Are you ready for spring? Or do you want to hide back under your duvet and pretend it is not happening? In this blog post I would like to share my 3 top tips for supporting your spring health
Before I get down to it, here is a little background about this amazing time of year and how it influences our health.
Spring officially begins on March 21st (the spring equinox). It is linked to the Wood element which represents the energy of growth and action taking. We can see it clearly outside as nature starts to wake up. Where the energy in Winter is sleep and dormant, spring is the complete opposite. We are moving into a more yang time of year. For some of us this surge of energy can affect our health in the run up to spring , but I have 3 top tips to support it and give us a smoother transition.
Spring Health – the energy of wood
Spring is all about bringing in the new and getting rid of the old. It provides us with a way forward and helps us to bring our dreams or future goals into reality. We can use the energy as a driving force to get started and take action. On the other side of the coin, if we are not clear on what these goals are this driving energy can make us feel stuck and perhaps anxious and/or stressed out about the future.
Introducing The Liver. The Spring Health Organ
Did you know that your liver is one of the most important organs for renewing, cleaning and energising?
During the spring months the liver is a force of nature – the organ of the year. It works hard to rid us of any built up winter ‘rubbish’ so we can move into the warmer months with sense of newness and lightness. This ‘rubbish’ includes toxins from our environment (the food we eat, air we breathe etc.) and experiences (stuck negative emotions). Too much stress can prevent the liver from keeping on top of it all. You may feel this as congestion, achy joints, headaches or inflammation. As we have seen above we can suffer higher levels of stress, pent up anger, frustration and/or anxiety.
To boost our health in spring we must therefore find ways of keeping our stress levels under control so that we can move into the warmer months with ‘a spring in our step and a lightness in our hearts’
So lets get to it. Here are my 3 top tips for boosting Spring health
1. Overhaul Your Diet for Spring Health
We have had all winter to indulge in hearty comforting food. It is time to lighten up the load and give our digestive system a little rest and de-tox. Try the following simple dietary hacks:
- Try adding lots of greens to your plate (collard greens, cucumber, kale, lettuces)
- Bitter and sour foods are great for this time of year. Try lemons, limes, apples, green tea, watercress.
- Try drinking warm water and lemon every morning – this helps to cleanse and wake up your organs including the liver.
- Do you love smoothies? Try some green smoothies for breakfast. If you add chlorophyll, spirulina, watercress, wheatgrass and seaweed. They are great cleansers and help to alkalinise the body. Lets help the liver detox.
- Eat a variety or fruits and vegetables – root veggies like beets and carrots are great especially raw in smoothies.
- Move away from hearty meals and try lighter soups. Steaming or stir-fries will work well.
- Cut down on alcohol, starchy foods, dairy and sugar for a few weeks running up to the spring equinox.
- Try not to eat too late in the evening so that you are fasting for longer overnight. This really does help the liver to work as less energy will wasted digesting food and more will be given to cleansing and renewing the body.
2. Yoga Practice
Of course your yoga practice will come into one of my 3 top tips for spring health. Visualise your yoga practice like a bear just waking up from hibernation! Spring can make us feel stiff and achy – like you have just got out of bed. We want our yoga practice, therefore, to help us shake the stiffness off and get the energy moving again.
- Introduce some vinyasa flows – it doesn’t have to be complicated – just breathe and move into your poses. The idea is to get warm so that your circulation gets a real boost.
- Include lots of stretchy movements. Choose poses which lengthen out the sides of your body and create space. Examples are side angle, triangle, side gate, standing half-moon. These will help stimulate the liver (and its partner the gallbladder) meridians.
- To grow we need firm foundations! So, include lots of earthing or ‘rooting’ postures. All the warrior family are great, along with other standing poses like goddess or wide-legged forward fold. Try including some balances as well.
- Twists are great for helping your body detox as they improve the blood flow to your organs. Try adding a twist in various groups of poses – i.e. standing, kneeling, seated and lying (supine).
- Need help coping with stress and/or anxiety? Try some breathing tools.
3. Simple Lifestyle Changes
My final top tip for spring health is to make some simple changes to your lifestyle habits.
Spring Clean Your Home
- Have a good declutter!
- Get rid of old air by opening the windows.
- Try using natural cleaning products. I have made my own for a long time now using vinegar, lemon juice and a couple of essential oils (tea tree oil and lavender are my favourites)
- Releasing negative emotions from this organ helps us to feel reinvigorated and ready for new beginnings. Try something new or refocus your energy on a goal that you may have let slip.
- Need to strengthen your relationship with those close to you? If you are the kind a person who suppresses their emotions, then listen up. I say this because I am guilty of this too. Swallowing, anger, stress, frustrations, irritability are all signs of stuck wood energy. If we want to support our liver and help it do its spring clear out, then we must try and find a way of working through these difficult emotions. I find these two prompts helpful so I hope you will give them a go too.
- Once a week write down one thing which you admire about your spouse, friend or family member. If you feel ok about it tell them too. It will make their day.
- If you are holding a grudge or finding it difficult to forgive and forget, try this ancient Hawaiian practice. It helps you to reconnect to the fact that you are in control of your emotions – not others. You can take responsibility for them – I am sorry, forgive me. Thank you. I love you. This will help you release resentment and foster forgiveness.
- If you started a gratitude diary during the winter months keep it going. This type journaling is great for helping you turn negatives into positives. The more you do it the easier it will get.
Try a bit of naturopathy.
Here are two great naturopathic remedies which will really help you to support your liver and get your energy moving again. Stuck energy? What stuck energy? These I learnt from my seasonal therapy course.
Dry skin brushing
Ok I am pretty rubbish at remembering to do this, but I am really going to try. Just before you get in the shower using a natural bristle brush to dry brush your skin from the toes upwards. Use long strokes for your arms and legs. For your stomach do gentle anti-clockwise circles. Try 2-3 strokes per body part and try doing it 2-3 times a week.
Castor Oil and Epsom Salt Baths
- I love an Epsom salt bath and have 2-3 soaks a week. It really has helped improve my sleep. Castor oil helps to rid the body of inflammation and helps with the detoxification process. All you need to do is rub some onto anybody area which needs some love. I tend to go for my tummy, chest and lower back. Then sink into the bath and enjoy a book or listen to a podcast or your favourite music for 20 minutes or more.
- So, there you have it, 3 simple ways in which you can boost your health during the spring months.
- Try using natural cleaning produces on yourself too – coconut oil for example makes a great body moisturiser.
I hope you enjoyed my 3 top tips for a healthy body and mind during spring. I hope you will enjoy giving all of them or some a try and do let me know how it goes.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day so always be kind to yourself.