Spring has become synonymous with cleaning, but that’s often in the literal sense. We open the windows, shake out the rugs and sweep out the dust, cobwebs and debris that piled up while we stayed indoors all winter. We let in the fresh air and let the breeze circulate. We feel alive again as the spring sunshine warms our bones and drives out the chills of winter!
But after a year spent largely at home, you’re likely not interested in deep cleaning every nook and cranny of the four walls you’ve stared at for months on end. (Besides, didn’t we all Marie Kondo our homes early on in the pandemic?) Beyond scrubbing, sweeping and sorting, there are plenty of other ways to spring clean.
After a long, cold winter, who doesn’t need a reset? Here are a few habits that might be signs your routine could use a refresh this spring. And, since we know that life is hard – especially now – these resets are painless and easy!
Habit 1: You’re stuck in a comfort food rut.
Reset: Keep it simple, but swap in some spring-friendly foods.
When the weather is cold and dreary, comfort food is a must! But after months of heavy stews, hearty soups and all that homemade sourdough, some lighter fare probably sounds appealing. (Asking for a friend: How long are we obligated to keep feeding our sourdough starters?)
Take some help, keep meals simple, but start to change up your meal plan. Here are some low-stress ways to get started:
- Sign up for a meal kit or meal delivery service. Look for one that suits your dietary needs and offers seasonally appropriate menus. Using these services can help you reduce food waste, so don’t ever feel guilty about not making every meal from scratch.
- Start with one meal at a time. Add spinach or kale to your morning egg scramble. Serve a simple green salad on the side at dinnertime. (Season it with a simple oil-and-vinegar combo to make it even more spring-friendly.)
- Check out the freezer section for convenient veggie options like cauliflower rice and zucchini “noodles.” While they can be low-carb swaps for pasta and grains, they’re also just an easy way to eat more vegetables (alongside tasty carbs).
- Farmers markets are opening again, and they offer affordable, fresh and local produce. Getting in the habit of eating local can help you attune with the seasons.
Habit 2: You use an after-dinner glass of wine or cocktail to wind down and get sleepy.
Reset: Take a broader look at your bedtime routine.
Alcohol tricks the brain – it makes us feel sleepy at first, but it actually disrupts our sleep and reduces the quality of our rest. While you don’t need to give up imbibing entirely, stick to one drink (for women) or two (for men) a day at most. And give your body time to metabolize that drink before you head to bed, so choose happy hour over a nightcap. (Drink plenty of water, too.)
At bedtime, focus on simple habits that help you wind down and set you up for a good night’s sleep. Put down your phone, avoid thrilling shows late at night – and reach for supplements that support sleep.*
Let our Hello Dreams™ sleep strips infused with Melatonin & Calm DownTM, our proprietary blend of herbs, melt on your tongue as you feel your day melt away.* They’re formulated to help you quiet the mind, drift into deep slumber, and awake restored.* Better yet, you can pop one on your tongue as you climb into bed.
Not sleeping well can also impact your waistline, especially for women. A recent study found that we gained 1.5 pounds for every month of shelter-in-place orders. If you’re trying to shed those pounds, a healthy sleep routine can help, in addition to moving more and changing up your eating habits.
Habit 3: You’ve binged every show on your watch list.
Reset: Swap in some brain food.
The post-2020 fatigue is real – but zoning out in front of the TV night after night won’t help. Go easy on yourself and be gentle. Invoke the mantra “I’m doing the best with what I have.” Lower your expectations for yourself right now. And give your brain a little nourishment, in the form of entertainment. Reach for a good book, do a crossword puzzle – or swap podcasts for your Netflix binges.
Our pick? One of the two that Brené Brown – the researcher, storyteller and vulnerability evangelist – has to offer. Unlocking Us is a weekly conversation that unlocks “the deeply human part of who we are, so that we can live, love, parent, and lead with more courage and heart.” Dare to Lead talking to those who “are innovating, creating, and daring to lead” – and it’s helpful far beyond the workplace. They’re inspiring but feel like a hug in audio form.
Habit 4: You’re drinking coffee all day but still feel fatigued.
Reset: Drink less coffee for more energy.
Coffee is life juice, right? Well, sort of. That first cup works its magic in the mornings, waking us up and making us feel like we can take on the world. But more caffeine doesn’t deliver an endless supply of energy. If we keep pouring cup after cup, the energy we get is short-lived, and it can actually backfire.
The maximum amount we should consume in a day is equal to about 4 cups of coffee. (That’s 4 8-ounce cups, not 4 ventis or 4 double shots of espresso.) You know that saying “work smarter, not harder?” It applies to caffeine and energy.
Drink that morning cup of coffee but add herbs that offer energy for the long haul. Our Good Morning Sunshine™ coffee + adaptogens contains organic red ginseng extract. This herb – perhaps the best-known in all of Traditional Chinese Medicine – can help you fight fatigue, experience sustained energy, and stress less.* Ginseng is in a category of herbs called adaptogens that help the mind and body adapt to stress, both physical and emotional.*
Not sure where to get started with your springtime reset? Start by taking this short quiz, which can help you discover ancient botanical wisdom that’ll work in your busy modern life.
Embrace spring, with some help from TCM
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, spring is a time for renewal. Each season is assigned a different element, color, organ system, taste, color, etc. to focus on in order to maintain or achieve balance in body, mind and spirit. If you visit an acupuncturist or herbalist, they’ll likely give you different herbs in spring, along with a list of certain foods to add to your diet and a few lifestyle changes to encourage balance.
In TCM, springtime is linked to:
- Element: wood
- Organs: liver and gallbladder
- Taste: sour
- Emotion: anger
- Color: green
Finding balance in spring could involve stocking up on tender greens at the farmers market and using them in salads and smoothies. It could mean adding lemon to your water or vinegar-based dressings to your meals – or maybe doing a short cleanse under the supervision of your TCM practitioner. Emotionally, it could mean finding ways to alleviate frustration, which is linked to anger. By embracing some of these small resets, you can bring that spring-cleaning vibe into different aspects of your life.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.