Spring Cleaning

I had an awakening a few weeks ago when I was at the gym and stepped on the scale. I’m not as bothered about the weight I’ve gained as I am about my health dwindling. It also hit me that I was letting my hair grow out – that means a change is a’commin’! I realized today that about this time every year at Uni I did an inventory – a spring cleaning of sorts.

So, for this year, instead of spring cleaning your house spring clean yourself.

1. Spring has (started to) sprung!

Take advantage of the nicer weather and walk. Take the mile or mile and a half challenge – walk, run, or bike anywhere within a mile or mile and a half. For me, that means walking to friends’ houses, the grocery store, and (starting this week) to work.

It’s rainy, you say? Embrace it. Invest in a good raincoat shell, some fun wellies, and go jump in some puddles. It’s too hot? Take some extra water, indulge in some Gatorade.

Rules for walking:
– wear good shoes
– walk on a sidewalk or on the LEFT side of the road
– always, always, ALWAYS carry water. And actually drink it.
– don’t forget your iPod (I’ve named mine Lucy)! Make sure to keep the volume low enough so you can hear cars and other walkers
– take a little bit of time to wander – notice something new, find the sunshine, take a mini-vacation.

2. If your body is a temple, it’s time to start treating it like one.

One great thing about living in Bar Harbor is that there are no fast food restaurants. When you go grocery shopping, look and see what produce looks good. Cut down on meat and get your protein from beans and fresh-tasting salads. For myself, I’m taking out all sweets and “extra” carbs like crackers and chips. The ice cream places are starting to open up in town, though, so once in awhile I’ll splurge on some really really good ice cream.

3. Your temple needs to live in a temple.

I know, I wasn’t going to start talking about spring cleaning, but that’s an important part of personal health, too. I’ve started really hating doing dishes, so today I’m going to completely tidy up the kitchen and try and keep on top of it.

It’s time to switch out the winter clothes! Since I live in a pretty cold place, I’ve got to keep some (ok, a lot) of my winter layering clothes, but I’m going to re-think my storage situations, use my clothes and colors to decorate my shelves. Also, since I’ve lived here for a few months (hard to believe), I can figure out how to use my space more effectively.

Evaluate your space. Switch things up – spend twenty minutes putting up a new pictures or posters. It’ll freshen up your space with no cost to you. Oh, and make your bed. Every day. It’s much more relaxing to LOOK at a made bed – and even better to sleep in one.

I am also going to try to institute a computer-free area. I love having wireless, but I’m much happier if Mildred doesn’t tempt me away from my reading or fiber time.

4. Nurture a living thing.

I am a much happier person when I’m giving part of myself to something else. Whether it’s a plant or an animal or another person. I have a plant that my sister gave me sophomore year, a Christmas cactus, and I live with two dogs. In addition, I’m an adopted “aunt” to my friend’s dog and I let her out a few times a week.

5. Give of yourself.

Find an hour or two of your week and volunteer, whether it’s with Girl Scouts (I’ve got a Daisy troop!) or shelving books at the library or just doing paperwork at your local Good Will. It doesn’t take a lot of time to give back to your community. In giving of yourself, you are most yourself.

6. Find something you really love.

Identify that thing that you really love (riding, spinning, whatever it is), and make it happen. Schedule a time every day or a few times a week to do something you love, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Use the time to come back to yourself.

7. Take the time to look nice. Every day.

Now, I’m not talking about wearing your prom dress or a business suit. But wear a clean t-shirt. Wear fun socks. Add a scarf. Once in awhile, shake it up. When you’re going to have a paper-reading day (or it’s lab meeting day), wear that blouse you love but never get to wear. Carry a cute bag. Everyone feels better when they look better.

For the gym (yes, the gym!), go to Good Will and find some funky colored t-shirts that are way too big and cut and tie them – fun color and design that’s cooler than just a regular t-shirt.

8. Treat yourself.

Paint your toenails. Create a new bag. Find some new fiber to spin up. Watch a favorite movie. Buy yourself some flowers. Do something once a week just because. It’s a time to re-fresh.

Happy Spring! We’ll see if I can keep all these up into the summer.


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