How to ‘Spring Clean’ your energy, for a lighter brighter you
We can all relate to that feeling during winter, of wanting to snuggle up in your doona and sleep in. Our energy levels are lower and some days our instinct is to hide away from the world.
Well, we should trust these instincts! We are intrinsically connected to nature and the seasons, and they have a big impact on how we feel and behave. Ask any midwife the effect of the full moon on a sudden burst of new babies arriving – or think about how upliing those warm summer rays feel on your skin. The levels of light changing with the seasons impacts our hormones and in turn our moods.
So what happens when we move into spring, and how does this shift affect us ?
Springtime brings new life, and represents new beginnings. We are generally more energised with the boost in sunshine, sleep less, and want to celebrate and connect more. Research has shown that birth rates are highest in Spring – not unlike all the other busy animals at this time.
We have a tendency to forget that we too are animals and if the seasons have such a strong influence on their patterns – think hibernation, migration, mating, they would surely drive some of our innate behaviours too. So let’s nurture an awareness of these changes and find a way to tap into the power of spring.
Here are four great focusses for maximising your ‘Spring Awakening’ to emerge from your winter cocoon, your brightest butterfly yet!
In winter we are drawn to foods that are easy to break down and turn into fuel. We are naturally programmed to conserve energy and ‘insulate’ ourselves when seasonally our resources would have been less – they don’t call it the ‘cocooning’ season for nothing! It’s also our me for rest and recharge. This ‘hibernation’ can slow down our internal functions, leaving us feeling sluggish, and the constant bale against colds and flus res our lymphatic system, one of our best waste removers. Spring, therefore, is the perfect me for a good ‘ole detox.
You’ve probably heard about the benefits of bier foods (think dark leafy greens and citrus fruits) for an effective internal cleanse – but have you heard about these two surprising cleansing aids? Both of which help us to break down food more effectively and clear waste!
DARK CHOCOLATE, rich in Polyphenols which help promote good gut munching bacteria.
RED WINE, ripe with flavonoids which simulate our digestive enzymes.
Personally I would much rather indulge in these (all in the name of health right?!)
A GOOD BODY SCRUB or skin brush gets our circulation and lymphatic systems going (and sloughs away dull winter skin at the same time) but an even easier trick is simply TURNING OFF THE HOT WATER at the end of your shower. Super effective – and not just for your circulation. A cold shower can boost immunity, calorie burning (by activating our brown fat cells) and A Virginian medical school even demonstrated that cold water sends more electrical impulses to the brain which had an uplifting effect on sufferers of depression. Oh and did I mention it will well and truly leave you with a spring (!) in your step, even before your morning coffee!
Energetically, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the element for Spring is WOOD which is linked to the gallbladder and the liver. So detoxing is not just about revitalising dull skin and cleansing our insides, but also clearing out stagnant energy in our bodies. Here are a few ways to clean up and make way for your vibrant new self.
‘SPRING’ CLEAN YOUR SPACE! Open up those windows and let in the light. You’ll feel all the beer for it. MOVE THE FURNITURE to shift the energy of a room or put up some new pictures to get a fresh vibe in your home. COLOURS that are energizing and uplifting for the spring season are;
Yellow, a Fresh green or some Cheery sky blue. A trick to finding the aesthetic balance with colour is repeating the same colour three mes in the space. Some ideas could be a big bowl of lemons, a new coastal blue cushion or a lovely seasonal plant.
Don’t forget that internal mind cluer too! A great p I learnt at a presentation by a buddhist monk was to imagine your mind like a white board. Every little thing going on in your head is joed up there and sometimes we need to rub off anything that is not essential or important, that way we can clearly see what we need to be focussing on without distraction. Imagine yourself MENTALLY WIPING YOUR WHITEBOARD CLEAN.
You can also balance your energy with some HOLISTIC BODY WORK. Massage and Reiki are both wonderful modalities for shifting stagnant energy, letting go of tension and pain – both physical and emotional, and resetting your body. The therapeutic touch in both practices is deeply restorative and nice and relaxing to boot. See my link at the end for some special deals on Reiki and Lomilomi sessions this Spring.
If Winter is the night then Spring is the morning. If winter is all about waing – Spring is all about doing! Now that you’ve cleared the slate it’s the perfect me to set some intentions. You are at your most productive with the peak energy levels that come with spring . Use this vitality to motivate yourself to create new goals that support your growth and expansion.
