The passing of each season brings change, and we are subject to the same cycles that occur in nature. Particularly in times of transition, as we slide from one season to the next, it’s easy to get out of balance. It takes some nurturing and adjustment to our daily practices to keep our bodies and mind healthy as the new season takes shape.
Winter was a time for resting and replenishing, germinating and gestating, staying hidden and gathering power. But spring is the time to emerge, burst forth, and take form- renewed, grow and rapidly expand. With awareness and these helpful tips, we can move into this new season and thrive!
Spring Wellness Guide
Nourish the Liver
In traditional Chinese medicine, spring is associated with the organs of the liver and the gallbladder. These organs are the major detoxifiers of your body and in charge of regulating the flow of energy throughout the whole person.
In Ayurvedic medicine, spring is also celebrated as the ideal season for detoxification. Just like melting winter snow, the toxins in your body also begin to “melt,” allowing for cellular renewal.
Because of the weather and short daylight hours, winter is often a sedentary season. Now is the time to start getting movement back in the body.
But, start off slow! You don’t want to burn yourself out by the time summer rolls around. Start with gentle walks before trying to hike that mountain! And the same goes for your furry friends. Paws may have gotten soft from time indoors and they are likely just as out of shape as you are.
According to Chinese medicine, the liver stores blood during periods of rest and then releases it to the tendons in times of activity. Incorporate a morning stretch into your routine, keeping your tendons healthy and flexible.
After a season of being cooped up inside now is the time to get outdoors! Being in nature can improve your energy, increase focus, and help with anxiety and depression.
Play in the Dirt
Working in a garden and getting your hands dirty is grounding for the soul, can improve your immunity, and, is a simple, enjoyable activity!
Adjust Your Cooking Style
After the long and slow cooking and heavy meals of winter now is the time to transition to cooking in a style better suited for spring. Use shorter cooking times, lower temperatures, and less oil. Use methods like sauté, steam, blanch, and simmer.
Green is the color of springtime! Eating young plants (think fresh, leafy greens and sprouts) can harness the energy of the season and get you into balance with the new growth all around. If your garden isn’t producing yet but you’re feeling a craving for new growth, try sprouting seeds or growing microgreens.
Eat Sour Foods
Nope, not Sour Patch Kids candy, sorry. Incorporate foods and drinks with sour tastes to stimulate the liver’s function. Add lemon slices to your water, use vinegar for your salad dressing, and eat fermented pickles with sandwiches or grain bowls.
Want to learn how to make your own fermented pickles? Download my free Getting Started with Fermentation eBook!
Do a Food Cleanse
Spring is a time of year when cleaning is a natural feeling, wanting to shake off winter blues and clean both our bodies and our homes. I personally am not a fan of drastic spring food cleanse programs often championed by wellness blogs, but that might be something you’re interested in or need to transition into the season.
A more gentle way of internal cleansing would be to start the day with a glass of water with lemon squeezed in it. Eat plenty of fresh foods and lessen the amounts of stimulating foods like caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods.
Use Herbs to Support Spring Health
Drinking milk thistle tea encourages the liver to do some “spring cleaning”, removing alcohol, medications, pesticides, environmental toxins, and even heavy metals.
Dandelion leaves and roots are used to clean the liver and to assist with digestion issues. Drink dandelion root tea or eat dandelion greens in salads. They are a natural diuretic, helping remove excess water from your body, supporting your body’s natural detoxification.
Stinging nettles can reduce histamines in your body, minimizing sneezing and itching caused by allergies. Drink nettle tea, take the herb in capsule form, or add a powder to smoothies.
If you suffer from allergies, ayurvedic medicine advises drinking hot water with ginger juice, lemon juice, cayenne, and honey to help clear mucus. Shots of fire cider can help as well!
Use Essential Oils
Essential oils can be a valuable addition to help you transition into spring and stay healthy this season. I like to use essential oils in a diffuser. If you’re looking for a purveyor of oils, check out my virtual friend Alisha from Folk And Co. She recommends the following oils for spring: lemon for uplifting and purifying, rosemary to support transition (and also keep bugs away), and peppermint to rediscover the joy of being alive.
Practice Deep Breathing
Spring is the perfect time to develop a conscious and deep breathing practice. Focusing on exhalation helps expel carbon dioxide, cleansing your system but also assisting in releasing negative thoughts and energy that’s weighing you down.
Take Time for Meditation
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and keep up with all the budding spring energy. Prepare your mind for this new energy and feel refreshed, instead of anxious, by taking a few quiet moments each day. If you’re new to meditation, this is a good intro article. If you’re like me, and sitting meditation is difficult, try a walking meditation out in nature.
Let Go and Set Intentions
Spring is the season to make peace with lingering thoughts that no longer serve you. Acknowledge that what’s done is done. Think positively, start saying affirmations, set goals, make and layout plans, and set intentions for what you want to create in your life this coming season.
In ancient Rome, women cleaned their houses in the spring to honor Vesta, the goddess of the hearth. Spring is a great time to do physical cleaning around your home. Remove dirt that has built up over the darker days of winter and open up the windows to let in some fresh and clean air! Declutter and remove things from your home that you no longer need or find useful.
All information presented on this website and affiliated with Melissa Keyser is for ideas and education only. The information I provide is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment. Read the full disclosure here.