Spring Clean(s)ing Rituals
Is it possible that spring is here? We’ve sprung forward here in the northern hemisphere and in Toronto the sun is shining. Just two days of clear skies has me remembering that my body can hold hope and move lightly through the world. As the earth thaws, I invite you to notice and encourage release and thawing in yourself and space. Let it in! Even if it snows next week – risk being a romantic and falling for spring one more time. The Stoics taught us to accept and embrace the temporality of all things. Center yourself in ritual and ceremony (and throw in some joy for good measure). Here are a few things I’m doing to enjoy the equinox and appreciate the earth’s shift towards the sun.
Get outside and feel the sun on your face.
You’re probably doing this one without even noticing, but just in case, here is your reminder. This winter was an extra isolating and indoor one. Maybe you, like me, went days without leaving the house? Getting fresh air is so helpful in lifting one’s spirits. There is plenty of research advocating for forest bathing and other outdoor mood boosting activities. But what about just crossing to the sunny side of the street during your walk? What about taking the time to stop and focus on how the warmth of the sun feels on your face. Take a meditative moment and a few deep breaths. That’s spring.
Read something fun or frivolous.
Have you read something that just makes you smile lately? How are you balancing all that news? Pick something fun to read, or another solo activity that feels frivolous and purely for your enjoyment. Make it something that isn’t about bettering yourself or staying abreast of politics and global activities. I picked up some David Sedaris to re-read and have been giggling to myself on the couch this weekend. What’s your version?
Put your hands in some dirt or bring some flowers into your space.
I followed the pandemic trend last summer and started a small garden on my balcony. This spring I’m going to starting my own seedlings inside and the time has come! Spring time is for sowing seeds. Pardon the pun but it really is so grounding to stick your hands in some dirt. I also use this time to check in on all my indoor plants, to fertilize them, re-plant, or top up their soil. Every new leaf gets a little dance from me. If keeping plants isn’t your thing, how about a bouquet of tulips? Fresh flowers bring life into a space.
Check in with your skin.
As the seasons change so does our skin’s needs. Winter is harsh and drying for most skin types requiring lots of hydration and heavy moisturizers. As the days get longer check in with your skin regularly to adjust your routine as your environment changes. Notice if, as the humidity changes, your skin needs less or more protection. In the summer months I usually go for a lighter gel type moisturizer under my sunscreen. In the spring I feel it out. Usually choosing a light hydrating toner and playing it by ear on what weight of moisturizer I use.
Make time to process.
As the seasons change, I always find myself reflecting on memories of transitions past. But this spring is an especially big anniversary for us all, as we mark one year of the pandemic. So be gentle with yourself. This time last year it felt like I didn’t know what was happening from one hour to the next. This year we all have some experience under our belts – and a new kind of fatigue. It is okay to be frustrated, in fact, it makes a lot of sense. Feel your grief. What an incredibly normal thing to be experiencing.
We all know a lot more than we did last year, the good and the bad. Allow time to reflect and process. I know I have a lot of work to do to continue dealing with my own ongoing stresses – but acknowledging it is one of the only ways I have ever been able to make any changes. So, I’ll keep at it, and do my best to read silly books and put my hands in some dirt. Maybe what helps me during this time of transition, new life, and reflection could be nice for you too? Or maybe you have some tips to share with me? How are you carving out time to enjoy the spring? What are you noticing? How does the sun feel on your face?