Springtime through the senses
As winter fades away and spring emerges with light, warmth and vibrancy, the new season brings with it fresh beginnings and opportunities to rejuvenate your mind, body, spirit, and heart.
Spring is a time of renewal and growth, and it’s the perfect opportunity to focus on your wellness and improve your wellbeing.
I tangibly feel the tingle of anticipation that spring brings. The possibility of growth, emergence and new found opportunity as the earth moves closer to the sun on our annual journey through our orbit.
Read on to discover ways Spring can inspire our senses and 5 effective ways to improve wellbeing in spring.
Springtime, like the other three seasons I’ve written about, can inspire us in many ways, from boosting our mood and energy levels, to evoking nostalgia and creativity, reminding us of the natural cycles of life.
By taking time to appreciate and immerse us using all our senses we can connect more deeply with the beauty and wonder of the season and find inspiration for personal growth, experimentation, and creative expression. This was the primary reason for writing the ‘Through the Senses’ short collection over the past year.
At the start of spring the sensation of the sun’s gentle rays can awaken the memory and anticipation of the warmer days to come with the welcome possibility of discarding heavy winter clothes for the freedom of lighter layers. Casting off the scarves and hats of winter, we can move more easily, breathe in the fresh air unfettered and begin to feel the sunlight directly on our skin.
Spring brings an unfurling sense and stretch for me. Like the growing buds on the trees and the green shoots from the bulbs in the ground, the lengthening days, refreshment of rain and lighter evenings stimulate increased energy, opportunity, and promise.
A good old fashioned ‘spring clean’ can feel so right at this time of year. As the days warm up, the urge to throw open windows, let in the fresh spring air, brings light into dark corners that felt cosy during winter but now feel like they need a good dusting and airing out.
Some ways Spring can naturally inspire our senses
- Mood Boosting – The sweet cherry blossom and floral scents of spring can have a positive effect on our mood and emotions. Studies have shown that the fragrance of flowers can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, while improving overall feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
- Invigorating – After a long winter of cold, grey days, the smells of spring can be invigorating and energising. The scent of freshly cut grass, wet wood, and rain-washed air can awaken our senses and lift our spirits, helping us to feel more alert and awake.
- Nostalgic – The smells of spring can also be nostalgic, reminding us of past experiences and memories. The vibrant yellow, white and orange hue of daffodils, scent of blooming magnolia trees, lilacs or hyacinths, for example, may remind us of childhood visits to a grandparent’s garden or a springtime family outing in the park.
- Creativity – The ambiance of spring can also inspire creativity and artistic expression. The sight of snow drops, purple blue crocuses and spring flowers can evoke a sense of beauty and wonder, inspiring artists, poets, and writers to create works of art that capture the essence of the season.
- Spiritual – For many people, the smells of spring can be deeply spiritual, reminding us of the cycles of life, death, and rebirth. Early bulbs and blooms along with the first green shoots coming alive after winter can be a potent reminder of the power of renewal and rejuvenation. The signs of life can show us that there is always the possibility of new beginnings and fresh starts no matter the bleak or gloominess that may have preceded which can inspire us to reflect on our own spiritual growth and personal transformation.
- Gratitude – Spring gives us another fresh opportunity to be grateful for another spin around the sun and the chance to admire the beauty that surrounds us. Take a moment to appreciate the small and big things, the flowers, the trees and the arrival of migrating birds that fill our gardens and countryside with colour and song. Practising gratitude can help us focus on the positive things in our life and improve our overall wellbeing.
- Energy and motivation – The longer days and warmer weather can give us a much-needed boost of energy and motivation to tackle new projects or goals. Take advantage of this extra boost by setting new intentions or taking on new challenges. Something as simple as a spring clean, clearing out cupboards, tidying up the garden from the decomposing leaves can be the catalyst for a mood-boosting activity.
- Outdoors activities – Spring is a truly wonderful time to connect with nature. Spending more time outside, whether it’s going for a walk in the park, taking a bracing walk along the beach or planting some seeds in your garden. Connecting with the natural world can be incredibly restorative and can help us feel more grounded and centred.
5 Tips for improving health and wellbeing in Spring
There are a number of ways we can all embrace health and happiness in springtime and for inspiration I’ve pulled together 5 key practices here to help improve wellbeing in spring.
1. Get moving
Spring is the perfect time to get active and start moving your body. Take advantage of the longer daylight hours by going for a walk, run or bike ride. You can also try outdoor yoga, hiking, or other activities that help you connect with nature. I’m lucky enough to have a dog and walk every day, but even without a dog just a few minutes in the fresh air every day can have a big impact.
Exercise helps to boost endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals that can enhance your mood, reduce stress, and improve your overall health and wellbeing.
2. Connect with nature and the world around you
Take some time to reconnect with the natural world around you. Breathe in the fresh air, listen to the birds singing, and take in the blooming flowers and trees. Spending time outdoors has been shown to improve mental health, reduce stress, and unearth or enhance creativity.
