To me, spring has never been so beautiful. The cherry blossoms seem a little pinker. The blue sky seems a little brighter. Yesterday’s Earth Day was more important than ever before. Why, you might ask? My answer—It’s because I live in a city that has overcome fear to show the beauty of life through its strength and its heroes.
Why is spring more beautiful this year? It’s because I live in Boston.
As I’m sure all people have been wrestling with after last week’s Marathon bombing (wow, was it a week ago?), I’ve bounced between anger and sadness, then fear and pain...I reach confusion then I circle back to anger again. Lather, rinse, repeat. But one thing that has remained stable throughout my emotional rollercoaster is my pride in where I’m from.
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After seeing the bravery of this town and how it came together to fight and eventually bring last week’s terror-driven insanity to a close with an arrest, I’ve become rededicated to the beauty around me. Spring has truly sprung.
To celebrate this recharged outlet on spring, I have seven easy springtime strategies from body-soul health and fitness experts Brant Secunda and Mark Allen to get you on the path to celebrate the beauty of spring and reveal a new you.
- “Spring up” your diet. Indigenous people who live close to nature eat seasonally. It’s a healthy way to eat that naturally helps you shed those winter pounds, give you glowing skin, and make you feel light and springy. Seek out fresh seasonal foods, such as green leafy salads with sprouts and radishes; strawberries and baby asparagus; and seasonal fish and shellfish.
- Commit to outdoor time. Scientists have proven what shamans have known for millennium: being outdoors in nature makes people happier, calmer, healthier, and more energetic. Make a conscious effort to spend at least 30 minutes outside daily doing anything. You’ll feel significantly less stressed, more connected, and more energetic. But wear that SPF. The sun is getting strong again.
- Try something new. Springtime is a time for renewal. To get into the mood of change and forward momentum, try a new sport or an old one you haven’t done for a long time. Often, when we engage in new activities, it’s especially motivating. The more types of activities you engage in, the more energetic you’ll feel.
- Spring into a new eating routine. Did you get into a carb habit over the winter? Try this: For one week, cut out all sweets, pasta, and breads. Then slowly add more carbs back in–but only complex carbs with lots of fiber (whole grains, whole fruits and vegetables, beans, etc.). Notice how much lighter you feel. Not to mention your skin and hair will lose that lackluster tone in exchange for a springtime shine.
- Refresh an old workout routine. Don’t let workout boredom squelch your motivation to get in shape. Change your workout course. Do the familiar course in the opposite direction, find a workout partner, or work out at a different time of day.
- Take a springtime trip. Pick a wildly beautiful place in nature. Schedule a weekend to go camping or hiking. Or simply take some extended time to relax in a wonderful outdoor place where spring is showing its colors and beauty. Taking a trip in nature will jump-start your springtime energy and will shake off the hard work, restlessness, and stagnation from winter.
- Accept that challenge is normal. Lots of us this time of year look in the mirror and think, “I’ll never get in shape by swimsuit season.” Think of a fragile crocus pushing its way up through the frozen earth. Challenge is a normal part of striving, growing, and overcoming obstacles. Realizing this will help you manage your fear and negativity and propel you forward.
And we've overcome some obstacles this past week, for sure. But with each challenge is a new day. And I have a feeling it's going to be a beautiful one.