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Seasonal Transition: Spring Wellness

pulsatilla and dandelion flowers
Pulsatilla and Dandelion

I quite literally cannot wait for spring each year. And while, yes, I’m learning to embrace the beauty and quiet of winter, I really can’t hold in my excitement for spring. While my favorite season is summer, for whatever reason I am so intrinsically bonded to the energy of spring. I feel its pull. I succumb to the energy. And, I don’t suffer from seasonal allergies, so it makes it easy to enjoy. 

Yeah- I’ll admit it. I drag myself through winter searching for happy things to get me through. But once the days start getting noticeably longer and I’m finally able to shed some layers, I am in my happy place. Life is emerging again. I feel all this big, yang energy deep within my bones. It gives me energy to continue with daily life instead of beginning to shut down at 4pm. 

There is so much happiness and joy knowing I can revisit all the things I love: getting my veggie garden going, adding more medicinal herbs to gardens, hatching new chicks, splitting the bees and adding to the apiary, foraging again. It’s time for eating outside, sitting with friends around the bonfire, and going on hikes. I feel alive again. 

This year, however, it feels like manic energy. It feels like too much. The work involved in homesteading has become too laborious for me to be as productive with my inside jobs: blending teas, seeing clients, attending meetings, teaching classes, business accounting crap, etc. It’s time to find the balance. Instead of letting the spring energy wash over me and riding those waves wherever they take me, I need to dock this boat. It’s time to fill the tank. Give her a good clean. Then send her out again. We need a fresh start.

Another benefit of springtime, though not as exciting for me, is the importance of the Spring Cleanse. You can look at this as a detox if that resonates with you. This could be an energetic cleanse or a physical one. It could mean doing a total hard-core detox or it could be a simple elimination diet. Maybe it’s a cleanse for your home, or your relationships, or old habits. The point is, we have to let go to make room for the good that is to come. By the way…how are your New Year's resolutions coming along? This is a good time to revisit them. 

I think we can all agree that cleansing is important, whether that’s a daily routine of brushing our teeth or getting rid of things that take up space and no longer serve us. Now is the time to cleanse the mind of unnecessary or unhealthy thoughts and patterns of behavior. Find the balance and make adjustments.

This is also a nice time to get your summer glow ready by prepping your skin using a spring wellness routine. Dry brushing is a way of exfoliating and bringing blood to the surface, increasing circulation. You could also try self massage and get that lymph moving. If you’re really interested in doing a little healthy cleanse within the body, focus on your liver. 

Nature is ready for you.

This is one of the coolest parts of living holistically and being in touch with the seasons. At this point in the year we should be shedding some of the winter weight (which was necessary to gain, by the way!) and cleaning up our insides from the heavier and richer foods, like dairy, sugars, and meat. Mother nature helps us out with this by providing us with plants that are first to come up in spring which work directly on the digestive system to help move things along. I’m talking about bitters. The bitter taste directs our body into digestion-mode by signaling to our stomach to release digestive enzymes as soon as our taste buds detect that flavor. Dark leafy greens are also coming up now, which increase the vitamins and minerals we need. All that stagnation in winter can gunk us up a bit, causing slowed digestion and elimination. Flush all that crap out! Get moving! 

No like, seriously. Get moving. Movement, even just walking or standing vs sitting can help move our food and along the digestive tract. Now that it’s warmer and days are longer we have more ability to get up and get going. Start a new exercise routine or try out a new activity this year. 

Actually, why don’t you combine nutrition and movement and go take a walk! Some of my favorite wild edibles and herbs this time of year are Dandelion (greens for food, root for detox and liver), Nettles (for liver, detox, and TONS of iron), Chickweed, and Violet. Chickweed and Violets are considered demulcents, which mean they are cooling and healing to tissues. Chickweed is my favorite wild edible, though it has a ton of medicinal uses, as well. And my favorite walk-in-the-field snack is a violet flower. Just be sure that if you harvest from the wild that you know it hasn’t been sprayed and isn’t along a road. 

As the days get warmer you might notice an inclination to eat less heavy food, like the rooty stews of winter, and instead crave fresh veggies. Many foods are even more delicious eaten raw, such as asparagus, peas, and those dark leafies like broccoli, spinach, and kale. Our bodies naturally gravitate toward cooler food when the temps begin to warm up. This is a great time to go visit your local farmer’s markets to get the freshest produce and to reduce environmental impact. 

Spring has always been a time of rejoicing (unless you’re my husband who has the worst allergies ever). Let’s celebrate rebirth, making it through the winter, and the abundance the Earth has provided for us. 

And of course you know I’m going to suggest going barefoot and sticking those toes in the grass! Grounding has been one of the ways I’ve been keeping my crazy spring-loving self from bringing in more fun projects that I can’t finish…like that woodfire-heated outdoor bathtub. Or that meditation space by the big Grandmother Poplar tree. Or the water feature where I plan to put the English garden…

Enjoy your spring.

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