Embracing Spring During a Pandemic
May 14, 2020
There’s nothing quite like springtime. Those long days filled with warm air, blooming buds and fragrant aromas. But earlier this year, as we headed into a new decade filled with optimism, we never could have foreseen the place our world would be in today. And we never could have imagined that looking ahead to rebirth and sunnier days would become such an unprecedented imperative.
As we continue to stay home during the spring equinox and potentially well into summer, we’re trying our best to redefine what this season means to us. We may not be planning our summer vacations, but we can still use this time at home, away from our normal routines, to reboot our health and mindset. For ways to nurture self-growth and flourish during the change of seasons amidst Coronavirus, read on.
We started off the new year with some serious health goals, but extreme routines can quickly lead to burnout. Try pairing that with a pandemic (ha!). Our bodies hold energy, anxiety and trauma, and so often we go through life ignoring what they are telling us. When we’re feeling uncertain and overwhelmed, we might just want to veg out and carb overload. And hey, that's fine to do for a little while! But micro workouts and healthy snacks are great to consider at this time. As in nature, the body’s metabolism responds well to small, incremental changes in the amount of energy it receives. Just as the first flowers begin to peek above the surface of the ground as the days get longer and longer, our energy is best boosted by smaller, more frequent intervals. Spring doesn’t happen all at once. We must give ourselves time to grow. It’s important that we be gentle and patient – eating nourishing foods, sleeping well, breathing and meditating as much as possible. Our bodies and minds will thank us later.
One day at a time.
How we spend each day matters most, and it's important to do our best to find efficient and healthy ways to process our emotions. We’re often motivated by rapid bursts of creativity or inspiration, but it’s the small steps we initiate at the start of every morning that truly add up, improve our lives and make the new season more sustainable. A growing vine will make incremental moves each and every day, twisting and turning to greet the sunrise. For spring, we’re giving goals and expectations a reset by breaking them down and taking small, baby steps. The key is to take pride in the progress, not just the final outcome. We must try our best to not get caught up in the pandemic panic, where we lose our perspective and fixate on fear. Staying in the present moment and taking each day as a new start is essential.
Many of us partake in an annual or biannual practice of cleaning out our closets -- taking stock of what we have, what we actually need and what we can give away. This process is both physical and mental, for in doing so, we consciously reexamine our routines and habits and create space for new experiences. Given the extra hours we're spending at home, now is a special time to excavate. Are there patterns that no longer serve us? How can we brighten our spaces to reflect where we are today vs. where we were when we first set them up? Are there items we can give away to others who need them more than we do? What can we do to enhance the quality of our home life? The act of cleansing our hearth and mind is a powerful tool for setting new intentions. Fresh perspectives encourage openness and new opportunities for change.
It’s only normal that we are impacted by these tough times, but it’s important to learn how to care for our spirit and make our emotional and mental health a priority. Finding things that lift us up and bring us pleasure like walking outside and being in nature, listening to music and dancing, hugging our children and our pets – these are things that restore our soul and bring us genuine joy. Spring may feel like it’s passing quickly before our eyes, but beneath the surface, roots are gradually finding fertile soil. As with Mother Nature, we too must give ourselves time and patience to grow. This is the perfect opportunity to reset and refine goals for the current season and the ones to come.
"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." - Ralph Waldo Emerson