‘Tis the season for a spring clean – whether you’re finessing your diet or reworking your wardrobe, this time of year is all about change.
There’s a reason why you might find yourself smiling a little more this time of year. As the weather improves and we expose ourselves to sunlight, our serotonin levels naturally increase. This is a natural mood-booster and also helps to regulate our sleep patterns. If you’re feeling a sudden jolt of motivation after a winter slump, follow our tips for positive changes this spring.
After a winter of devouring boxsets, now is the time to reacquaint yourself with nature. Studies show that a walk in the woods or similar brush with nature can reduce stress levels, together with many other health benefits.
According to Psychology Today, natural elements such as plants and trees actually absorb negative energy. Just as they do with pollutants like carbon dioxide, they can draw anxious feelings away from us. You might have noticed a deep connection with the woods while you were out and about – they do not demand our attention; they simply serve to make us feel better. Try signing up to an organisation like the National Trustto save money on some of the UK’s most naturally beautiful attractions, or look up local walking trails.
Look after yourself from inside out
Gone are the winter lip balms – finally! Just as we look after ourselves with our daily skincare routine, we should also remember that beauty comes from within. You are what you eat, so turn yourself into somebody who leaps out of bed with our daily collagen and energy chews. Very often we feel lethargic because of dips and spikes in our blood sugar throughout the day – often leading to those 3pm cravings!
The chromium picolinate active ingredient helps to regulate blood sugar levels to avoid these energy slumps, while vitamin C promotes a healthy metabolism and encourages collagen synthesis. Collagen is nature’s gift to our skin – it promotes a supple, wrinkle-free and moisturised appearance, so not only will you feel bouncy, you’ll look fantastic too.
Plan a little “us” time with the girls
We all feel committed to our families, our partners and our jobs – often at the expense of our friends. This spring, stop saying “we must catch up soon” and start doing it! There aren’t just the obvious benefits of catching up with your friends – there are physiological benefits backed by science, too.
Humans are naturally social creatures, having developed communication as a means of survival. When we interact with friends, our brains release dopamine – that same feel-good chemical you get when you are “rewarded”. Think about biting into a chocolate bar or receiving a text! If you’re not sure how to reconnect, suggest something new and different for all of you – perhaps a new exercise or crafts class, a wedding fair, or a festival. The warm weather provides plenty of social opportunities, so grab your diary!
Cut it out
There’s a reason that women like Marie Kondo and Mrs Hinch have become such household names. Through their cleaning and organisational tips, they’re helping thousands of women everywhere to “declutter” their lives. When we live and work in cluttered environments, our minds are confined and not free to pursue their true creativity. Evidence suggests a de-clutter helps to relieve stress, improve sleep and let go of our past problems – both mentally and physically.
So where do we start? Be realistic with your goals, breaking down the clutter into specific rooms or areas. Make this easier by starting with a list, and take it in smaller, more manageable steps if you can’t commit one block of time to it.
Many follow the “one-year” rule, too, particularly when it comes to clothing. If you’ve not worn it in a year, throw it away! Women’s icon Oprah Winfrey suggests turning the hangers the wrong way around when you go to wear something. Only turn them back to normal if you wear it again – if, after a while you notice some hangers haven’t moved, it’s time to go. You can make yourself feel all warm and fuzzy by giving your unwanted items to a chosen charity.
Remember – it takes 66 days to form a habit
Unfortunately, the “21 days to form a habit” theory actually comes from the true science of the 66-day theory. Healthy psychology researchers at University College London discovered that good habits actually take around two months to form, on average.
The good news is, when surgeon Maxwell Maltz coined this phrase in the 1950s, he actually meant that we need a minimumof three weeks to form good habits. So, if you’re really committed to making a change, you could be there in less than a month!
And if it takes longer, then you’ll be ready in time for summer. Everyone’s a winner!