I read a great article the other day about 'spring cleaning' your life and it really inspired me to write my own version of it.
It's that time of year where the days are getting longer, the nights warmer and the sun kisses your skin a bit more each weekend. It's the time when the gyms start to get busier and the farmers markets seem to sell more fruit and veg as people become more health conscious and start thinking about their beach bodies.
Winter makes us just that little bit slower, complacent and comfortable in just going through the motions. It's okay to eat a little bit more at night because it's cold, it's okay to miss out on a few parties and stay at home because it's too cold to go outside, it's okay to get a bus home when it's only a 30min walk away because it's a little bit colder and darker outside - see where I'm going with this? How do you mentally prepare for the change in routine, change in weather and change in yourself?
Follow these steps prepare yourself physically and mentally for the coming warmer months and clean out the winter in you!
Get your food on! Everything is good in moderation in terms of food. By this I mean, something from each food group, as long as it's the proper food group pyramid - not a self-created deep fried diet.
Leading up to the warmer months, start eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. This is a good time to make cold soups, fresh salads and fruity desserts.
Get active The hardest part about exercise is putting your joggers on. Make exercise fun and enjoyable.
Take the whole family to the beach (bring the dogs for a run if it's a dog-friendly beach), take a day drive somewhere and go for a nature walk, trawl your local Sunday markets with friends, kick a footy in a park or help a friend move house.
If you want to stay inside, take a yoga or dance class, go to laser force or a game of squash, or even take up an art class (pottery, glass blowing etc). When you make exercise a bit more fun and different it's a easier transition into a healthier lifestyle.
I've increased my creativity by planting a herb garden and some flowers in several pots scattered around my verandah. Not only does the tending give me daily exercise, the joy in watching my little herbs sprout and grow gives me ideas for salads, cold soups etc. After my gardening routine, I also like to sit and paint or draw in the sunshine. It doesn't need to be a masterpiece either, as this should be seen as a creative outlet to get the juices flowing. Other ideas could be building a model boat, making some jewellery, learning how to play an instrument - the list goes on.
Remember all those things you were going to do during winter but vegetating under a blanket on the couch ended up being the preference? Get a notepad and write down your home to-do list and put it on the fridge. Prioritise the tasks and pick the ones that can be done today and take it from there. Also turn the TV OFF and the radio ON.
Clean out your clothes, toys, crockery and give them to charity. Go to Bunnings or Masters and get all your supplies you need to fix that room you promised yourself you would fix. Even enlist some help in a friend for different tasks so you have someone to answer to and to keep you motivated.
The end result is so satisfying that you will wonder why you procrastinated before!
Be practical in your choices
It might be a good time to evaluate the things in your life. Do you have toxic relationships that are weighing you down instead of bringing you up? Short term, it's nice to have people around, but long term it can be detrimental to your mental health. Part of revitalising yourself is not just getting rid of unwanted junk physically - it also applies mentally.
Maybe think about what you need to make you happy and how you can achieve that. Does it need to be a career move, a physical move or just moving away from negative people in your life? It's difficult to go through this process but it is also empowering. It takes more time and effort to be happy but also more worthwhile.
Be Spontaneous and Fun
Spontaneity and fun is are some of the keys to life happiness. It makes life fun and adventure filled for yourself and those around you.
Look at a map in a book (not Google maps) and pick a place at random where you want to go, go through the events page on here and pick an event you wouldn't normally go to, watch a sun set, be more relaxed in your choices instead of planning everything.
My husband will tell me that he has a surprise planned and it gives me something to think about and look forward to. When the night comes, we go to the drive-in movies or have a ice cream at Southbank or we take a day trip to Montville. It's enough to take me away from our every day lives and makes the weeks fun and different.
A happy mind, body and soul makes a happier person. So hopefully this will help you become and stay revitalised for the warmer months ahead!