Spring Cleaning: 5 Ways to Renew Your Mind and Body
Spring cleaning is a ritual some people enjoy and others skip, but whatever your attitude might be, spring is a time of renewal and freshness. Your body is programmed by evolution to sense the awakening of spring, but what about your mind? Mind and body are intimately connected, so spring is already affecting your whole system. In short, you are set by default to feel renewed and at the same time to bring renewal to your body.
Let’s bring the qualities of spring into your life during this season.
After winter hibernation, nature starts to move again in spring, and you should join in. Taking a walk outdoors, if only for a few moments, allows the warmth of the sun to warm you, while at a deeper level the stimulus of sunlight activates rhythms via the pineal gland and hypothalamus in the brain. At a simple level, getting your body used to moving again rebalances its energy.
Your metabolism shifts in springtime and is managed by the hypothalamus, which is the brain region that chooses where energy should go and how much. In spring, energy supplies are sent to the more active areas of the body like the muscles, so this is a good time to devote yourself to exercise directed at cardio and muscle strength.
Spring moves you out of a dark season, and in the state of Nature, plants and animals find it much easier to find food and pursue a wide range of activity, such as mating and giving birth. Humans experience this as spring fever, but going inward, there’s a lightness of mind that translates into lightness in the body, too. So make “lightness” a theme for daily activity. Whatever is heavy and dull in your life should be addressed. Find ways to play, laugh, and smile. Meditate to revive your lightness of being.
The clutter, debris, and dead remnants of winter are swept away in spring. The natural world becomes fresh again. Spring cleaning is one response to this natural phase, but look at other ways to bring freshness to your life. This can include ways as simple as buying fresh flowers to eating light, fresh, natural foods. At the same time, making way for fresh new things involves cleaning out the accumulation of toxins.
At the Chopra Center, the procedures of Ayurveda, especially panchakarma, are the major ways to perform whole-system detoxification. Yet there are natural things you can do to aid your body’s own detox mechanisms. The first is getting good sleep, because it is now known that the brain actually cleans out physical debris at night, probably the most important kind of detox. Second comes reducing inflammation, which exists at a low chronic level in most people in modern society.