Words by Rebecca Lavender
my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…
– Mary Schmich, Wear Sunscreen (1997)
Sometimes, the year doesn’t quite start out how you’d like it to – sometimes it doesn’t start when you’d like it to. 2018 has been slow and unsteady from the off for me and in part that’s been from the pressures attached to breaking through into a New Year (Self-applied pressures but pressures nonetheless); and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Personally, I don’t hit refresh until Spring. Cold days and dark nights have taken their toll and left me wholly uninspired for the majority of January and February.
If, like me, you’ve been muddling through the New Year Doldrums but are ready to clean away the proverbial cobwebs, then here are a few rituals to help you ring in Springtime and make the whole transition feel smoother; in both body and mind.
If you’re going to hit refresh, then start by not hitting snooze. The clocks may have already sprung forward but has your body caught up? Mine is still in need of some gentle encouragement, to be honest.
There’s a wisdom in start as you mean to go on. I find that my days run with added clarity if I have more time in the mornings to carry out a routine. I don’t have time for a routine if I’ve hit snooze 4 times on autopilot and then fallen out of bed 20 minutes before the train.
So, I’ve finally invested in one of those so-called Body Clocks which wake you gradually by immitating the sunrise. It’s a revelation. I set it for half an hour before I’d like to get up, and then the radio comes on (by which time I’m already stirring). The clock is half way across the room so if I wanted to snooze I’d have get up anyway, and that’s half the battle right? Getting up!
A calmer approach to the morning is my top tip for helping your body transition into spring; it will also help you to cultivate those mindful moments right from the very start of the day.
You can buy my alarm clock for £20 on Amazon (preach!)
Speaking of mindfulness, I find journaling to be fantastic for focusing the mind. Even though I’m technically planning ahead, it’s the act of creating, page by page, that helps me to connect with the moment at hand.
That said, it is unavoidable to not look ahead. Though sometimes plans can seem far off and the idea of organisation overwhelming, bullet journaling seems to eliminate this. It’s a fun activity that will help you to be more productive.
I use the Filofax clipbook because I like the option to add pages; they also come some very springlike pastel colours!
So, after starting the day calmer and having your plans carefully aligned, what next?
Transitioning into a new season comes with a whole host of natural treasures that you really don’t want to miss. An incentive for kick-starting your morning routine is the prospect of waking up with the birds. I adore this. Reclaim moments in your day to appreciate what’s happening around you. When I open my window in the morning to let in the breeze and the sound of birds, I feel like it’s a real treat; the experience, in a way, is a reward.
Reward your efforts throughout the day too. How about a lunchtime stroll in a park you’ve never visited? It’s sure to re-energize you for the afternoon. If you’re new to the whole noticing nature agenda, then I cannot recommend the Breathe Magazine Nature Journal enough. In fact, I cannot recommend Breath Magazine enough in general! This is the perfect gateway journal, as the pages are already filled out with ideas to inspire you. It’s also themed by seasons, so you can start out in spring and then log the changes you see around you in the coming year. I’d think of it as a little investment.
Value the friends who pick up from halfway across the world when you’re mid-meltdown. One such friend recently told me I needed aromatherapy in my life’s and oh baby, was she right!
I Invested in this Anjou diffuser and a set of essential oils; they come a sleek black case which feels very luxurious when you’re picking out a scent, like choosing your favourite truffle. Orange is great for putting a pep in your step in the mornings, I just leave mine to bubble away whilst i’m getting dressed, and of course, lavender is going help you to wind down at the end of the day.
Developing rituals is all about finding moments of calm and connectedness in your day – I hope you’ve found some inspiration here to take you into the new season feeling refreshed.