Posted by & filed under Stress.

spring-276014_640Although the outdoors may not exactly feel like it yet, spring is just around the corner. I know I’m not the only one looking forward to the promise of a fresh season of gentle warmth and signs of new life all around. The natural world is winding up to push bright, vibrant new growth from those bush and tree branches that for months have looked dull or even dead.

How about taking a cue from Mother Nature?

Much of the same sense of renewal, growth, and rising activity can—and should!—be at work in you this spring. The dawn of this season is the perfect time to take a look at where you are and where you want to be, both physically and spiritually.

What do you see in your life? Are you overdue for some rejuvenation? Most of us could benefit from a bit of internal “spring cleaning.” A few changes in your wellness habits, mindset, or approach could be just what you need.

 

1. Mind your qi.

In Chinese medicine, qi (pronounced “chee”) is the living force that pulses within every part of the universe—including us. Your qi is your life essence. Qi drives your physical being but also is reflected as stability, tranquility, and wellbeing in your emotional and spiritual life.

Ancient tradition teaches that spring is the season when qi does its most important job along the liver meridian. The liver is at work constantly replenishing the body’s systems, but in the spring it’s responsible also for preparing you for new growth and renewed activity.

You can optimize your liver’s—and your whole body’s—ability to keep up with this vital “housekeeping” in two important ways. The first is something you’ve heard me mention before: a seasonal food-based detox. The second: Reduce your stress levels.

A little regular “me time” is a simple way to release your anxiety, clear your mind, lift your mood, and free your spirit. Whatever form it takes for you—yoga, journaling, music, or just being alone in a calm space for quiet contemplation—make the conscious choice to respect and nurture yourself. Stress relief will naturally follow.

And speaking of reducing stress…

 

2. Tidy your environment.

architectural-224243_640Is your home a safe haven, or is it full of reminders of unfinished business, such as unread mail and magazines, half-done hobbies, or past shortcomings, like that drawer full of workout clothes you’ve never worn?

Clutter is more than a decorating concern. Accumulated “stuff” can make us feel overwhelmed and inadequate. Worse, too many mementos of times past or relationships that have ended can hold us hostage in a “what if” world, preventing us from embracing the forward movement of a life of growth. In short, excess adds more layers of stress.

Chaotic, crowded spaces leave precious little room for YOU. Your ideal environment is one that invites you to relax and be your most inspired, talented, clear-thinking self.

I think you know what you need to do. Start small, with a 10-minute time limit and just one messy area….go! I promise, the sense of freedom and accomplishment you’ll get from tossing or donating what you don’t need is well worth the effort.

 

3. And don’t stop at “stuff.”

I know some of you must be saying, “I’m organized. I can skip that step.”

Maybe you look around and don’t see visible evidence of excess, but if you’re plagued by a low but persistent sense of anxiety or dissatisfaction, then I beg to differ.

relax-583374_640It’s time to take spring cleaning past the physical spaces to root out the detritus collecting in the corners of our mental and emotional worlds. For example,

  • Do you have a persistent source of worry in your life?
  • Do you feel your stress level rise whenever you enter a particular familiar place?
  • Have you repeatedly dismissed a longtime dream until “later”?
  • Do you keep a schedule that’s rigid and unforgiving?
  • Does some person in your life claim an unreasonable share of your energy and emotion or belittle your personal choices?
  • Does the work you do satisfy your talents and interests and feed your soul—or at least leave you with enough time to experience those important intangibles during your non-work hours?

You see, “clutter” isn’t just knickknacks on the mantle. Places, situations, and—sad to say—even people can overload our thoughts and feelings, leading to a constant, low-level stress reaction. Sometimes, restoring your sense of balance means making tough choices. But consciously removing yourself from the influence of a negative element is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

An open, forward-thinking mindset can propel you to take on important changes this season—and provide vital momentum that just may keep you energized for months to come. Need a hand finding your starting point? That’s what I’m here for. Call me at 212-686-0939. I’d be honored to help!

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