Beat the Winter Blues - Spring Cleanse

We all know that Winter can be a bit of a nightmare for some. Dark days, cold weather, and in New Zealand, unfortunately for many people, that can mean a cold house and expensive heating bills. Put these things on top of just trying to live your life; a dark cloud can form very quickly.

If you notice your winter gloom cloud is still hanging around, never fear; we have some tips to help you shoo fly that baby out of there.

1: Cleanse your Diet

Don't worry; we aren't not going to tell you to stop drinking and cut down on the fried chicken, although those things would be good for you. There are plenty of little things you can do to improve your diet.

Do you know how many things you can shove into a smoothie before it starts tasting like drywall and almond milk, HEAPS.

  • sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and oats = all good for extra fibre
  • Mushroom extract powders or oils = Reishi, lions mane, Turkey Tail, cordyceps, and shiitake are all good for improving brain health, immunity and natural detoxification.
  • Assuming you already want to put in the classics like bananas and berries, you can easily mask that nearly over-ripe orange or slightly squishy kiwifruit you still have hiding in the back of the fridge for some extra vitamin C

Making one health-packed meal a day can drastically increase your mood, immunity, and energy levels.

2: Cleanse your body/mind

Let's be honest; Winter makes it hard to exert any extra effort anywhere. We drop the routines; showers become about warming yourself rather than hygiene, and the only yoga we do is trying to reach for the laptop charger without moving out of the warm spot in your bed.

Fortunately, with spring, the sunshine hours get longer, making it easier to move, and we can start to regret the amount of stuff we didn't accomplish during Winter. This builds our anxiety, ultimately leading to us trying to make up for everything we couldn't be bothered doing.

An excellent place to start is with yourself; start cleaning the biggest organ on your body... your skin.

After you feel squeaky clean, we can even start to look at our spiritual hygiene. Burning sage is an excellent way to clear and clean out bad energy. Simply put, sage clears bacteria from the air. Sage smoke offers rapid delivery to the brain and efficient absorption to the body. Scientists have observed that sage can clear up to 94 per cent of airborne bacteria in a space and disinfect the air. When sage is burned, it releases negative ions, linked to putting people in a positive mood. Other qualities believed to be associated with sage when burned are giving wisdom, clarity, and increasing spiritual awareness. Another way we can encourage good energy is with Crystals, not to mention how good they look around the house! Which leads us to our final tip.

3: Revamp your living space

We have established that if you are anything like us during Winter, you put your 'can't deal with it glasses' on and avoid anything and everything, so things in the house may have piled up.

Thinking about cleaning can certainly provoke anxiety in some people. Still, once you get going, you may find cleaning can be calming. In fact, it's possible to turn cleaning into a meditative experience. "Mindfulness is all about conscious awareness". Tuning out the stress of the outside world but bringing your conscious awareness to the task at hand and focusing on accomplishing that one thing in the moment may be advantageous for your mental health.

Clutter is thought to produce an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. This doesn't mean that clutter causes mental illness, but it certainly doesn't help; recent studies suggest that decisions may be more difficult when you have a lot of "visual noise" around you. Get those knees under some sun rays and start thinking about how I can re-organise my space. What things around the house don't you need anymore? Create some 'Sell, keep or donate piles', go through things in each room, and decide what you don't want anymore. Cleaning your space may help reduce your cortisol levels, turn down the volume on the visual noise, and help you focus on the things you need to, which could improve your mood. You might also like to start finding those half-used bottles of shampoo or toner and make a point of using them; then, by the end of the month, you'll be able to treat yourself with some feel-good eco-friendly alternatives. Studies show that engaging in environmentally positive activities can significantly improve your well-being and self-image.

Let's face it; Winter can be tough, and looking after yourself properly can be difficult on those dark and gloomy days, but with these tips, and the long sunshine days just around the corner, you'll be feeling back to your old self in no time. Just remember, most of all, though, breathe in. Breathe out. You're awesome; you're doing fine!

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