Taking Steps to Create a Stunning Spring
The dear, departed, Robin Williams said, ‘Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’” It is not difficult to imagine him saying that. For Robin, it was obviously an exciting time and one that represented the fun things in life. But, what does it mean for you? Is it the beautiful effects of flora and fauna? Is it the longer days? Is it the warmer temperatures? Without question, it is a very special season and one that we look forward to with great enthusiasm. It is mood changing, uplifting and has many positive effects. I would like to share my take on some of these wonderful effects and how we can enhance and embrace them for ourselves, as well as others.
Get Outside and Get Active!
Spring makes getting outside and getting active so much easier. Gone are the layers and the gloves (well most of them anyway) and there are more of us out there. As we all know, exercise produces endorphins and makes us feel better. So the effects are two-fold. We are blessed to live in such a beautiful valley, so take advantage of our parks and trails. The communal aspect of seeing so many other happy, smiling, like-minded people adds to the euphoria of the season. Experience the natural light and fresh air to help your body rid itself of any remaining winter illness. Increased sunlight translates to a larger dose of Vitamin D, a wonderful way to bolster your immunity!
The longer days and warmer weather helps connect us to our loved ones more often and for longer periods of time. Our family spends more time in the backyard, more time in the park and our bikes are used more. We meet more people, and our children happily socialize. Do not forget the Napa to Yountville Vine Trail!
More Fresh Food!
Think of spring this year, as a New Year’s resolution for your stomach. Good nutrition affects far more than your belly. It affects your mood, your energy levels, and even your skin. Take advantage of the spring harvest vegetables that should be filling the gardens of Napa right now. Have a look at the Napa Farmer’s Market NapaFarmersMarket.org and if you find that you are really motivated, consider planting a summer vegetable garden. A free guide from the University of California Master Gardener Group, with spring-planting recommendations for Napa, can be found online here: UCanr.edu/sites/UCMGnapa/Summer_Harvest/
Freshen Up the Pantry and Kitchen
Take the time to spring clean that pantry and get rid of the bags of chips, crackers or food that has a list of ingredients that you can’t pronounce. It was probably purchased on one of those winter nights when you wanted to cuddle up in front of the heater and binge-watch your favorite Netflix drama. So, guess what? You do not need them anymore! Focus on real, whole nutrition that fuels you at a cellular level and doesn’t just satisfy a winter craving.
It is a fact that many people have vitamin and mineral deficiencies at the end of winter. Why? We tend to eat foods that have a much higher fat content and are heavier despite the fact that our bodies require more nutrients to function optimally. So, focus instead on eating fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables. As a guide, try to think along these lines: More dark berries and less fruit juice, more sweet potatoes and less French fries, more quinoa and less white rice or more avocado and less sour cream.
De-clutter Your Mind and Detoxify
Let’s be honest. If you have to clear the clutter out of anything in your life, it is helpful to be in the right state of mind. Grab the opportunity that the spring season brings and start cleaning and detoxifying. There are two action items to jumpstart this process.
First, a physical de-clutter. The act of physically cleaning out the closet, the garage or any other area that you have intended to tackle in the past. This will provide a sense of productivity and organization. Walking past the same mountain of useless papers every day will add to the list of ‘things’ that you think you have to achieve that day, and the next, and so on. Get it done and get it out of your head. You WILL feel better!
Second, I encourage you to make lists. I am an advocate of getting it out of your head and down on paper. Make lists of your tasks and check them off as you go. I have become somewhat of an expert on this subject through following the habits of highly successful people. I could write a book on the subject as opposed to reading all of them written on this topic. This is a highly-efficient way to conduct your tasks, your chores, your life and it works. Spring is a great time to initiate making lists.
Time for Transformation
If I was asked to summarize the impact of spring in one word, I would say: transformation. It happens naturally to benefit of our planet without our knowledge, consent or control. As busy people we often tend to reap the rewards of this process with very little awareness of the beauty, wonder and absolute necessity of spring. Take a good look at what the season represents and how it impacts our bodies, our minds and our communities. In turn, we can take gifts of this season and transform ourselves a little too. In doing so, who knows, we may even give a little back.
Jeni Schluter is a certified personal trainer, online health, fitness and lifestyle coach born and raised in Napa. Married to an Aussie, she is also the mother of two young boys. It is her mission to empower others to prioritize their health, fitness, and wellbeing to live their very best life every day. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook @shiftbyjeni or visit ShiftByJeni.com.