It’s April, and where I live that still means snow, wind, and toques. However, April also means happier moods thanks to more daylight hours, warmer weather, and the anticipation of the end of snow for at least a few months. It’s wonderful to watch the city transform from dark and white, to brown, to green and colourful.
Each Spring I do a massive decluttering of my place. During Winter months I tend to accumulate a lot of unnecessary things that get tucked away on shelves, in baskets, cupboards, wherever I shove items, that’s where they stay until a pile topples over or I need to find something I hadn’t needed all winter long.
The beginnings of this season usually involves home owners dedicating their weekends to readying the garden and lawn; and getting their vehicles prepped for Spring. I was thinking this morning about how we tend to prepare our possessions for a new season, but we don’t often prepare our bodies and minds for the changes in nature.
I don’t handle our Northern winters very well, especially because I am dependent on public transit. Nothing kills your joy faster than walking after dark, in dirty snow, bundled up for the cold weather. So when Spring arrives I look forward to new activities and revisiting old ones. This takes some thought and preparation.
The following can help prepare you for a great Spring and Summer season; don’t let another year go by where you coulda’ shoulda’, woulda’, but didn’t.
Deep clean your home and your vehicle. Great weather means great company and nothing helps people clean faster than knowing someone is coming to your home. Here is a website with a variety of tips, schedules, and information on getting organized and maintaining a clean home. If your vehicle is a mess of fast food containers, empty coffee cups, and paper products; then a spring clean up of the inside of your car is a good idea. Set aside a few hours to clear everything out and take it to the car wash where you can clean both the inside and outside.
What’s your yard, garage, and shed looking like? If it’s a mess, schedule time to tend to these areas. It is absolutely necessary to schedule a date and time to get these things done otherwise we will always find other things to do or procrastinate to the point where we are no longer left with choices. No one likes fines from by-law officers for something like not keeping up your yard, a task that would have only taken at most an hour.
Rejuvenate your body. If you’ve neglected your body all winter or want to get prepared for more physical activities, it’s important to ease back into it. If you are going to pick up running or switch to outdoor running, be prepared in order to decrease your chances of injury and increase your opportunities for success. Here is a link to Runners World online where you can find information on training, dressing for the weather, and footwear. The link to Olivas Trunk Unlocked leads to a great article on spring cleaning your body.
Another important way to prepare your body is to eat seasonal fruit. If you are able to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables and shop at farmer’s markets, great, if not, then the grocery store chains will have to do. The good thing about buying in-season produce is the cheaper price. Spring and Summer seasonal foods are often on sale or the prices are lower. I know I’m looking forward to cherries, peaches, nectarines, grapes, and watermelon. These items are quite pricey where I live. During the off-season peaches and nectarines are $3.99/pound.
After eating heavy foods all winter, the body might be in needs of a cleanse. There are a lot of exaggerated claims made by companies who sell body cleanse and detox products, but the truth is there is no need to go to extremes to cleanse the body when switching to a healthier eating regime. If you do decide to do a program, I recommend looking into The Masters Cleanse and Wild Rose D-Tox. With the Master’s Cleanse you are limited to 10 days of a mixed lemon water drink whereas the Wild Rose D-Tox allows you to eat a variety of foods from a list; you won’t ever be hungry on the 12 Day D-Tox program.
If you’re not into cleansing and detoxing, but know that your body is in need of a change from a diet of heavy foods, and processed goods a great place to start would be clean eating. This link will give you a simple breakdown of the clean eating lifestyle.
Check your finances. Sunshine means spending lots of time on patios, going to sporting events, and bring-a-side-dish bbq’s. This also means spending more money. Take a look at your spending habits from the past 3 months. Aside from necessary bills and payments, what did you spend most of your money on? If you aren’t happy with where you spent your money during the winter, try making changes for spring and summer. Try making a budget, it is easy to over spend during the warmer months when there are a lot more recreational and social options available.
Closet Check. It’s time to switch clothing and bring out items you haven’t seen or touched in several months. Try on your clothes to see if they still fit. It’s annoying when you plan to wear an item only to find out that you’ve either gained or lost weight during the winter or what you thought was a great item last year no longer looks good to you. If you no longer want the item, get rid of it. Save your closet space for things you will actually wear.
Bring out all of your summer items and put away the winter gear. I have a large Rubbermaid container where I place out of season items. This way everything is in one place and I won’t have to go searching for it 5 months from now.
Get Creative, Get Going. No need to be house bound when the weather is great. Tap into your creative side, or dust of your bucket list. What are some things you’d like to do or try this summer? Be intentional by writing it down, or take a step further by writing it down and making a commitment by registering or paying ahead for these activities. Maybe you want to do more golfing, or run in a foot race. How about an overnight or weekend trip? It might even be something as simple as starting a garden in your yard. The choice is yours.
However you choose to spend these next few months, may it bring you peace, good memories, and personal growth!