After a long, cool winter, the return of sunny days can gladden the heart. Just as the sap rises in plants, it’s not unusual to experience an uprising of emotions with the coming of spring. Some experience a sense of renewed vigour and motivation, coupled with a feeling that anything is possible once more.
As our emotions come out of cold storage they can also flip from elation to other strong feelings, including irritation or anger. Traditional healing philosophies, such as Chinese medicine, see this as par for course at this time of year. Spending more time in nature, engaging in exercise and being more observant of your internal and external environment can be useful ways in dealing with these spring surges.
A change in diet, in concert with the season, can benefit both body and mind. Spring is a good time to break away from the fatty and stodgy winter foods and give your liver a boost. Adding bitter tastes to your diet by eating more leafy greens (like rocket, chicory and radicchio) and starting the day with fresh lemon juice in warm water can help this process. Try including more orange vegetables along with the seasonal greens and swapping a glass of wine for the occasional carrot juice.
Your respiratory system can also be under assault during this season. It’s common to be exposed to a fresh round of colds and even influenza. Along with nature’s sudden release of pollens, these can make many feel lousy in spring. If you are prone to allergies, have a look at these tips for dealing with hayfever before your symptoms hit. If nothing else, stock up on a good vitamin C powder or tablet, for its antihistamine and immune boosting properties.
To increase your chances of avoiding the latest round of viruses, be mindful to wash your hands at regular intervals. This is still the best way to prevent the spread of infections according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Rinse your hands in warm water and rub together with soap (any type is fine as long as you make some suds, it doesn’t have to be antibacterial) to build a proper lather. Do this for at least 20 seconds before rinsing again and drying thoroughly. I’d add some vitamin C and D as a daily supplement, to give your immune system an extra boost.
If you’d really like to take spring by the horns and give your body a treat you might like to try a spring clean. Be sure to read the following two articles, on why and how to detox before embarking. While detoxing is not for everyone (please read the cautions and contraindications), a gentle dietary change can benefit the body without involving expensive remedies and over-the-counter concoctions.
Have a wonderful spring.