Some Helpful Hints on Negotiating the Changing Seasons
‘Spring, the sweet spring, is the years pleasant King When blooms each thing….’(Thomas Nashe)
Spring has arrived and with it our energy, like the sap in the trees, starts to rise again. It’s easier to get up in the morning and the longer evenings remind us of how nice it is to go for a walk in the park or to stop, mesmerized, at a bunch of daffodils under a tree, or to be enchanted as we step out our front door in the morning by the bird singing exuberantly in the tree outside our house.
Even though we are affected by mother nature’s awakening from her hibernation we may still be feeling sluggish ourselves and it can be a challenge for us to get our own energy flowing strongly and joyfully again. It is recognised in the Eastern traditions that this change of season can be tricky for us to handle. Here are some tips on how we can navigate the lengthenings days Springtime.
One Step at a Time
Slowly at first we must ease ourselves off the couch, put down the remote control, go cold turkey on the soaps we’ve been addicted to all winter, and get out walking. It may be better to stop at the park on the way home as we know it may be really hard to get back out the door once we’ve taken our coats off. Taking short energetic walks to start with we can slowly build to having a decent walk, perhaps even a run, as we become accustomed to being back ‘out there’ again. Before many days have passed we begin to enjoy noticing the buds opening on the trees and the daffodils coming into full bloom and we rejoice in being held again in the arms of mother nature. A step in the right direction could also be to rejoin the Yoga, Pilates or Zumba class again. We are more likely to continue exercising if we belong to a class and he encouragement of our fellow healthwarriors can make it all a bit easier. But it is extraordinary how quickly we start to feel better once we become a bit more active again.
Tip: Get Moving again
Sloughing Out the Guck
While we need to continue eat good healthy soups and stews we can start to include some lighter foods – some healthy smoothies with good green vegetables and some fruit. Adding something like Life Drink from Terra Nova, a great healthy formula which covers our daily basic nutritional needs and is in an easy to absorb powder, could prove hugely beneficial. The great naturopath Alfred Vogel was a big fan of detoxing a bit in the Springtime and our own tradition in Ireland was to include the tips of fresh young nettles in soups or hidden away amongst the cooked cabbage in order to help to cleanse the blood after all the heavy eating and lack of exercise and fresh air in the wintertime. Nettle can be easily included in the diet in the form of a herb tea or in a herbal tincture. Supporting the spring clean and overindulgence of the winter with a course of Milk Thistle Tincutre is also a positive spring time step to take. Making sure the bowels are working properly is especially important as we need to get all those toxins out of the system. Healthfoodstores have many products which can be helpful – psyllium husks being one which customers have found particularly helpful. Skin brushing is an old tried and tested way sloughing the dead cells and excreted toxins off the skin.
Tip: Spring clean the system
We’re Not Just Bodies
Feeling a bit down is often associated with Winter but I have known many for whom Spring can be a much greater challenge; there can be lots and different reasons for this but it is always important to seek the help of a therapist or healthcare practitioner if Springtime is a challenge for you. Talk to somebody, even tell a friend how you are feeling. Bressie, who has featured in this magazine speaking on mental health issues, and is now involved in My1000hours.com, often speaks and writes in the national media about how physical exercise helped him with his own mental health issues.
Tip: Keep in touch with friends
A Little Support
A bit of help from the outside may be needed to give us that bit of extra support at this time of year. A course of acupuncture, a few massages or a series of Shiatsu treatments maybe required to give that extra lift to get us back on full form after the winter. There are many good therapists around and if you feel you need that extra ‘oomph’ check in with your local healthfoodstore who may be able to recommend a good therapist.
Tip: Have a health treatment
While it is true that it is a delight to be part of the earth, trees and flowers as they awaken after the long winter sleep it is also true that some gentle help along the way doesn’t go astray. By compassionately and lovingly supporting ourselves from Winter through to Summer we may enjoy all the more ‘A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze’. Happy Spring!
Written by Gabrielle McAuley