Spring into Something Fresh

March 10, 2020 by simpilates

This time of year, as the season turns from winter to spring, it’s natural for the ‘spring cleaning’ to begin—the full clear out and freshening up of our homes. Decisions are made over what to keep and what to get rid of. And corners left untouched for months finally get that attention. The phrase is familiar to many and instills a sense of a full reset.And in many traditions, like Ayurveda, the seasonal shifts are a critical time to tune in to your mental and physical health. With any change comes a natural disruption to balance. So given our homes are getting that thorough attention at this time of year, what could that look like for mental and emotional well-being too?Here’s 5 simple tips for focusing on an ‘internal’ spring clean this season:

1. Schedule Space Just as you would set aside an afternoon or entire weekend to clean out your home, put the time in your diary now to give yourself that same attention.
Make it fun – set up at a local café, or picnic in the park now that the weather is getting warmer – whatever you do though, schedule it. There are numerous studies that show that those who are specific about where and when their new behaviors will take place are more likely to follow through, and actually reach their goals.

 2. Simplify Overwhelm and stress build when we are trying to take on too much or spreading ourselves too thin. As the season shifts from heavier winter energy, it could feel more challenging to work out where to begin. When it comes to making any changes, simplify wherever possible.
 Start with a simple stocktake and ask: How do I feel right now in my life? As the season is shifting, this is a simple starting point to get back in touch with where you are at and what has changed for you.

3. Spark JoyIn Marie Kondo’s #1 New York Times bestseller Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, and now Netflix series, she refers to whether items in your home continue to spark joy for you, and if not, it’s time to let them go.
 Set yourself up for spring and that fresh feeling for the rest of the year by applying this to all aspects of your life. Ask: Does this spark joy?Look ahead at your commitments this month, this quarter, or even this year. What still sparks joy? What could you let go of? And, where are there opportunities to add more of the joy?

4. ReleaseIn Tidying Up if the item doesn’t spark joy, then you get rid of it. This can also be translated for your mental and emotional well-being, if something is no longer working for you, it’s time to let it go.Start with considering what you’ve been telling yourself these past few months. What’s the general chatter been like for you mentally and emotionally? What’s still working and what’s holding you back? Many people identify with that ‘inner self-critic’. A valuable question you can ask yourself when stuck in that mode is: What would I say if I was talking to a best friend right now?

5. Fresh and FunFresh flowers are notorious for the springtime and a finishing touch after doing a spring clean in the home. They bring reminders of beauty, color, life, and energy. How could you do the same for your internal mental and emotional health?

As our brains require constant repetition in order to change a behavior, create ways to constantly remind yourself to bring this same ‘freshness’ and fun into your conscious awareness. For example, put reminders around your home, on your phone, or even enlist a friend to continue to check in with you throughout the seasonal change. The more you share what your vision is, how you want to be feeling, or simply some of the changes you’re making, the easier it is to bring those to life. In fact, it has been shown that you have a 65% greater chance of success if you commit your goal to someone.

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Dump-and-Bake Spring Pasta

Ingredients: 1 cup diced cooked chicken*1 14 ounce can quartered artichokes, drained1 cup diced fresh asparagus about 10 spears½ cup grated carrots I used a bag of “matchstick carrots” from the produce section as a shortcut1 ½ cups uncooked penne pasta1 ¾ cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth for a vegetarian option½ cup loosely-packed chopped fresh chives or green onions divided¼ cup chopped fresh parsley divided2 teaspoons minced garlic¼ teaspoon salt½ cup fresh or frozen peas1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese divided

Instructions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220C). Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.In the prepared dish (or in a separate bowl), stir together cooked chicken, artichoke hearts, asparagus, carrots, uncooked pasta, chicken broth, about half of the chives, half of the parsley, minced garlic, and salt, and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan.Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 35 minutes.Uncover; stir. At this point you should check the pasta to make sure that it is al dente (firm but just about finished cooking). If it’s still too hard, cover the dish and return to the oven until pasta is al dente. Then move on to the next step.Stir in the frozen peas and sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan over the top. Bake uncovered for 5-10 more minutes (or until pasta is tender).Garnish with remaining chives and parsley just before serving.

A MOVE TO REMEMBER 

Leg CircleLie face-up with your arms by your sides, palms down.Bend your left knee and place your left foot flat on the floor. Extend your right leg up so that it’s perpendicular to the floor.Circle your right leg out to the side, down toward the ground, and return to your starting position. Make the circle as big as you can while still keeping your lower back on the floor.Reverse the circle.Complete all reps one on leg, and then repeat on the other.

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