Spring at last! Top tips for getting a spring back into your step.
At last it is here – that time of year when you wake up in the light again and birds are still twittering – in a normal twittering kind of way rather than incessant broadcasting of irrelevant comment and self-obsession. Trees are budding, crocuses peeping, the sky is beginning to shift from grey to blue.
I am not alone in disliking the dark months of winter. I try to hide it but as each day gets shorter through December my mood begins to dip. By mid-January I am feeling bleak and February is a real struggle. It is not depression – more a feeling of a dark, heavy blanket descending on life. Energy wanes and the days seem hard. Admittedly the last three winters have brought grief and funerals which are not great for boosting your spirits. But my Sassistas are reporting the same – so either its age or winters are getting darker. Next year it is a SAD lamp or Barbados – and no-one is allowed to die!
Back to positive. As life bursts back into colour maybe this is the time to kick-start our year. Most of us will have broken our new years’ resolutions. Many will have put on a few winter pounds and are being tormented by the pretty dresses in this year’s Spring collections. The bedroom is still thick with duvets and cosy pyjamas. Yet summer is but a few short months away. Time to start attending to mind body and soul to make this a good year and leave the dark behind.
So a few ideas for you:
If you are one of those wonder women who has gymed and slimmed through the dark months and still fit your swimmie, then I salute you. If you are like me and feel as shapely as the winter duvet, then it is time to start moving. Advice is not to go slam dunk into the gym in a frantic effort to get beach-body by mid-March. Far better to get yourself moving and get those limbs mobile. My latest find is Body-balance, a great mix of yoga, pilates, stretch and balance. It is not easy and you feel your muscles doing the work. But it is a good way to wake up your body before kicking up to something more energetic such as spin cycle or Zumba. Set yourself sensible goals – say four sessions of 45 minutes exercise a week to start. If you need inspiration then take a look at Tara’s article on getting going with exercise . Also, dust off your fit-bit and aim at 10,000 steps a day.
With over 20% of people reporting some level of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) then a good number of us are feeling quite low by now. I put my hand up to this and in February it was hard to get out of bed on some mornings. In addition, your Vitamin D reserves will be down, depleting your resilience and wellbeing. So you may need a positive kick-start. First, get out into the light and put your palms to the sun. Ignore anyone who thinks you are a sun-worshipping nutter – you absorb more Vitamin D through your palms than any other part of the body and generally they are not smothered in UV protection. Second, work on your attitude. It is quite possible you have learned negative thinking habits over the winter and you need to actively reverse these. Take a look at the first three of our Positive Thinking series to get you started.
The indomitable Annie (she of Annie Reviews) sent me a wonderful formula to feed your soul. She advises you do three of the following every day:
- Smell a flower
- Smile at someone
- Read a good book and join a book club
- Call a friend
- Put up a bird ball and just watch
- Laugh and be silly
- Listen to the birds
- Help someone
- Sit on the beach and listen to the waves
- Watch a black and white film
- Take up a craft – or just make something
- Learn something for the sake of it, just because it’s interesting
- Feed the ducks and name each one - the more ridiculous, the better
- Go and watch a film in the afternoon
- Put on an 80s compilation and dance
- Be kind to someone
She’s not just a pretty face after all that beauty stuff she packs in the cupboard!
That’s it for this week. Get out and sing in the Spring.