Ah spring! April showers bring the flowers, along with sneezes, stuffy noses and tearing eyes. And once the Easter bunny hops along — forget it! Better get that belt buckled before all those calories start hunting their way in to your belly! Don’t worry though — you can still enjoy the season with our S-P-R-I-N-G method.[dropcap color=”green”]S[/dropcap]top reaching for seconds (or thirds)! And seriously — eating your body weight in chocolate bunnies, pink and yellow peeps or the Cadbury Creme-filled Eggs is not good for your heart, arteries or any other part of your body that actively stores fat deposits.
We want to get ourselves ready for all of those outdoor activities. We can’t have a bunch of stowaways on our thighs, bellies or buns — they will BRING US DOWN! Say no to unhealthy eating habits, and instead have a special Easter dinner or lunch that is well-balanced with your favorite meat and veggies — without the sugary sidekicks. If you must have dessert, try snacking on a fresh fruit salad.[dropcap color=”green”]P[/dropcap]ick yourself up and dust yourself off — it’s time to venture outdoors! You’ve been hibernating far too long during these winter months and you look like something out of one of those Underworld movies that went horribly wrong.
Time to soak in a little sunshine and use those things we call feet and hands to get in a little biking, hiking or running down the path to springtime wellness. Incidentally, sunlight is also a great way to soak in Vitamin D … naturally.[dropcap color=”green”]R[/dropcap]estart your internal engines by setting goals that motivate you and keep you going. Goals should neither be too easy or too hard. Perhaps one goal each week — [Week One] I will exercise for 10 minutes after work or school three days this week … [Week Two] I will exercise 15 minutes after work or school three days this week … and so on.
Incremental goals work very well to keep it real. If you try to exercise every day for 30 minutes or more straight away after not having exercised in months, it is just not going to happen — trust me. If you don’t die you will wish for death. Take it from someone who is no longer making that mistake … anymore …[dropcap color=”green”] I [/dropcap]ndulge your creativity. Spring is a great time to begin anew. Take a walk and really see what is around you every day. Flowers blooming, green grass growing, towering trees treeing, clouds forming in the shape of ducks quacking … [no, you did not hear the duck cloud say Aflac].
Reconnecting with the world around you can help you reconnect with yourself. This will help boost your creativity and reduce your stress.[dropcap color=”green”]N[/dropcap]ever say “I can’t”. One thing is for certain. If you think you can’t. You won’t. Positive thinking is a very powerful tool — much more powerful than that hoe or shovel you may use to plant your new springtime garden. Positive ways of thinking are to happiness what “Arrrh, Arrrh, Arrrh” are to Tim the Toolman Taylor.
Share that positive philosophy with your family and friends. People often tend to feed off of one another and mirror those around them. You smile, they smile. You frown, they look away or scurry off to another location — somewhere away from you! Those who are negative and cranky all of the time are never fun to be around. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “turn your frown upside down” — it works. If you make yourself smile and keep doing that, eventually you will start feeling that smile.[dropcap color=”green”]G[/dropcap]ive yourself a pat on the back. Most of the time we focus on all of the things we didn’t do right (or shouldn’t have done), things we should have done better or things we need to do more. Enough already. What are the things you did well today? Did you ace a test, nail a presentation, get your house in order — cook dinner? These are all good things we do, sometimes on a daily basis, that we never consider to be things we’ve actually accomplished.
People often take the little things for granted, but more times than not, the real living is in the details. Whether it is getting a load of laundry done (I hate doing laundry), eating a healthy breakfast (Lucky Charms doesn’t count) or telling your sweetheart or family member you love them — these are all examples of good things we do on a daily basis. Give yourself a little credit. You can’t be all bad!
Reward yourself every now and then, whether it’s a quiet bubble bath with candles and a tranquility spa CD on the play, or a special treat like a Frappuccino at Starbucks every once and a while (because, lets face it, it’s too expensive for daily rewards on a modest budget!).
So, bounce back this spring with a hop in your step, a smile on your face (please no Cheshire Cat grins) and a twinkle in your eye(s).