Happy spring time, buds!
It might still look like winter in my neck of the woods, but the season for celebrating renewed surroundings (and headspace) is finally upon us. It just so happens that I’m in the throes of moving to a new homestead as well!
In the spirit of spring cleaning (or moving), I thought I’d share some breezy tactics to alleviate stress and start fresh…
When stress creeps up in any sort of transition, it acts like a ruthless meanie. And we know a stressful situation releases some powerful hormones (like cortisol and epinephrine) which spike blood sugars along with a slew of inflammatory and immune system ills. Stress literally sucks the life out of us!
Although selectively purging our old possessions can be daunting, it opens up fresh space for clarity. And perhaps even a zen-like state.
Pay It Forward.
Uprooting and transplanting ourselves plus our belongings can be drastically disorienting. Especially faced with the amount of treasures (or trash) we’ve accumulated over time! Ugh. If you experience separation anxiety like me, it’s an agonizing ordeal to let go of that old car cassette CD converter, or the cloth flag that comes along with a new pair of TOMS slip-ons. The fine line between precious keepsaking and compulsive hoarding is a tad blurry. But when we realize how much we have (and maybe don’t need), it makes it much easier to let go and re-purpose.
Gently used clothing articles and books can support initiatives like the Canadian Diabetes Association’s Clothesline project all across Canada, and here in Whistler we’ve got the Re-Use-It and Re-Build-It Centres. There’s also a handful of electronic recycling programs like Think Recycle and RecycleMyCell that will happily dispose of your old devices and keep them out of landfills (check out green e-recycling tips from the David Suzuki Foundation). Win-win, right?
Clear Virtual Space.
Despite Einstein’s empty desk/empty mind theory, in my experience a cluttered space almost always leads to a cluttered mind. Personally, my sleep patterns are all over the map when there’s a pile at the end of the bed (especially the one resembling a big scary creature in the dark). Online space can be just as cluttered as our immediate surroundings, so clearing out the inbox and gradually thinning out our social media feeds helps bring on a sweet sigh of relief.
Similar to how some of us find therapeutic value in vacuuming and doing the dishes, what about purifying the fridge? Instead of spraying it down with harsh chemicals that can end up floating onto our fresh fruit and veggies, try a non-toxic homemade all-purpose cleaner.
A pantry overhaul is another source of good kitchen karma. Dust off those canned foods (maybe check expiry dates while you’re at it) and ask yourself if any staples could be donated to your community food bank. Once every month here in Whistler, the Yogacara studio offers a free yoga class with the donation of a non-perishable item for our local food bank. A super positive feedback loop!
Workout Shake Up.
For many of us, exercise can do wonders in the realm of stress relief. But the workout routine can get a little dusty after the winter months, so maybe it’s time to breathe new life into our lungs! With imminent wedding parties and the ‘bikini body’ dread, the use of drastic weight loss measures and drill sergeant boot camps seem to crop up. Instead of a stressful quick fix, a gradual workout shift might help avoid a burnout.
We can switch up our scenic running routes, try out a new yoga studio, refresh our iPod playlists, and target different muscle groups with online workout videos or purely out in Mother Nature (beach log reverse arm curls are underrated).
Spring is an awesome time to shed those weighty winter layers, along with anything that no longer serves or nurtures us.