This month I wanted to talk about SPRING. What does spring mean to you? Meteorically speaking, Spring is the month after winter and before summer, where vegetation begins to appear. The world seems to come to life. Flowers, trees and animals bloom with energy, colour and vivacity. The whole world just seems a little brighter and full of a renewed thirst for living in its most fundamental sense.
The bees begin once more to pollinate the flowers in our gardens, the sun shines longer and stronger with each growing day and the sky seems clearer and more blue. It appears that nature has been refreshed.
And that is exactly what I think us humans need to focus on. Not so much a spring clean of the house, rather a spring clean of the mind. The nation, the world even, puts pressure on us to set new year resolutions in the middle of winter when the skies are dull and the clouds are grey. Why is it when daylight hours are at their shortest and dark moods at their longest that we seem to think it a good idea to set ourselves brand new tasks? Which, by the way, are often totally unrealistic and we ‘fail’ by February.
For me, if we are to set any new goals for our life, it should be in springtime, when nature is full of hope and life to carry us through. If we want to run more, we have a more beautiful landscape to sweat in, longer hours in which to do so and more chance of persuading a friend to tag along. The same can be said for any eating and/or drinking habits. Why refuse to allow yourself chocolate when it is cold and grey and all you crave is comfort food. Listen to that voice in your head. Allow the food to be of some comfort, as a nurturing and holistic entity and a mindful practice that adds value to your day.
Turning eating into a mindful practice is something I am learning about more and more with each passing day. I treat each meal as an occasion to nourish my body, to enjoy time with friends and family and to celebrate all the wonders of the culinary world.
In this sense, I’ve turned the simple pleasure of eating into a much bigger and more meaningful event. It’s this switching of mindset that I hope a mental spring clean will create.
Refresh your mindset.
I listened to a great talk by two very inspiration young ladies recently, one being Amy Rushworth, a confidence coach for woman, and the second was India, a holistic energy mentor. I came away feeling incredibly empowered to switch up some of my common thought patterns. Amy encourages her clients to recognised the negative thoughts that plague their minds and turn them into a positive. Often the instance at hand is a reflection of a previous thought-feeling connection and it’s about breaking this cycle.
In a simple example, if there is a person at work that really annoys you, instead of focusing on the habits that irritate you – they only seem to grow and grow the more you notice them! – write down 10 things about that person that you like. You’ll soon start to see the positive aspects more often, even if they’re still not your best friend. But that’s OK.
More personally, as soon as you see yourself starting to feel worthless, stop yourself in your tracks and write down a few things that make you a worthy person. Note traits that make you a great friend or a great person to be around. Find strength in compliments that others have given you rather than allowing the self-sabotaging thoughts to bring you down. When presented with a new task and you think “I cannot possibly do this”, don’t let yourself feel overwhelmed, take a step back and remember a time that you did overcome a challenge. This will help you to find your inner strength and inner self-confidence.
It may seem like a very basic and easy practice: switching a negative belief to a positive one, but the more often you force yourself to find the light, the brighter it will shine for you.
This also may seem simplistic to you and you’re thinking “well, that will never work in the real world” and I get it. When you are wearing the weight of the world on your shoulders and feel like nothing will ever work out for you, this is when you may need more than an internal remind to “be positive”.
I like to turn to a daily affirmation that I’ll repeat several times a day. Choose one that you can say over and over again and one that really resonates with you within. Chant this when you feel down until you can breath lighter once more. Keeping a gratitude journal and a compliment journal are two practices of self-love that are priceless. Now down three things you are grateful for each day and revisit them when you are feeling low. similarly, keep a note of compliments you receive – no matter how big or small – and re-read these to increase your sense of self-worth.
I hope I have given you a little food for thought, let me know your comments below and stay up to date on my daily inspiration on my Instagram, @nourishing.amy.