By Integrative health coach, lifestyle journalist and Yoga teacher, Rosie Underwood.
Spring is so beautiful in that it's full of the promise of new beginnings, but more often than not, as the seasons initially transition, our bodies work harder to keep up with the frequent changes that mother nature throws at us, and it’s important that we address our own bio-individual needs as the weather fluctuates.
We all know that as much as change is highly beneficial to all of us, it can be challenging. There are a few alterations we need to consider to aid the transition our bodies experience when the seasons shift, in order for our bodies and minds to feel the full benefits. Below are ways to support your body in its natural process to maintain balance.
Be patient with your fluctuating mood.
I know for me, living in the UK, I’ll experience a literal spring in my step as cherry blossoms line the streets and the days become longer, the bird song becomes so prominent and the spring sunshine has a beautiful crisp edge to it. Fast forward 24 hours and horizontal rain and gale force winds have forced the blossom and magnolia to make a dramatic, premature exit from branches to the ground, and my floral spring wardrobe gets swapped out for something a little more Nordic, all within hours. This can really affect my mood! Embrace the change, but practice non-attachment to an outcome. Be present and the change will become a little more fluid.
Constitution and condition
We’ve all heard of nature versus nurture, but there’s actually a lot more at play when it comes to our own unique needs when the seasons start to change. Consider this, your constitution was made up for you before birth. It’s your genetics, your physical DNA and your mental, emotional, and spiritual DNA. Now consider the time of year your mother was pregnant with you. Was her pregnancy predominantly throughout the winter months? If so, she was more likely to have been consuming more hearty, warming meals, versus lighter, slightly more expansive refreshing meals we crave in the warmer months. This all contributes to your future. Nothing is random. You have a different sense of yourself depending on the time of year you were born, which means when we’re earth-side, we all fruit in different seasons.
Tune in to tune out
Really take time to get to know yourself. Our body has a very physical language, and it’ll start communicating with you, just as nature starts to blossom back into life. In order to find out what we need, get quiet, breathe into the diaphragm, rise with the sun and tune in to tune out. This way your routine will shift organically. You’ll deconstruct a craving as opposed to acting out of habit, which means your diet and lifestyle will organically shift with your new, expansive spring needs.
Keep moving outside
We’re stepping into the Yang, sun energy, but ease yourself in. I believe all imbalances are a result of a disconnect from mother nature herself, so as soon as the days get a little longer and warmer, I move my exercise outside as often as possible. Start slowly so your body can get reacclimated to changing terrain and weather, and as often as you can, kick your shoes off and connect the soles of your feet to the ground. Know that your exercise inclinations will change all the time, because mother nature is quite literally shifting and changing herself.
Remember, certain foods help the body meet season-specific needs. Heavy foods in winter put a strain on our liver, our bodies’ main detoxifier, so I use this time of year to consume sour foods like grapefruit, and drink plenty of lemon water first thing each morning to stimulate and alkalise the liver. Enjoy the abundance of fresh foods that are starting to be available. Eat mindfully, avoid watching TV when eating as you emotionally digest what you see.
Suddenly the evening’s last as long as our once winter days, and as much as more light is always welcome after darkness, the change can physically have us feeling run down initially. This is because our sleep cycles get disrupted as the daylight interferes with our production of the sleep hormone melatonin. But don’t fear, our bodies just take a little bit of time to adjust our sleep wake cycles to match the new season patterns, and that timing is often out of sync with mother nature. But we naturally get back in sync once we recognise the elements that are affecting our sleep, like not darkening down and forgoing sleep to catch up on tasks. Just always make your shut eye a priority, and you’ll get that spring excitement back in no time.
Look good, feel better
Once we’re through the initial transitions, we gain the boundless energy we envisioned for spring, and coming out of our semi-hibernative states means that we want to look as good as we feel. Come spring, I’m outside a lot more, so my hair needs more protection from the elements, whilst maintaining and giving it an extra boost of colour, shine, and volume. I wash my hair at this time with Rahua Color Full™ Shampoo & Conditioner and I use Voluminous Dry Shampoo and Voluminous Spray for a refresher. When I want to rock some beachy waves, I use Control Cream which has a light hold that keeps curls bouncy. It’s so reassuring to know that what I put on my hair as the season’s shift, comes from the Earth itself.
Remember that progress is impossible without change, and true intelligence and strength is the ability to adapt to shifts and changes on this planet, big or small. If the past year is anything to go by, every single one of you (yes, you) have done an incredible job of adapting and overcoming. Spring will welcome you with open arms, just be at the ready to receive it.