As human beings, we're not only part of nature, we are nature.
Just like other animals and plants in an ecosystem, we're biologically programmed to respond, reflect and change with the patterns of nature. We follow the sun and moon for sleep and wake cycles, and our movement, shelter, daily activities and diet are regulated by the changing landscape and seasons.
So much of this natural human behaviour has been disrupted - as has nature - by the systems, machines and tools we've created to override our environment.
One of the things I love about Spring is the undeniable nod back to our instinctive nature.
You'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't feel uplifted by Spring energy. Even the most lethargic among us feel more momentum, potential, a desire to move forward, to cleanse, clear and make way for something new.
The best example of this is in the plant world. The clearing of land, turning of soil and addition of light and nutrients paves the way for new growth; shoots, buds and flowers are bursting forth wherever you look.
Every one of us has that same natural essence. Here are some ways you can tap into it...
1. Rise with the sun and follow it through the day.
This works all year round but feels easier in spring because you're likely to wake naturally with the early morning light. Let this first light be absorbed by the retina of the eye as well as your skin. This has a profound impact on sleep cycles, helping regulate the sleep hormone melatonin and the calming neurotransmitter serotonin (1). Healthy mood and energy also require Vitamin D, and we know sunlight is the best source. Take in that Spring sun throughout the day to assist sleep, mood and energy. Once the light is gone, nod your head like a flower - it's time to rest.
2. Move more. In many ways.
During winter, circulation, digestion and energy wind down. Come Spring, they need a boost, and movement helps all three. Walk, run, swim dance - whatever you like. Twists, folds, lunges and side bends are great as they support lymphatic flow and circulation. This combination helps remove stagnant waste built up in the body over Winter. Whole body movements that increase your heart rate also boost circulation, increasing flow of blood and nutrients to the peripheries of your body which may have received less during the colder months.
3. Eat lighter foods.
Nature will provide more of these and you're likely to seek them too. Spring delivers asparagus, radish, artichoke, fennel, multiple varieties of lettuce and green beans. Berries, melons, papaya, kiwis and citrus fruits are in abundance as well. That's excellent because after winter, the digestive function needs a push. Natural digestive enzymes in kiwi, papaya and citrus fruits are fantastic. Likewise, we need to release metabolic waste that may stuck after the stillness of winter. Fennel, asparagus, lettuce and artichoke are amazing for this.
4. Eat more cleansing foods and drinks; greens and herbs.
Cleansing is an instinctive desire in Spring. Some foods listed above are excellent as noted. Adding specific cleansing nutrients to food and drinks will increase this. Herbs are amazing. Parsley, coriander (cilantro), mint and dill are beautiful at this time of year. Add some green to your drinks! I love adding a bit of aloe vera juice or chlorophyll to water. Chlorella and spirulina are great cleansing add-ins for smoothies. All of these are easily available at health food stores or look for them at Goodness Me and get your 10% discount here.
5. Add cleansing activities.
Boost the effect of each step above with sauna - traditional or infra red. As you actively move, eat and drink to cleanse, sauna will amplify the effect by enabling a clear pathway to release the waste you're starting to liberate. It increases the movement of through the body and its excretion out through the skin.
6. Shed some skin.
If you're doing all of the above, you'll want to pay some attention to the skin too. With or without the sweat effect, you will release toxins via your skin. Equally, after winter, the skin is likely to be dry and carrying a layer of dead cells and debris already cleared by the body. Get out the loofah, dry mitts or salt scrub and give your skin a rub down. If you're actively cleansing or detoxing, do this every 3-4 days while cleansing and weekly afterwards.
Follow the steps and you'll be bright, shiny and brand spanking new for the Spring season!
Want to make a Spring Change? Try my 7 Day Spring Cleanse...
Blume C, Garbazza C, Spitschan M. Effects of light on human circadian rhythms, sleep and mood. Somnologie (Berl). 2019 Sep;23(3):147-156. doi: 10.1007/s11818-019-00215-x. Epub 2019 Aug 20. PMID: 31534436; PMCID: PMC6751071.