Spring is finally upon us, and many people take time during this season to do a thorough spring cleaning of their house. While cleaning your space and getting rid of material things you don’t need is a great idea, what about cleaning out our spiritual house? Today’s post will introduce some simple ways we can clean out stagnant energy in our minds, bodies, and environment to greet the new season with a sense of freshness and clarity.
Start a healthy morning ritual
If you’ve already got one, consider adding or changing something. So many of us roll out of bed with our alarm and plunge headfirst into our daily responsibilities. Taking time for yourself in the morning can help set the tone for your entire day.
I have a toddler who wakes up at about 6:30. In order to get my alone time, I set my alarm for 5am and get up to do yoga followed by a few minutes of reading devotionals, then I write a short gratitude list. I work from home, so my schedule is more flexible than many. But even including a short, guided meditation, reading something that inspires you for a few minutes while you enjoy your coffee or tea, or some quick stretching can change the trajectory of your day, as you are intentionally creating peaceful space.
The activity/activities you choose here can be just about anything. The idea is that you set aside time in the morning for yourself to find your center and arise from this peaceful place to start your day.
Fasting can be a powerful spiritual practice and can also help rid our bodies of toxins. Essentially, fasting is eliminating or greatly reducing food intake for a specific period of time. Fasting is common to just about every major religion and has proven health benefits.
Although fasting is typically fine for a healthy adult, you should always talk with your doctor before starting. Another method is intermittent fasting, which involves eating only during a pre-determined timeframe.
If you are thinking of trying fasting, do a little research on the different methods to see what might work best for you, and carve out a timeframe and plan that is realistic and obtainable.
Fasting is a deeply personal act, and there is no one-size-fits-all method. The idea is to deprive our bodies of food so our energy is directed toward our spirituality and intuition.
With intention, fasting can result in health benefits such as reduced cholesterol, as well as spiritual benefits such as a renewed sense of clarity, purpose, and direction.
Make time to appreciate nature
For those of us living in the Midwest, the winters can get long. REALLY long. We spend more time indoors, everything outside is temporarily brown and stagnant, and we move our bodies less. When spring comes, we start to see trees budding, green grass poking through, and birds chirping.
This is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of some type of ecotherapy, or the practice of being in nature for healing purposes. There are so many mental and physical health benefits of spending time in nature. Here are just a few of them!
- Reduced stress; sunlight helps reduce cortisol and adrenaline (the stress hormones)
- Improved mood; sunlight boosts serotonin production in the brain (the “feel-good” hormone)
- Increased exercise; in general, people move their bodies when they’re outside at a significantly higher rate than when indoors
- Improved sleep; exposure to sunlight during the day is associated with a more regular, predictable circadian rhythm, resulting in better sleep.
This can really look like whatever you want it to. Make a commitment to take your dog for a walk every day. Grab a friend and go for a hike somewhere you love or pick a new place to explore.
Take your meditation or yoga practice outside and ditch the earbuds for the sounds of nature.
If you have a particular outdoor hobby like kayaking or fishing, get out and do it as soon as you can, even if the weather isn’t exactly perfect yet. When it gets warmer, go to a beach and let yourself soak up some of the sunlight’s beneficial rays.
The goal is to get your body outside and moving, taking advantage of the plethora of health benefits Mother Nature has to offer, both physical and emotional. Even just a few minutes a day can have lasting effects, if done with consistency.
Start a journal and write in it every day, or as often as you can
Journaling has incredible therapeutic benefits and can also be a great way to purge your thoughts, expelling their energy at the same time. Journaling is non-specific; you don’t have to write about anything in particular; sometimes just jotting down your thoughts as they come is the best way to clear your head.
Other ideas are to write a gratitude list, or a simple to-do list or schedule to outline your day. You could read an article, quote or affirmation and jot down your thoughts about it, much like you would a book review.
Try this simple writing exercise to start your day with gratitude and intention! First write something you want to focus on for the day, whether it be a particular task or state of mind; it can really be anything! Then write down something you want to let go of, such as anxiety or anger. Finally, write down three things you are grateful for.
I will focus on: _______________
I will let go of: _______________
I am grateful for: 1) _________________, 2)________________, 3)________________
Start a yoga practice!
The benefits of having a regular yoga practice are practically endless. The physical aspect of yoga does wonders for the overall health of our bodies, but the mental benefits are of equal importance. With consistent practice, yoga can help calm our bodies and minds, and allow us to approach life with a sense of peace and clarity.
Whether you’re an experienced yogi or have never stepped foot on a mat, we have a class for you at Inspiring Actions. We make it easy to get started by offering seven free days of yoga for newcomers! We also offer Yoga 101 which is a four-week introductory series to experience the benefits of yoga. Aside from asana (the physical postures of yoga) we offer a mindfulness meditation class, sound healing, somatic movement classes, and so much more. Check out our full list of classes here!
The theme with all of these spiritual spring-cleaning methods is self-care, taking time to appreciate and nurture your body and mind. Adding even one of these methods to your life this spring will no doubt improve your life, but these are certainly not the only options. Find something that makes you feel refreshed and renews your appreciation for life. If that happens to be yoga, we’d love to see you at Inspiring Actions Yoga Studio!