A labyrinth is a tool one can use to return to center, to become more present in the moment, to clear one's head, to answer a question.
Now that we are forced to be home, it is a good time to welcome spring by freshening up a few of our self care routines.
When spring is just arriving, it is wonderful to bring spring inside by buying some fresh blooms, or picking up a small plant to nurture. While you are at it, buy some for your neighbor who lives alone and place them on the doorstep.
- De-Clutter Your Home
One of the easiest ways to make yourself feel better is to remove the clutter from your home, one desk drawer at a time. Perhaps you can only bring yourself to clear out one drawer, or maybe a closet, or if you are so inclined, the basement. Removing things that don’t bring you joy helps create more space in your life for non-tangible things that do bring joy. This might be especially important with families at home together 24/7. Can you create a space that is just yours, where no one else can be? Perhaps it is a chair in a room, and when you are sitting there, your family knows not to bother you. Creating new space will help make your heart feel more at ease.
- Change your Scents.
While I love the earthy scents of fall like cinnamon and clove, changing your candles and diffusers to something lighter like peppermint, lavender, or lemon helps you feel the lightness of the season. And they have the antibacterial- anti viral properties!
- Grow your Mind
The television and all its shows are great ways to pass the time in the cold of winter. Who wants to be out when there is a blizzard? While today may be a good day to hunker down and binge on that new series, it is also important to expand your mind and nurture your spirit.
I always seem to have four books going at once- I love non-fiction, historical fiction, spiritual, and books on healing. Have you tried Libby? It is an app that connects to your local library. I listen to books when I am baking and sometimes when I am doing art.
What about finding a podcast to occupy your mind while doing a puzzle? There are a myriad of ways that you can increase your knowledge and feel connected rather than to spend a whole day in front of the TV.
- Find a New Walking Path
Explore a new place for walking. It is easy to keep your social distancing rules in place as you walk outside. It is also a way to connect to neighbors, perhaps walking together talking while maintaining personal space. Instead of a 15 minute walk, why not choose a street in your neighborhood you rarely walk down, and discover a new plant you like, a new house color, a new friend. Perhaps it is time to go to a new park with spring gardens that have plants that will peak out of the earth soon. Perhaps it is one that has no barrier to the sunshine.(Make sure to dig out the sunscreen and head protection!) Find a place that makes your heart joyful and start a walking routine that makes you feel good.
- Follow an Online Exercise Program
My favorite way to start the morning is doing a Yoga with Adriene video. She has a wonderful extensive collection of yoga videos ranging from 10 minutes to an hour, and she always creates a monthly calendar to follow along. And the best part? It is free, and only requires that I get myself to the mat each morning. There are many types of exercise programs to follow. Start with one that feeds you, not with one you think you should be doing. Dr. Oz says even ten minutes of cardio or 7500 steps are good enough for a healthy exercise practice.
- Write a Handwritten Note
Who has been a part of your life that always comes to mind this time of year? Why not surprise them with a hand written note? It only takes a few lines to remind someone that their presence in your life still echoes with feelings of joy. Or perhaps you want to reach out to someone who lives alone, and remind them of their place of belonging in your life. Maybe you can thank the mailman, the grocer, or anyone who is still in the public doing their job to make your life easier. OR if you prefer, I know where you can buy some cute thank you cards! 🙂
- Find a New Recipe with Fresh Seasonal Vegetables
I remember my mom sharing a story that celery was always a fall vegetable that could only be found around Thanksgiving. While most vegetables and fruits are now available year round, there is something wonderful about eating vegetables in season. It is a great time to make things like grilled asparagus or a lovely spring risotto. Find your favorite, and cook up some extra health! This is especially important now as you keep your immune system strong.
- Enjoy a cup of tea
Treat yourself to a new kind of tea, a warming tea, a healing tea, a relaxing tea. Once your cup is steeped, SIT DOWN and enjoy it in one sitting. I can’t tell you the number of times I have to warm up my tea because I move on to other things. Give yourself the gift of time to breathe in and out, to relax into the moment, and enjoy the healing benefits of drinking tea. I actually tried a chocolate rose tea last week that was delicious, especially with the rose macaroon! You are worth the time it takes to be quiet and relax!
Before our quarantine, I spent an evening coloring with a group of friends. I haven’t colored for years even though I make coloring books. It was a wonderful way to be present, to let go of my thoughts, to allow myself to just breathe and not worry about my to-do list. Perhaps you will choose a coloring book filled with flowers, or you will color a mandala that has a meditation to go with it. Whatever you choose, welcome in the new by allowing the old to fall away, as you spend time in the present moment. You may even choose to reflect on ways you are pushing through the darkness of winter to bloom now.
And remember to reach out to friends via FaceTime, facebook messenger, Zoom- any program that gives you the ability to see someone face to face. It really does make one feel less lonely!