get it, I conduct just as much work on my phone as I do on my laptop. I have a hard stop for work on my phone each day. After my work hours are done, I won’t respond to messages or emails until the morning when my work hours start again. Studies show that stopping all screen use at least 30 minutes before bedtime creates better, more restorative sleep. Many studies link it to the “blue lights” emitted by technology, so be sure to use the nighttime setting on your tech (especially if it comes into your bedroom). I use the nighttime setting all day long and dark mode, and it’s helped reduce my eyestrain and headaches.
7. Make time for activities/hobbies you enjoy
What are your favorite activities or hobbies? When it comes to our health, most of us are guilty of neglecting our well-being in favor of other things. We put ourselves last on the list, and that's not good for anyone. If you're feeling run down and like you can't catch a break, it might be time to take time for yourself. Schedule some time each week to do something you enjoy. Whether that means hitting up your favorite yoga class or reading a book by the pool, make sure you take some time for yourself. You'll be glad you did!
8. Declutter your favorite space in your home
We all have those spots in our homes that we tend to gravitate to more often. Maybe it's your favorite chair or the spot on the couch where you can get the best view of the TV. It might be their bedroom closet for some people, while others prefer their home gym (that’d be me! lol). No matter what your favorite space is, there's no doubt that spending time there can help refresh your mind and body.
9. Purge your bath, body, and beauty products
I’ve definitely been guilty of keeping some makeup products well past their prime in my youth. And thankfully never ended up with some crazy rash or anything, but that’s the risk of using some products past their prime. In general, if you don’t remember when you purchased a beauty product, it might be time to toss it. On the back of most beauty products, they have symbols for how long you can safely use a product once open. Some may be as short as 3 months, whereas others are usually 6-12 months.
Be sure to check your products for the following chemicals and toss them out because they are toxic and linked to cancers and other hormone disruptions: parabens, phthalates, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), triclosan, triclocarbon. Don’t forget to check your hand sanitizers in all your bags, purses, cars, and desk drawers!
Spring is the perfect time to cleanse your body and mind, refresh your routine, and set some new goals for yourself. It’s also a great opportunity to purge all of the unhealthy foods and products from your life and replace them with fresh, in-season produce, make time for your favorite hobbies, and more.
Are you ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle? Join my email list today and get 2-3 emails per week packed with information on how to live a healthier life – without deprivation or stress. I can’t wait to help you spring into action!