Spring: The Season for a Fresh Start
By: Jen McWaters, Psy.D. | April 20, 2018
Renewal, rebirth, and regrowth: these are words commonly associated with Spring. All begin with the prefix “re,” which means “again,” “is back,” or signals repetition. Spring, therefore, is a season of action, to redo or begin again.
For me, Spring compels me to enjoy the outside and nature more and to feel reenergized. For many of us, however, Spring can also overwhelm with pressure to make ourselves motivated and radically productive. Spring cleaning anyone? In fact, we can get so caught up in doing and deadlines that we miss out on what this season offers us. So, before jumping into that big project or beating yourself up for feeling unmotivated, take a moment to notice the beauty, new life, and energy that springtime brings. I propose that we mindfully reclaim Spring.
I love that I can hear birds chirping in the morning outside my window as they busily build their nests every year at this time. I relish the outside with the feeling of sun on my bare skin as the weather warms and days get longer. These moments give me pause, notice, and awareness of what’s around me. These moments reenergize me. They make me want to do more and grow, not out of guilt but out of gratitude.
How can you reclaim your Spring? Here are some simple ideas to start your renewal:
Do a Mindful Walk
Go outdoors without any distractions such as pets or phones. Take 5-10 minutes to notice the sights, sounds, smells, and textures around you. If your walk follows a familiar route, identify the changes that springtime brings such as new blooms, fragrances, insects, and colors.
Find a Peaceful Spot
Find a peaceful spot to sit outdoors and take a mindful minute to close your eyes. Take 5 deep breaths slowly. Focus your mind on Spring sounds such children playing, the breeze, or the birds as you slow your breathing and calm your mind.
Prioritize Your To-do List
If you are the productive spring-cleaning type, list your to-do activities by importance while thoughtfully thinking through which tasks would energize or fulfill you the most. Then, as you accomplish those tasks, be mindful to take breaks and schedule enjoyable, non-task-oriented activities to create balance.
It’s easy to get caught up in feeling pressured to complete the tasks you’ve put off all winter. If it’s helpful to you, by all means, capitalize on the energy of the Spring season and take advantage of this time! For most of us, bringing a mindful, purposeful focus to our to-do list will not only make us feel accomplished — and probably relieved — but also help our confidence and determination to grow in this season of renewal.