Spring is here! At least, that’s what I thought on Monday when it was a balmy 18 degrees C. Then, Tuesday, we had a snowstorm and it was -5. While discombobulating (I was like, is this NEXT winter already starting? Have spring and summer become reduced to two days?), the snow couldn’t get me down. I’ve had a glimpse of the future, and I know Spring is going to be here very shortly. When it finally emerges (and sticks around), I plan to embrace it full force. Spring is a short season, but so beautiful. It deserves to be savoured and its effects maximized. So how is this to be done? Try the following:
- Go for a long walk and take photos of everything you see that is quintessentially spring – crocuses, snowdrops, those little purple flowers that I don’t know the name of, robins, frolicking ducks, buds on trees. Enjoy the process and then put the photos anywhere you can to enjoy them on a regular basis.
- Challenge yourself and commit to spending at least 30 minutes outside each day. Enjoy the smells, sights, and sounds, and feel good knowing you proactively made the best of Spring, without it passing in the blink of an eye.
- Clean your house – declutter, go through old papers, scrub grouting, polish the tiles and tubs, sweep under, behind, and around things, wash winter quilts and jackets and blankets and prepare them for winter storage, donate old clothes, socks, or clothes you never wear – spend a few hours and turn your home into that uncluttered castle you deserve. A fresh and spacious home is ready for the energy of Spring.
- While you are in cleaning mode, spring clean your pantry, too. Warmer weather
and longer days mean more energy and more activities that require better fuel for our bodies, and also, in many cases, fewer clothes. Embrace the lightness and the change in the air and make a commitment to yourself to try some new fuel options: green smoothies, recipes with more vegetables, more raw foods, fresh produce from farmers’ markets, fewer processed foods, etc.
- Open your windows – indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air quality, so while the weather is divinely clement, open up those winders and let the beautiful breeze in. Enjoy the sounds of the neighbourhood that come wafting through.
- If you want to feel really good and be an active member of society, put on some gloves, grab a garbage bag/recycling bag, and engage in your own neighbourhood clean-up. Go to your favourite park, or just clean up around your own home. This is the season when, snow having melted, we realize just how much crap the snow was covering. Let’s get rid of this crap so that when the blossoms come, our environs can look really beautiful and be free of ironing boards and pop bottles and old socks and whatever other randomness people think they should dispose of by a river pathway instead of responsibly recycling, donating, or putting in the garbage.
- Re-acquaint yourself with what grows when and take full advantage of your access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Here in Ontario, the return of Spring means the start of a new growing season. First rhubarb and asparagus (the shoots), then the lettuce and greens (the leaves) and then tomatoes and so on (the fruits and seeds). Google seasonal produce or grab a farmers’ market chart. Get excited. Pick your new summer canning or preserve recipes. Put your farmers’ market bags by the door. Make space in your freezer and learn about preserving. Take some time to prepare yourself for the fruit and vegetable magic that is en route so you can take full advantage of it.
- Check/replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm if
you didn’t already do this with the daylight savings time change. This one doesn’t seem overly sexy, but carbon monoxide is pretty awful. I figure, any reminder to check the batteries is a good idea.
- Think about a way you can put something green in a pot, water it, and watch it grow. Clean out your pots, sweep your deck, till your garden, sign up for a community garden plot, scope out the neighbour’s plot that you secretly plan to plant in at night, whatever. In my experience, most plants really want to grow. You don’t need a special green thumb – some water, some good soil, holes in the bottom of your pot for drainage, and, if you want to take it to the next level, some good quality fertilizer every now and again (like worm castings tea, or something similarly organic and sustainable), and you are well on your way to supporting good air quality and more green living things in the world.
- Limber up and stretch your body out to avoid injuries. Spring and summer activities are en route. Try to avoid that slow pitch injury or the quadricep pain from tearing around on your bicycle after a sedentary winter (or perhaps not at all sedentary, but not involving copious amounts of outdoor cycling) and devise a stretching regime that covers your major muscles/body parts: hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, hip flexors, triceps, biceps, shoulders, upper back, lower back, neck, wrists, ankles. Stretch these out while watching TV or whenever you think of it. A little advance prep now will get you ready for your summer of biking or hiking or soccer or kayaking and keep you injury-free.
- Make a quick gratitude list and check in with your goals. Shift into positive thinking for Spring by taking stock of your life as it is and noting the things you are grateful for right now. Mine include my cats and sweet potatoes and rhubarb and blue skies. Also, remember that resolutions aren’t just for January. I make lists and new goals all the time. There are sheets of paper all over my place! Check in with any goals you made in January – are they still relevant? Do you want to make any changes? Add any new goals? Give your life’s direction a little check to see if any nudges need to be made to keep you on your charted course or if you are ready to traverse new waters.
Following any or all of these steps will get you ready for a fabulous Spring.
Enjoy the season!
© 2014 Backyard Owl