Spring is just around the corner! To most of us, spring represents a time for freshness, growth and re-birth. Flowers start to bloom, animals emerge from hibernation, and birds return to the north from their winter homes to nest, procreate, and chirp away from morning ‘til dusk.
In most parts of the country, days become longer, weather becomes milder, and many people emerge from their own winter hibernations and spend less time indoors. The warmer weather makes it easier to increase physical activity and many people work on shedding extra pounds accumulated during the more sedentary winter months.
Psychologically speaking, Spring resonates with many people who see Spring as a chance for a “fresh start.” With increased physical energy comes increased mental energy, along with anticipation for change and growth. Symbolically as well as literally, Spring is a great time to reinvent yourself! As you put the winter coats and gloves away, imagine yourself shedding not only the actual heaviness of winter clothing, but shedding yourself of the heaviness of a wintery mood. Set yourself free of old, rehashed themes of resentments, anxieties, pessimistic ways of thinking, as you let the light in for optimism, a sense of renewal and a fresh perspective.
Welcome a lighter, healthier you!
The following are tips to give yourself a “fresh start!”
“Spring Clean” your Mind – Along with cleaning out the closets, Spring is a great time to focus on “Spring cleaning” your mind. Clean out the cobwebs of old, tired ways of thinking that lead to negative self-talk, self-doubt, and the inner critic within. It has been estimated that the average person thinks about 50,000 thoughts per day. If even 10% are negative thoughts, which is an understatement for most people, that comes to 500 negative thoughts a day on average! So be careful what you think and keep in mind a simple adage, think straight-feel great!
Tap the Healing Power of Spring – The freshness of Spring can serve as a great inspiration to heal any well- worn resentments that you hold towards others who have disappointed or even wronged you. Along with the healing power of nature as you bask in the warmth and beauty of Spring, allow yourself to heal prior hurts that, replacing bitterness with forgiveness and acceptance. Work on accepting others for falling short of your expectations and not seeing things the way you very much wished they would. Don’t forget to forgive the most important person you need to forgive – yourself!
Spring Yourself from the Comparison Trap! – One of the most common dilemmas people have that infringe on life satisfaction is envy and the human tendency to compare oneself to others. This Spring, how about accepting the fact that no matter how hard you try, you will always fall short if you find yourself always comparing? Remind yourself that some people like vanilla and some people like chocolate. In your quest for approval, make sure you don’t try to be vanilla to some and chocolate to someone else, in order to cover your bases and be liked by everyone! Besides, if you work on liking yourself, most likely others will too!
Spring Forward! – Learn from Daylight Savings time when you move the clocks ahead. Be forward focused – build on your past regrets and missteps as stepping stones, rather than millstones that hold you back. This is a time to build on lessons learned, rather than be being steeped in “woulda, coulda, shoulda” thinking. There are no mistakes as long as you learn from them and do not allow yourself to be defined by them. Use the past as a guidepost and not a hitching post. Remember – where you are going is much more important than where you have been.
Put Spring in your Step – Use the sunnier and milder weather to get moving! Research has consistently shown that people who exercise are happier, have more confidence, are healthier, and actually live longer! Longer days and the warmer weather offer many opportunities to be active while you have fun. As exercise boosts your mind, allow it to boost your friendships as you join others in outdoor activities such as walking, running, biking or joining a sports league. Remember that being active makes you mentally as well as physically fit – and slims your body at the same time! Along with exercise, enjoy the fruits of the season that can also help keep you fit!
Spring is a Time for Rebirth! – All around us we see change, as flowers bloom, and nature evolves. This Spring, let yourself see the wonders of creation reflected also inside of you. Use this as a time for reinventing yourself and trying new things. By committing yourself to personal renewal, you can re-evaluate what in your life no longer works for you, and how you can grow, change and transform to become the best “YOU.”
Remind Yourself that Hope Springs Eternal! – Spring is a time for optimism and hope. Martin Seligman, author of Learned Optimism, focuses on the importance of optimistic thinking for healthy life adjustment. In his earlier studies of what he coined Learned Helplessness, he found that a sense of helplessness and loss of hope leads to depression. Conversely, he reasoned, the ability to be hopeful and optimistic about the future and your power to control your own life events is vital for healthy living.
Spring offers You a Fresh Start – With the freshness of Spring around you, look within to give yourself the gift of a “fresh start.” This Spring is the most important Spring in your life, as only the present gives you the opportunity to really renew yourself. Build on the winters of your disappointments and regrets to breathe new life into old issues. Perhaps there are no do-overs, but there are indeed second chances!
What does Spring mean to you? I would love you to hear from you!