While it might still feel very much like winter out there, there is hope in sight… the mornings are getting just that little bit brighter, and we celebrated the official start to spring – known as Spring Equinox – last week, on Tuesday March 20th. Also called the March or vernal equinox, this astronomical event signals an end to winter and the arrival of some increasingly warmer and brighter days.
All over the world, Spring Equinox is a time to celebrate new life, awakening, fertility, coming out of the winter hibernation, and most of all, balance (since at this time of year, day and night are of equal length).
With all this fresh, cleansing spring energy in the air, this is the perfect time to put into practice some new healthy habits. You’ll naturally be feeling a little more energetic, so why not make the most of it?
Here are some of the healthy habits we’ll be trying to put into action this spring:
Find time to meditate each day
For many of us, meditation is like drinking more water: We all know it’s one of the simplest ways to improve our health and well-being, and yet we just can’t seem to make a habit of it. But, if there is one new habit you adopt this spring, mindfulness could be the most rewarding. Even just ten minutes of mindfulness practice a day has been shown to improve insomnia, relieve stress and anxiety and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Meditation has also been shown to improve your productivity, so while it might seem hard at first to find that extra ten mins in the morning, it’s actually a worthy investment that will pay off for the rest of your day.
Balance is key
At this time of year, day and night are of an equal length which makes it a great time to take a life review and make sure that you are as ‘in balance’ as nature is. How is your work/home life balance? Do you allow yourself enough time out for you? Do you prioritise your needs as much as you do the needs of others? Before the busy, buzzing summer and social season kicks in, take this opportunity for an honest look at all areas in your life and find as much balance as you can.
Don’t forget to stretch
When we’re short of time, stretching is usually the first thing to go from our exercise regime. Because the results aren’t as visible as lifting weights or running, we can be mistaken for thinking it’s not really doing much. But, when it comes to a healthy, balanced body, stretching is crucial because it keeps your muscles flexible and strong. Without regular stretching, your muscles become short and tight which means that when you call on them for activity, they are unable to extend the way they should, putting you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage. So, keep stretching a core part of your workout and say hello to long, flexible and healthy muscles.
Eat local, seasonal produce
Eating seasonally offers many benefits for your health and the environment. And, with all the incredible fruits and vegetables coming into season in the next few months, now is a great time to try and take advantage of in-season produce. When you eat with the seasons you’ll be more likely eating fruit and veg from local growers, which not only means a lower carbon footprint but also that you’re supporting the farmers and businesses in your community. Seasonal fruit and veg are usually harvested at peak ripeness too, giving you the full benefit of both flavour and nutrients. So, what’s good to eat now? We’re loving bananas, oranges, broccoli, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, peas, and spinach.