The weather is turning warmer, green tips are starting to emerge in the garden, and by the calendar spring will officially arrive next week. As the weather turns warmer, there is a deeply rooted desire for spring cleaning. We throw open the windows, turn up some great tunes, and set to reorganizing and deep cleaning the house top to bottom, purging clutter as we go. By the time we’re done, the house is sparkling inside and out and there is a gentle contentment in surveying a job well done.
At this time of year, it’s equally important to focus on spring cleaning our bodies too. We’ve spent the winter months eating warm, rich and nourishing stews and casseroles hot from the oven, drinking warming (and often sugary) drinks, and of course there was the overindulgence of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and possibly Valentine’s Day in there too. By now, our bodies need a good spring cleaning to clean out all of that heavy indulgence and make way for the bring freshness of spring and summer.
Here are 7 easy tips to get you started in your spring cleaning.
- Drink a glass of warm water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice in the morning as soon as you wake up. This will help to cleanse your digestive tract and hydrate your body.
- Enjoy fresh raw greens. Long before the rainbow colors of summer fruits and vegetables arrive, Mother Nature provides us with abundant greens to help cleanse our bodies, particularly our blood. Nettles, purslane, dandelion, chicory, spinach and arugula are all early greens with great cleansing properties. Enjoy them in salads, smoothies, or freshly made juice. You can also enjoy them cooked lightly on their own or added to fresh soups.
- Soak up the fresh air and sunshine. Most of us spend very little time outdoors in the winter months, meaning we’ve been breathing in indoor air that is usually much more polluted that the air outside. Get outside for at least 30 minutes a day and breath in that fresh spring air to flood your body with rich oxygen and give it a break from the indoor air pollution. As an added bonus, the sun’s rays on exposed skin on your face, hands and arms will start to create natural stores of vitamin D.
- Shift your diet to include mostly spring foods. Seasonal eating was the normal way of eating until the last 30-50 years. After a winter of eating mostly heavy meats and preserved goods, it would be natural for the body to crave bright fresh crispy ingredients. Greens, asparagus, mushrooms, spring onions, strawberries, and fresh herbs are just a few of the ingredients to choose from that are in season in the springtime. Check out what’s available at your local farmers market and enjoy the bounty of spring.
- Break a sweat. There’s a long list to the benefits of exercise. One of them is that exercise helps your body to cleanse out toxins through increasing your oxygen intake, sweating, and getting both the blood and lymphatic fluids circulating. Aim for at least 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.
- Treat yourself to the spa. After months of hibernation, a good body scrub or dry brushing to exfoliate and remove dead skin and stimulate the lymphatic system can leave you feeling energized and with skin that is glowing and beautiful.
- Consider cleansing. In most indigenous cultures there is a tradition of cleansing in the spring through fasting or restricting diet, consuming tonics or tinctures, and other methods. Spring is a natural time for cleansing, as it is a time of fresh growth and renewal. If you’ve never done a cleanse before, get help from an expert in order to ensure maximum benefit.