Spring is truly a natural time to reawaken your spirit and get a fresh start inside and out. Perhaps there is a change you have been considering for months or even years. Maybe a new and invigorating idea has swept in with the new Spring air. You may have specific ideas in mind for changes you would like to make in your life, or just a vague sense of restlessness that’s nipping at your consciousness in the quiet moments. Regardless, Spring’s unique energy offers us the opportunity to renew or even reinvent parts of ourselves that are hungry for growth. Here are five ways to make the most of this season’s call for rejuvenation.
1. Mark the occasion.
In the busy flow of our lives we often don’t make the time to really mark important moments. That includes dedicating ourselves to a new project, journey, or process. We frequently blow by our commitments without ceremony, either because we don’t have time or perhaps because we’re fearful that we’ll disappoint ourselves or others later on. After all, if we don’t announce to friends and family that we intend to lose 20 pounds this year, we won’t worry about the perception of failure if we don’t end up doing it. But in minimizing our intent, desire, or commitment to make changes, we rob ourselves of an important opportunity and ritual.
Making a “big deal” out of a new journey or important occasions is a rallying call for support from the important people in our lives. It is also a significant “notice to self” in which we acknowledge that amidst all the other people whom we serve, our selves remain vitally important figures worthy of attention, care, and nurturing.
Celebrate Spring in ways that are meaningful to you. If you’ve been craving a special night out with friends or a long weekend away with someone whose company you adore, Spring is the perfect time to make it happen. Or maybe there’s a solo adventure you need, from a spa day just for you or a weekend retreat in the mountains with others who share a common passion. Regardless, honor Spring renewal as the important time it is by doing something that feeds your soul and starts the season.
2. Do something different, really different.
At one point or another most of us have initiated a fresh start of some sort with a preparation activity. We may have gone on a cleaning and organization bender of the scary junk closet in our home to mark a fresh start to staying organized or decluttering. And while getting those sorts of tasks done can certainly be a relief, they’re also fairly mundane and not much of a tribute to the renewal Spring offers.
Do yourself a kindness and consider a less traditional means of kicking off a fresh start.
This means opening up to experiences that are new. Not necessarily wild, extreme, or out of your comfort zone, just new. Maybe consider participating in a volunteer event that you wouldn’t normally be drawn to, or taking a class in a subject area completely outside of your realm of knowledge. Offer to help out a friend or relative with something you really don’t relish, but you know would be greatly appreciated. Take a meditation, yoga, art, or dance class, or invest in a plant you’d like to nurture. Find seasonal starts that feel different in ways that are important to you.
3. Make Spring Resolutions
Spring … with nature blossoming and longer daylight hours … is a much more natural time to make some Resolutions than on January 1, if you really think about it. Consider all that extra sunshine an invitation to make some meaningful changes in your patterns. Spring resolutions might involve a new commitment and strategy to a specific goal. For example, resolving to ride your bike through the neighborhood three times a week in the evening, taking your kids for an outdoor family activity at least once a week after dinner. Or revisit your New Years’ Resolution(s) and leverage the energy of the season to recommit to them.
4. Shine some sunshine on yourself.
Often, the winter months are a flurry of activity. The holidays, school schedules, work demands, and a range of other September through April calendar demands leave us exhausted and struggling to catch our breath. Spring is a completely natural time to take a deep breath and engage in overdue self-care and self-compassion.
For some, self-care may mean a rebalancing of schedules that have gotten a little out of hand so that we can take better care of ourselves on a daily basis. Daily attention to ourselves through exercise, spiritual practices, social support, good nutrition, and adequate sleep are so very important and often go by the wayside. Others may find themselves significantly overdue for a substantial vacation. Vacations aren’t always geographic. Perhaps you need a vacation from a certain stressor, a certain person, certain habit/behavior pattern, or a certain situation. Spring is rich opportunity to get space (mental or physical) and return renewed and refreshed.
5. Find what renews you and keep doing it.
Spring renewal endeavors can serve as important models for us the rest of the year. When we find the activities that serve us well in this way, we can strive to implement them on a regular basis in small doses that continue to nourish us the rest of the year. The energy and momentum of Spring is an important launch into practices to sustain us as we go forward into the coming seasons.