Spring also represents rebirth and holds a promise of hope and new beginnings so seize the moment to START A NEW HOBBY. Any activity that incorporates meeting new people is ideal, as this is a me for reconnecting with others. In light of COVID and our current situation, you may need to get a lile more creative with this, but there are options out there. Stepping outside your comfort zone or exploring new ideas can be inspiring and you may find something new that reignites you.
In TCM the Liver and gallbladder are linked to decision making so it’s a good moment to CLARIFY WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU. Is there something that’s taking your energy that you need to let go of? Or something important to your progress that you have been pung off? Now’s the time to ‘EAT THE TOAD’! Conquer that tricky hurdle so you can reach new heights. Spring is all about empowerment.
WANT TO BOOST YOUR CREATIVITY AND MOTIVATION? Here’s an effective and delicious essential oil blend to either diffuse, pop on a tissue and inhale, or add to a carrier oil for a uplifting massage.
- 2 drops of Mandarin (creativity and mood boosting)
- 2 drops of Atlas Cedarwood (strengthening and calming)
- 2 drops of Bergamot (supports the nervous system and lifts stagnation)
*Citrus oils can have a photosensitive impact on skin, so be conscious of using topically before heading out in the sun.
Get back to Nature
Physically and energetically we may still be depleted from winter and this transion me demands some balance and recharge. With the warmer weather the great outdoors beckons and is the ideal remedy for low energy.
SHINRIN YOKU is a term coined by the Japanese that literally means ‘Forest Bathing’. With many of us living in the city we can become out of touch with the natural world around us. We all know going for a hike can be great for our wellbeing but studies have shown just by standing in the forest and breathing in the chemicals and smells released by the plants around us, we can actually lower cortisol levels, blood pressure and even boost our immunity. Even if you aren’t in the mood for a big walk just going and standing amongst the trees and taking some deep breaths will do you good.
If you really want to maximise the benefits of nature while you’re out there in the forest or connecting with the cycle of life in your garden – take off your shoes!
GROUNDING (or Earthing) is a therapeutic buzz term at the moment, and it’s all about electrically reconnecting you to the earth. It can be as simple as walking barefoot in the grass, sand or dirt, lying down on the ground, or swimming in the ocean. Studies have shown that the electrical charges from the earth can have positive, restorative effects on our bodies, such as:
- Reducing inflammation
- Lowering blood pressure
- Boosting circulation
- and even promoting healing.
Nurture your soul
If we look again at our WOOD element in TCM, We’ve learnt that it links to the liver and to decision making, but it also represents the emotion of Anger. These emotions are not seen as a negative, but as something to understand/acknowledge and either release or balance. By recognising where our anger is generang from we can gain insight on what’s going on in our bodies and our hearts. We can then channel this passionate energy into something more positive or creative. As this is the season for growth energetically it’s the perfect me for unlocking feelings we’ve been holding onto and redirecting our flow.
In Ayurveda (one of the world’s oldest holistic health systems) Spring is all about THE HEART CHAKRA. Our Anahata energy centre links to the colour green, forgiveness and compassion.
In Hawaiian spiritual wisdom our energy centre is in our heart. A beautiful Molokai (or teaching tale) shares the metaphor that our life force or soul is like a ‘BOWL OF LIGHT’. Negative experiences or emotions become a stone added to that bowl, weighing it down and blocking out the light. But we only need to simply ‘turn over’ our bowl to release the stones and replenish that light.
Sometimes renewal and release is about perception, compassion and nurturing ourselves. We don’t have to hold onto anger, drama or pain. We have the power in our hearts to release them, take a deep breath and choose to live with love and light.
There are many ways you can open and connect with your heart Chakra this Spring:
- An act of compassion
- A big hug with a loved one
- Meditation focussed on this Energy centre
- Some ShinRin Yoku and a smile
- A Reiki or Lomilomi or other bodywork therapy focussed on energy balancing and healing
- or even a nice simple affirmation like this one from zannakeithley.com
‘I Radiate pure love, light and positivity.’
Well I’ve definitely convinced myself creang this blog that it’s me to dance in the forest with my shoes off, whilst drinking red wine, eang chocolate and singing my heart out to spring!
Go and live your best life. Every day is a bright new beginning.
Erin Gordon is a Lomilomi and Reiki Practitioner. She loves Aromatherapy, nature and adventure and has a passion for inspiring and nurturing others to feel good in their bodies, mind and soul.