An annual delight to the senses, springtime sees us emergence from the darkness of winter to enjoy brighter mornings and longer evenings. We increasingly look to spend time out-of-doors, watering seeds, listening for birdsong and patiently awaiting the arrival of those first, beautiful florals. Dannielle Norman of The Heart Led explores this delightful season further.
As the earth begins to flourish once again, it invites us all to surface from the hibernation of winter, and step bravely out into the shining year ahead. Filled with colour once more, fields are flushed with cornflowers and banks peppered with cowslips, as a familiar sense of hope fills the air and moods are boosted by brighter days. Springtime is a perfect opportunity to lay the foundations of what you’d most like to invest in for this year – be it yourself, your business, or another shift in direction.
Open windows, take late afternoon walks (use this as your one form of exercise a day at the moment) and start adopting the habits and changes you’d like to see in your life.
Write a list, brainstorming ideas for when this lock-down is over and then take action. Arrange meet-ups, book classes and be sure to carve out time for yourself. Spring is here as a reminder we can all renew and change for the better. Offering a refresh on stagnant mentalities, this tender season creates time for new beginnings and propagates excitement for what is to come. Spring allows us to thaw out any frozen doubt and step into our future with confidence. As fresh blooms appear, heavy coats are removed; drinks can be enjoyed outdoors and everyone smiles just that little bit more. Cheers to that!
Spring cleaning; ITC style:
A well-known phrase for a reason, springtime is the ultimate time to clear out kitchen cupboards, boot rooms and trusty vehicles. Reducing everyday clutter makes space in our homes and minds, letting positive energy (and sunlight) flow into our surroundings. Why not try our Spring Clean Guide for optimum benefits?
Top tip one: Don’t try to do it all at once. Instead, pick one room or area to do really well. Once you’re satisfied, move onto the next. Quick wins such as donating old clothes and composting expired foods will feel great – while hoovering stairs and mopping floors are generally considered less feel-good jobs. Be sure to keep yourself motivated by doing both types of tasks in balance.
Top tip two: Make light work of your spring clean by seeing it a means of creating space for new, beautiful things in your life. If saying goodbye to your favourite threadbare jumper; or the dress you’ve still never worn feels like a loss, take advice from the queen of spring clean Marie Kondo, who suggests ‘thanking’ items for their use before passing them on, as a way of making it a more mindful process.
Top tip three: There’s real joy to be found in gifting or donating unwanted items – what a privilege to give to others what you no longer need. Food banks and shelters are grateful for food, whilst charity shops gladly welcome bundles of clothing year-round. Just remember not to offer anything that’s no longer usable or that’s out-of-date. Instead, recycle textiles and other materials at your local waste centre.
Top tip four: Once your home is settled again, take time to reflect on your work in your new, clean space. Light some candles, make a tasty dinner and fill the air with a spring playlist. These small acts for ourselves help to set positive intentions, and serve as a timely reminder of how important investing in ourselves and our everyday spaces really is.
As part of nature, you will find yourself in various seasons of your own life. Perhaps at times you’re in the full flourish of spring, and others, the cold harsh winter of sorrow. All bringing their important and ever-changing lessons, as well as blessings.
With the majority of 2020 still to unfold, spring lends us a window of time to refresh and restore our energy, alongside starting on plans.
Investing in our future is important, as is appreciating the present, with all we have to look forward to and that which we have now.
Finding the balance between moving forward and what’s happening today is a skill we can learn. Here are a few ways we can make the most of Spring, without feeling the pressure to be someone different.
Blue sky thinking:
Our moods naturally elevate during spring, as we spend more time outdoors and become more active. Use this time as a positive space for reflection to release negative patterns and thoughts.
Set an evening aside to journal notes or write a letter to yourself as a sign you have decided to ‘move on’ from those habits and behaviours you’d like to release. Replace these practises with more beneficial ones, such as a morning walk and meditation to start your day and help remind you of the commitment you’re making to yourself and your future. If you start today, you’re ahead of yourself tomorrow.
Take inspiration from the budding flowers and fruits that are appearing in nature and think about where you’d like to be by the summer. Maybe in a new job, travelling abroad or in a different financial situation?
Take time to plan out how you’d like your life to look over the next year, and don’t be shy either. While it may first appear overwhelming or unachievable, you’ll be surprised at the small steps you can put in place today that future you will thank yourself for!
Gratitude is greatness:
Gratitude is the most exceptional of all expressions, as it allows us to feel the full wealth of our current circumstances, whatever they may be. From being thankful for your senses, your home and health, right through to your progress or professional wins, gratitude enables us to place value where it should be.
Try saying the below affirmations every morning as soon as you wake up – when the brain is most susceptible – and note your glow. Or make up your own, but, don’t just say them like a robot: allow yourself to really feel each one:
– I am grateful for my sight
– I am thankful I can be active
– I am excited to create fun moments
– I love and appreciate myself
– I am learning to love myself as I grow
– I am grateful for my health
– I am thankful for food on my plate
– I am grateful for my warm bed
– I am excited to see what today brings
– I am thankful for my closest friend
Nurture your nature:
Despite the coronavirus outbreak, the great British countryside is still open for business. As pubs, restaurants, shops and cafes close. Maybe you work outside, maybe you spent all winter long beneath a blanket moving only for snacks and dip – no judgement here either way. But one thing’s for certain, as the great outdoors becomes lighter, brighter and warmer, we’ll all be feeling the natural urge to get outside.
Building play time out-of-doors into our lives can feel a little unusual as adults, but there’s no escaping the childlike joy that hurtling over five-bar gates, rambling over fields and scrambling up trees can bring. As biological, incredible and fascinating human beings, we are part of the beauty of nature. It is quite remarkable to acknowledge, and something too easily forgotten in our fast-paced modern world. Spend time this spring reconnecting with nature, playing in the great outdoors and unlocking another layer of wonder at our amazing world… The below can still be enjoyed during these unprecedented times.
Put down roots:
Now is the perfect time to plant pretty flowers, delicious herbs or swot up on veg you may like come autumn time. Whether it’s in your own garden, at your Grandma’s or on a local allotment, planting is the perfect way to get your hands dirty, spot some worms and listen to the birds. Simple pleasures indeed.
Grin and bare it:
This one is simple: Take off your shoes and socks. Walk barefoot on the ground. Spread and curl your toes into fresh daisy-laden grass or soft coastal sand. This simple act boosts our contact with nature, bringing stillness, peace and humility back into any moment.
See the sea:
Take a deep breath…and jump right in! As temperatures become a touch more welcoming, the edge is taken off outdoor delights such as coastal swimming. Whether you don a wetsuit or full-on skinny dip, getting back to nature doesn’t come more refreshing or reviving than saltwater on skin.
The UK has 15 national parks offering a wealth of opportunity to explore a range of landscapes, habits and natural environments. Go solo, plan a trip with a friend or join up with local groups to appreciate what’s on your doorstep and refresh your love for travel in just a ramble. *However, be sure to check before you travel.
“Whenever you see a beautiful view you enjoy this spring, take a few moments to really take it in. A few deep breaths in and out, admiring the landscape can help boost mood, improve memory and support overall wellbeing as we take stock in each amazing day.” – Dannielle Norman