After those long dark winter months, when we survived the “beast from the east 1 & 2” when we feel that we have forgotten what it feels like to enjoy the warm glow of sunshine …the clock spring forward, British Summertime starts and suddenly the days seem lighter and brighter. Its time for a Spring clean.
The days are finally beginning to stretch out giving us light mornings and dare I say it even light evenings too. There are rashes of pretty spring flowers in gardens, parks and hedgerows and the sun is just beginning to warm up the middle of the day. It’s little wonder that we think of springtime as the perfect time for a fresh start, everything around us brings us hope for the warmer days to come.
So this weekend why not shake off winter and embrace a new regime for springtime and a healthier year. It is a great time to start a health spring clean …
5 Easy Steps to Spring Clean Your Body & Mind
1. Restock Your Cupboards
Ensure that you have a good selection of nutritious staples in the cupboards so that you have the component parts to make healthy meals and snacks. Over the next couple of weeks add a few additional items to your basket each time you shop and you will soon have a larder to enable you to rustle up healthy nutrias meals easily. So pick up cans of pulses and beans, whole grains such as oats, rye flakes and spelt. quinoa flakes, dried herbs and spices. At the same time get label savvy… begin to look at the labels of the foods you eat most often, how many ingredients do they contain? Are there lots of ingredients with unpronounceable names? Remember that the closer you stay to nature the closer you stay to health so the fewer added ingredients and simpler the ingredients the better for your health, so you may find a few shopping swaps in order too.
2. Catch Some Sunshine
Get as much natural light during the day to help boost your Vit D levels, aiming to catch at least 15 mins of daylight. March sees us enjoy up to 12 hours of daylight now and even on these dull early spring days the warmest part of the day is between 11.00am – 2 pm to its the perfect excuse to get out for a short walk at lunchtime.
3. Boost Your Vitamins & Minerals
Not getting enough key minerals and vitamins can leave you feeling low and lacklustre. It really is time to spring into action if you are feeling sluggish. So make an effort to get a well balanced diet. In particular for women magnesium and chromium are good to help boost your energy levels by supporting your bodies ability to extract the energy from the foods you are eating. So have a small handful of seed and nuts( include 3 brazil nuts) every day for magnesium and include broccoli and organic chicken in your weekly meal plan for chromium. These two simple diets swaps will not only increase your energy levels but can also be very helpful in staving off the sugar and carb cravings that are often associated with low energy.
4. Make time to Relax
Here’s the thing with relaxation, you will hardly every FIND the time to relax, sure you might grab a couple of minutes here and there to sit with a cup of tea or watch your favourite programme, But when was the last time you really switched off and recharged? This weekend, MAKE time to really relax and calm your body and mind. For a mini mindful relaxation session, all you need to do is find yourself somewhere that you have reasonable chance to not be disturbed for about 10-15 minutes. Sit or lie and make yourself comfortable, allow your eyes to gently close and take 3 long slow deep breaths. Breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Follow your breath in and out. Allow your attention to just focus on your breath, the rise and fall of your chest and your heartbeat. This simple exercise is so soothing that after just a few minutes you will feel as though you have had an hours rest.
5. Get Writing
Do you have a health goal? Perhaps you want to shed the weight you feel is unnecessary for you, perhaps you want to take part in a charity sporting event or perhaps you want to feel less stressed? The key to success can lie in keeping a journal. I know it sounds like another job to do in what I’ll bet is an already busy workload, but research suggests that those of us who write down our goals and track our progress have a vastly increased success rate. So making time every day, just 5 minutes will do the trick will help you to keep on track.
So there you have our top 5 tips for a spring clean for your body and mind.
What spring changes do you make to your diet and lifestyle for a healthier mind and body?
Please leave us a comment in the box below as we’d love to hear from you.