Spring is upon us! We’ve made it through another March in Pandemic mode, and I’m taking this time to reflect on what this past year has meant to me. No doubt, it has been wild for everyone, but this was also supposed to be the year that I officially start my life as a young adult in my career. I was one of the “lucky ones” to graduate in the class of Covid-19 – anticlimactic finish and all. Normally, we would have a graduation ceremony, formal dinner and then spend the rest of our summer studying for our licensing exams, getting results in the Fall and charging forward into a new practice. That was the plan, and it happened nothing like that at all. My personal journey through the pandemic has definitely not been as hard as some, but I wouldn’t call it easy either, at least not for my mental health. While I am an introvert, I found myself getting a little TOO comfortable being a hermit in my home. On the one hand, I was being safe; maintaining social distancing while studying for what feels like a never-ending stream of exams en route to being a licensed Naturopathic Doctor. On the other, I was having no social contact – there was literally a two-week span when I didn’t leave my apartment… and I didn’t even notice. All this to say, it was a weird year, but I am grateful for my health and that of my family.
Now, fast-forward to mid-March 2021, the anniversary of the first lockdown and here is my status update: I am one exam away from being able to register as an ND in Ontario, and I am proud to say I am no longer hermit-ing. Not only am I extremely happy in my job as a first-year resident, but I’ve re-awakened the social bug in me and am actually enjoying time outside, and what a perfect time to do this with the Equinox just passing and being one week into this new season! It truly is the season of new beginnings and the perfect time for me to mentally be transitioning into this new phase of my life as a young working professional! Enough about me though! Here are 6 tips that you can use to help your transition into Spring and prepare for new beginnings:
1. Prepare your immune system: The weather is going to through its usual fluctuations, especially here in southern Ontario, so you want to make sure your immune system is supported properly supported. Dressing in layers will help to be prepared for all the weather changes that the day will throw at you. On top of that, making sure you are keeping a healthy balanced diet and there are a few supplements that I can mention as well:
Adaptogens like Reshi, Cordyceps and Astragalus are beneficial for immune support. This is not to say that they will prevent any illnesses, but they are there to support your natural immune regulation so your body is more resilient
Vitamin C is always a prime immune supporter with many health claims on the matter
Finally, Quercetin is a strong antioxidant and has great evidence to support its use in allergy season especially, if you are one of the fortunate souls that’s affected by hay fever (me!).
2. Maintain your sleep: Daylight savings is upon us and the clocks “sprung forward” at the beginning of this month. Usually, that takes a toll on my sleep cycle, but I’m lucky that this year, working from home made that transition a little nicer. Either way, you want to make sure that you are maintaining the same sleep schedule as before the clocks changed – same bed time, same wake time, even with that extra hour in the evening. Our bodies will adjust to the new circadian rhythm if we maintain. That is to say, I want you to have a healthy bedtime to begin with, if you’re a night owl (like me) aim for going to bed before midnight – that’s a good start!
3. Enjoy the Sun: With all that said in Tip #2, we do have more hours in the sun now that the days are officially getting longer! After all that we’ve been going through and the depressions of the winter blues – now’s the time to load up on those beautiful benefits that sunlight provides – vitamin D, serotonin and just general warmth on your face! Be sure to wear your SPF though! Even with lower temperatures, the sun is still strong enough to increase skin damage risks.
4. Spring Cleaning: This common trope has some sense to it. With the snow now melted, you want to make sure there is no water build up or dampness seeping into your walls or settling into crevices of your home and creating mold. This can be an allergen that is building up and hard to detect, usually only when it’s too late. Do a deep clean of your home, including dusting and even a closet cleanout might be warranted.
5. Freshen up your Grocery List: Just as the seasons change, the food crops do too. Ideal grocery shopping means you are picking up the foods that are “in season”, meaning being grown and harvested right now because then there will be less chance of preservatives on them in order to keep them fresh in stores. I understand not everyone can eat/ afford organic foods all the time, so this is a good place to start to decrease your toxic load. Here are some of my fav fruits and veggies for Spring:
Veggies: Asparagus, broccoli radishes, spinach, kale, arugula, beets, zucchini, celery
Fruits: tomatoes, cherries, strawberries, rhubarb, apricots
6. Pick up a new hobby: Now this one might not be for everybody depending on your schedules and time allowances. As the theme of this post is about springtime and new beginnings however, I believe it’s the perfect time to take up a new skill, or even revisit an old one that you want to revive. Personally, I’m thinking of taking up some ballet classes again – I’ve missed them, and it’s a great way to be physically active too! Whether it is a creative hobby or a new class to help advance your goals in life, it feels good to start fresh when you see the world around you blooming too.
There you have it. Hopefully, you’ve found these helpful and even if you can take one of these and apply them, you’ve already done something new and are ready to face Spring 2021 with fresh eyes!
Keep moving and be well,