For me, the lengthening days increase the time available when I want to spend time outside, so rather than cosying down as the nights draw in, I find myself opening up to the outside world as the daylight expands.
Take advantage of the warmer weather by visiting a park, botanical garden, or other natural areas near you.
3. Replenish – try eat fresh and seasonal food
Spring is the perfect time to focus on eating fresh, healthy, and seasonal foods. Try incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet, like purple sprouting broccoli, carrots, radish, leafy greens, asparagus, strawberries, and watercress.
The influx of spring veg can also provide a burst of new ideas to your cooking (and who doesn’t need that from time to time when we can all get stuck in a rut with the same old meals on rotation) and the variety of new plants will nourish your microbiome at the same time as satisfying your shifting palette.
For those who enjoy the convenience of food boxes, notice the changing seasonal menu and switch up your order or when you are in the supermarket, whole food stores or farmers market look out for the in-season offers.
Eating foods that are in season is not only more environmentally sustainable, but it can also provide your body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and energised.
4. Reset, refresh and rest
Make sure you’re getting enough time to rest, re-set and sleep each night. Springtime can be a busy time with outdoor activities, customary holidays, and festivities but it’s important to stay healthy and avoid getting frazzled.
Set a regular sleep schedule, create a relaxing bedtime routine, and make sure your sleep environment is comfortable and conducive to restful sleep.
Choose some new fragrances, shower gels or aroma oils to add zest to boost your morning, or maybe re-charge in the middle of the day or equally relax for a chilled late evening.
5. Experiment with mindfulness
Spring is a time of renewal and growth, and it’s a great opportunity to practise mindfulness. Take a few moments each day to focus on your breath, reflect on your thoughts and feelings, or meditate. I like to notice the seasons through the trees and foliage around me as I take daily walks.
One of my favourite walks is so richly biodiverse. I have counted at least 20 different types of trees each with their own clock for growth, bud, blossom, and bloom throughout the year. I have visited this place so many times over the years but never until recently have I before paid attention with such awe and wonderment.
You can do this in your local park if you’re in a city, you just need to focus on noticing the daily/weekly/monthly changes in your environment. From bare branches to early buds and shoots into the full-blown leaves of late spring and early summer.
“Mindfulness can help you reduce stress, increase feelings of calm, clarity and connection, and improve your wellbeing and overall mental health.”
Staying in touch with the natural world and its seasons can ground our mind and body with a sense of our place in the world. As human beings our five senses are powerful antennae connecting us and helping us make sense of the world around us.
Experiencing Spring through the senses
There are many ways we can experience and be inspired at this time of year. Here’s a guide through some of the ways in which you can experience and enjoy Spring (or any one of the seasons) through your individual senses.
One of the first visible signs of spring are the shoots of green that power their way through the earth seemingly against all the odds after a long, hard winter. After a few weeks, the tiny green shoots transform into colourful blooms and greenery. Snowdrops, crocus and daffodils come first in the south of the UK but this may be different where you are.
Notice the longer days as the daylight lasts longer and how this can brighten your outlook and improve your mood.
Springtime is heralded with a variety of nature’s sounds. Birds singing and calling to each other, bees and insects awakening and beginning to buzz, new leaves and greenery rustling in the breeze.
Notice how soothing and calming these sounds can be and how they can help us feel more connected to the natural world.
Fresh, seasonal produce in springtime includes such delights as asparagus, peas and strawberries. Moving away from the cosy winter veg basket of root vegetables our tastes naturally lean towards the new season full of light and fresh flavours.
Notice how your taste buds change and respond as the weather warms up. Our palates change from hankering after stews and soups to craving the freshness and zing of Spring’s early bounty.
The gradually warming temperatures can encourage us to spend more time outdoors and engage in more physical activity. Feel the first noticeably warmer rays of sun on our skin and body, the breezes reaching us through lighter clothing and the feel of the flourishing grass beneath our feet can be rejuvenating and invigorating.
Notice how the urge to undertake spring cleaning and organising can provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
The scent of the sun’s rays warming the earth can be a wonderful reminder that spring has arrived. Enjoy the scents of the blooming bulbs and the first freshly mown grass.
Notice how the smells of springtime can have a powerful effect on our mood and wellbeing, inspiring us in a variety of ways. As the weather warms up and the earth awakens from its winter slumber, a wide array of fragrances begins to fill the air. Taking the time out for a walk-in park or local countryside can relax and calm your mind and fill your senses with new possibilities.
How do you experience Spring through the senses?
There are truly no right or wrong ways to experience each of the seasons.
Springtime can begin to unearth passions and desires. If you want something different and you’re ready to
re-emerge into your next chapter happier and more fulfilled and would benefit from support and guidance, I offer free 20 minute, no -obligation calls.