Seasonal changes bring changes to our bodies. Just like the environment is affected, so are you. I know these healthy changes are easy to overlook in the climate-controlled environments we live in, but they matter.
Once I started paying attention to the impact of the seasonal changes, I realized that my cravings and exhaustion, and “symptoms” were often a product of providing the wrong things in the wrong season.
Honestly, these simple lifestyle changes have significantly changed my health and energy levels. Which makes sense when we look at the impact of seasonality on our biology—over one-quarter of our DNA changes to meet the seasons.
Spring is a time when insulin sensitivity rises, and your body’s detox pathways rev up to do some deep cleaning. Just like you might find the urge to spring clean your house, your body has the same drive inside. Working to shed excess weight and toxins stored through the winter months and prepare you for the high-energy days of summer.
You can use this to your advantage by changing up some of your daily rhythms. Living in tune with the seasons means you’ll create a better energetic flow, increasing your metabolism, reset your hormones and feel alive and energized.
Here are 15 healthy changes to make for spring.
1. Wake up with the sun
The days start to get longer and longer as the sun stays out later. Most of our bodies’ biological patterns work based on the cycle of the sun. Meaning, we are most accustomed to sleeping when it is dark and waking when it is light.
As the days get longer, so can your days. Aim to wake-up earlier, creating a morning routine you enjoy. Set a goal to get up by 6:00 am every day (or most) this spring.
2. Eat Smaller Meals
I don’t want to confuse this with restriction or deprivation because eating less and restricting more are two separate mindset shifts. One is for good, and one isn’t.
Of course, you want to eat for energy, but under-eating in the spring can be energizing. As the Japanese culture calls this, hara hachi bu, which instructs you to stop eating when your belly is 80 percent full. Eat less this season.
3. Practice Dry Brushing
Spring is always about shedding the old and energizing the new. Dry brushing is a quick and efficient way to rejuvenate your skin. Getting rid of the dead skip and mobilizing the lymphatic fluid under your skin to enhance your immune system. Learn how to dry brush here and incorporate this three-minute beauty trend before you hop in the shower.
4. Moisturize Your Skin
Winter is one of the most drying seasons, next to spring, which can come with intense wind sucking the moisture right out of your body. Make sure you keep your skin moisturized.
Whether you massage a basic cooking oil like olive oil into your skin (oh yes, it can be great) or you use an oil-based lotion – keep your skin moisturized to support your body.
5. Branch Out with Essential oils
Spring is a time your body does the deep healing work, which means it’s also a time to energize and revive it, and aromatherapy can do just that. What’s interesting about essential oils is they carry a high vibrational energy, supporting the body in powerful ways.
So mix up a blend, or rub some on your shoulders or temples to feel the energy. Try using lemon, lavender, peppermint, or sage to boost your energy this spring.
6. Nettles Tea
Herbals teas of any kind are healing, but nettles tea is specifically beneficial for spring. Nettles are packed with nutrients that contain anti-inflammatory properties and support metabolism. There are many ways to use it, but I prefer to brew it in tea.
Steep 2 tablespoons nettles leaf in two cups water and let sit for 4-6 hours or overnight. Strain and enjoy.
7. Eat Lighter and Dry Foods
You could say eat seasonal, fresh foods. But a good rule of thumb is to move away from the heavy, oily foods and eat drier and lighter foods that are easier to digest. Heavy foods can be more difficult to digest, causing excess bloating. In the spring, eat more salads, rice bowls, and broth-based soups. Think lean and green.
8. Skip Caffeine
Caffeine is a subject of debate or controversy, but I still fall on the side that caffeine can slow your detox pathways. While it may not have drastic effects, it can cause congestion of toxins that leads to energy being channeled in an unhealthy direction. If you can, skip the caffeine during the spring months or at least cutback.
9. Start a fasting rhythm
Fasting is one of the most healing practices we have. There are multiple ways to practice fasting, whether a prolonged fast, liquid fast, or intermittent fasting. Anyway you swing it fasting is a great practice for spring.
10. Put honey on it
It may be surprising to see sugar on this list, but honey has extra soothing digestive properties. As your digestive system changes over from digesting heavy, dense, and oily foods of winter to needing lighter foods, it can feel extra firey. Honey is a great calming aid and has also been shown to support gut bacteria. It may even help with your seasonal allergies
11. Move Your Body
You may be feeling a craving for some more intense work after a restful slow winter. Use the boost of energy you get in the spring to change up your workouts, adding some intensity to them. Moving your body should be non-negotiable. But what type of movement can change based on how you feel.
12. Get Rid of Stuff
Our bodies and minds are looking to lighten the heaviness that comes from winter. Whether you’ve been cooped up inside and need to freshen up, spring is a good time not only to detox your body but your life as well. Clean out your closet, spruce up your room and get rid of anything that “doesn’t bring you joy” as Marie Kondo would say
13. Get rid of emotional baggage
Spring is always a time of new beginnings and starting fresh. Take time to clear the clutter of your mind. Understanding what you are feeling and recognizing if it’s serving you or if it’s not. Let go of what doesn’t serve you, creating space to be filled by what does.
14. Soak up the sun
I probably don’t even need to add this to the list because you’re already craving the sun. But use the sun to fuel you in the spring days. Get outside and aim for 10-15 minutes of morning light.
15. Switch up your rhythm
Here’s the easy part. You already have a rhythm to your normal life. You already eat, wake-up, and take care of your personal hygiene. Don’t look at these as big and grand changes to your life, but small additions that you can add into your existing rhythm.
It’s the rhythm that creates your balance, so don’t disrupt it completely but put it back in sync by adding these healthy practices for spring.