Spring is on its way so take this time to spring clean your mind body and soul with these tips from life coach Louise Presley-Turner
We all know that spring is synonymous with decluttering our home, dusting the cobwebs away, washing the windows or redecorating.
Early morning is the best time for body and spirit as the world around you is at its calmest
Spring signifies a fresh start. It’s time to rid the old winter blues and let some sunshine into our lives once again. But how about spring-cleaning your life – does it need a good overhaul? Do you need to inject more passion into your relationship, relaunch your career or get a grip of your emotional spending habits? Maybe it’s time to give yourself a life makeover?
Pursuing a simple, sustainable, flexible, happier lifestyle means you have to choose it, and more importantly, you have to make it happen! Whether that’s letting go of relationships that no longer serve you, sorting out a long-term health issue or challenging your beliefs about who you are, the change starts with you. Take a look at my tips on how to make over your life this spring.
Get your priorities straight
Do you find yourself saying yes, when you know you ought to really be saying no? Do you find yourself organising your best friend’s hen do, whilst spending your evenings sewing millions of sequins on to 29 outfits for the school play? Reestablish your boundaries personally and professionally and identify what is acceptable to you and what’s not.
Make a list of what your boundaries are in each area of your life, that way you’ll clearly know when they are being breached.
Write a list of all the things you enjoy. Past, present and things you’d still like to try or do. It might be trying a new hobby, walking in nature or just simply reading a book. Make your list as long as you can.
Pin your list on your fridge door or bathroom mirror as a reminder.
Each week pick at least one thing off your list and do it! See what difference it makes to your life – I think you might be surprised.
Improve your relationship
All couples enter in to a relationship with the expectation that their passion will last for ever. In the beginning of any relationship, it’s all very exhilarating and fun. But as time goes by, couples settle into the daily routine of cooking, cleaning, mowing the lawn, grocery shopping and raising the kids and you become less of a priority to each other.
Ensure you communicate every day, just five minutes! Make time to really listen to what the other one is saying.
Respect your partner even when you disagree. Never belittle your partner especially when the kids or other people are around.
Get physical. A sure sign that your relationship has gone off the boil is when you don’t touch each other anymore. Hold hands in public, offer lots of hugs and kiss often.
Say ‘I love you’. This one is so simple and doesn’t require any effort at all, but it has the power to radically change the mood in an instant.
Filter the people in your life
Are there people in your life who consistently drain your energy? People that are always in some kind of crisis or another and love to bombard you with their problems? Life can be hard enough without dragging someone else’s baggage around too.
Make a list of people in your life who sap your energy. Don’t feel guilty about this, just do it.
Spend as much time as you can with those of a sunnier disposition and see what effect it has on your own wellbeing and general happiness.
Most importantly, avoid all negative conversations or getting caught up in gossip – it just drag you down.
Make a list of all the things you’d like to do. Try out a new hobby, go walking in nature, or simply read a book.
Sort your clutter
It might sound obvious but as the saying goes: ‘clear house equals a clear mind’. If you’re consistently looking at unfinished DIY or have a cascade of crumpled clothes fall on your head each time you open the wardrobe doors, then it’s only going to add to your stress levels.
Make a list of all those niggling jobs you need to do that you’ve been putting off and pin your list on the fridge door! List everything you can think of – leave nothing out!
Think, who can help you work through your list… a family member, an odd-job-man, the kids? Delegate tasks where you can.
Have a car boot sale. What’s rubbish to you may be someone else’s treasure.
Ensure you cross at least three items of your list each week.
Fine-tune your routine
Just stop for a second and think about your daily schedule. What’s working for you and what’s not? How can you alter your daily routine to allow a bit of ‘me time’ in?
Early morning is the best time for both body and spirit as you are rested, fresh, and the world around you is at its calmest. Set your alarm half an hour earlier, and use this time to maybe meditate, do some gentle exercise, or to simply sit and have your morning cup of tea in the beauty of your own garden. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes to your day!
Ensure you have at least two early nights each week. Fill your sleep tank and feel the positive effects it has on your energy levels.
Have one night a week where you don’t cook, get a take-out or just pull something out of the freezer that you can pop in the oven.
Delegate. Hire a cleaner or gardener to take the pressure of yourself.
Re-launch your career
We spend most of our week working; it’s imperative that we enjoy our job.
Are you fulfilling your potential?
Do a mind dump of all your likes and dislikes, your passions and values, talents and abilities and then take an objective look at your current job – how many of the boxes does it actually tick?
If you’re looking for a career change, start listing all your ideas on a blank piece of paper, both pie-in-the-sky and all the logical options. Get others to help you to do this. Then, start researching each idea in turn. Looking at training, funding and your experience. Most importantly, make contact with people who are already in that line of worK and pick their brains. How did they do it, have they got any contact for you and so on.
If you’re generally happy, but would like to make a few small tweaks, take some time to list five things that would make your working week more enjoyable, from working from home once a week, to just getting out of the office at lunchtime. Most importantly, take action!
Fix your finances
We all know that money plays a huge role in our lives and can cause no end of tension, worry and anxiety. Having your money in check really does lead to a less stressful and harmonious existence.
Create or find a budget sheet that’s simple and easy to use – nothing too complicated or you simple won’t use it!
Get a copy of your last bank statement and do a quick analysis. Mark each item either A, B or C.
A is for are essential items such as your mortgage, gas bill, water rates: things that absolutely must be paid. B items are things like mobile phone bills, Sky TV, services which are a necessity, but not crucial. And finally, C items are luxuries such as DVDs, shoes, takeaways; basically things that are nice to have. Doing this, will give you a clearer picture of where your money is going.
Look at the C items on your statement analysis; what are you wasting money on? Write a list of three ways you can cut back this week.
Now look at your A and B items and start looking into where savings can be made. Look at your service providers to make sure you’re getting the best deal on the market.
Spring clean your body too!
Try these seasonal cleansing techniques from top ayurvedic expert Jamie Chalmers
Spring (vasant in Sanskrit) is a time for renewal and new life, and what better way to achieve this than by using the rejuvenating powers of the ancient health system, ayurveda. Here are some pointers to help you:
Fast one day a week (fruit and water allowed) this helps clear the systems as well as taking the pressure of the over worked congested organs.
We have accumulated a build up of kapha (elements of earth and water) in the winter months. So by including the tastes of spicy, bitter and astringent (dry) into your diet it will ignite your inner fire. Avoid cold, fatty food with the tastes of sweet, sour and salty to be kept to a minimum.
Go for abhyanga (ayurvedic body massage) and udhvartan (herbal powder scrubs) treatments. These will absorb and balance the kapha within the body and mind, eradicating that sluggish lethargic feeling that the winter months bring.
Increase your level of physical exercise to wake up the body and senses.
Avoid any day time sleep at all costs. This will only increase the kapha within the body and make you feel more tired.
Appropriate ayurvedic herbs for this season are haritaki, pippali and sundhi (dried ginger).
Kapha and ginger, herbal teas should be taken throughout the day.
Jamie Chalmers is the founder of Rasayana Ayurvedic Therapies and Wellness. For more info go to rasayana.co.uk