Springtime wellbeing

Springtime is in the air…

Every year springtime may pose a degree of a challenge: how to navigate transition
from cooler, winter climate to slightly warmer and lighter days that allow you to enjoy
your life more. This seasonal shift takes place every year. Yet, despite not being new
to this annual cycle, we may still need a few tips to help us along the way. Here is a
summary of a few things to bear in mind:

1. DIET AND LIFESTYLE. This time of the year temperature is rather
unpredictable, as is precipitation and wind, let alone sunshine. These changes
are conducive to experiencing more colds, inhalant allergies, and fevers. So a
range of measures may be helpful here:
– Dressing up in layers to avoid getting too hot and then cooling down too fast.
– Avoiding being outside at times of the known or suspected highest pollen
release / count by the grasses, shrubs and trees. And/or taking precautions
like having some natural antihistamines and allergic reactions neutralising
supplements to hand (like e.g. quercetin, polyphenols, vitamin C, calcium).
– Checking your vitamin D levels by a blood test to ensure you are not short of
this brilliant immunity modulating fat-soluble vitamin. Supplementing it if you
fall below ¾ of the desirable NHS range is usually advisable.
– Consuming foods that help you match the external temperature to your
internal thermostat needs. This means balancing the yin and yang of your
foods: not tucking into too many raw salads and smoothies too soon into the
first month of spring, especially if your thyroid has been under par or you are
feeling on the cool side. Resorting to warming dishes (baked, steamed, or
lightly cooked), herbs and spices (like ginger root, cayenne pepper or

cardamon) is a good idea, and when you feel your body getting warmer on
most days (or your physical activity level keeps you warm), re-introducing
more e.g. salad vegetables in their raw form either as main meals or side
– Trying green smoothies based on avocado or cruciferous vegetables such as
broccoli or spring cabbage (when you feel your thermostat is back to its best)
is also a good way to boost your mineral and vitamin content this time of the
year. Adding some seaweed, sprouts and small green and purple leaves of
any kind will amplify this nutrient input, especially with selenium, vitamin A (as
beta-carotene) and D, zinc, and iodine. Including first leaves of such shrubs
and trees as hawthorn, lime tree buds, birch as well as dandelion flowers,
hedge mustard leaves, elm tree seeds, etc.) will make for a broader variety of
nutrients and tickle your taste buds nicely. Perhaps a foraging course or
workshop may be of interest to you? It is great to be able to recognise the
abundance of wild foods to source each season.
– And when it is warm, your body will be happier to cleanse from within. Infrared
saunas, Epsom salt baths and herbal foot soaks are also useful tools to
compound that effect, best at bedtime.

2. DETOX. From a Chinese medical perspective, spring is the season of Wood
element. This element signifies creation, time of new beginnings, birth, growth
and development. The main organs of the Wood element are liver and gall
bladder and it is the role of the Liver is to ensure flawless distribution and flow of
energy in the body. This is why it is a good practice to include some bitter green
leaves into your meals (like watercress, rocket, or dandelion and wild mustard or
garlic – leaves and flowers) – they help keep these organs in flow and allow you
to muster the internal cleansing and purification tendencies. These can also be
added to soups and sauces or blanched if you are slightly cold.
Starting the day with a glass of hot water with a dash of fresh lemon juice and a
teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil will ensure your elimination via the bowel is
triggered – thanks to its effect on your gall bladder. Sipping room temperature or
warm water throughout the day will keep you hydrated to maintain good viscosity
of bile.

3. LIGHT EXPOSURE. Now that the days start getting longer, it is easier to fit in
times to be outside in full spectrum light. Capitalise on the sunny days as much
as you can by spending time outdoors, be it walking, cycling or hiking. Light
exposure together with the extra vitamin D your body will be able to make itself
will help your hormonal health, as well as your sleep and thus rest. When the
seasons change the thyroid often de-regulates leaving us feeling tired, needing
more fuel as well as sleep. Thus being outside and consuming some selenium-
rich foods (like seaweed, Brazil nuts, fish and shellfish) alongside high iodine
foods (like fish, seafood and seaweed) will benefit your thyroid and help not only
your temperature regulation but also your whole metabolism.

4. MINDSET. With the new freshness in the air and more light coming in, your mood
will pick up too. That said, you need to ensure you consume enough protein to

provide amino acids for the production of neurotransmitters in your brain. And
you need to embrace a new habit: to cultivate an attitude of adventure and
thriving in the face of challenges around you. So why not meet this spring with an
openness to a shift in your mindset from “I cannot do this” to “I am ready to try it
for the first time”, and from “I have always been like this” to “I am still able to be
the best version of me”? These subtle yet powerful thought pattern changes will
reshape your deep belief framework and allow you to manifest your best
wellbeing this spring. What is stopping you?
If you get stuck on this last question, help is always to hand. If we limit ourselves by
our perception of what is possible, we may need a neutral observer to help us along.
I hope by now you know where to find me.

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