Spring into Movement!

For those of us that live in the northern hemisphere, spring is in the air, so let’s spring into some movement!

 And this time I don’t mean exercise.

I’m talking about doing things that keep your body, mind, and soul active. Do things for the greater good, clear away the dreary winter clutter, go outside and take in what mother nature is presenting us, or even buy something new to make you feel good!  

I know I know, you’ve got a lot going on with school or work, so thinking of ways to Spring into Movement is hard, let alone actually implementing the idea! Don’t fret, thanks to Google I found some solutions and narrowed the list down to 5 ideas. So get the family together and let’s get started!

  1. Take a hike or walk and document what you see.    Bring a camera with you or go old school with pen and paper, and draw what you see! You can do this in teams with friends or family and create a scavenger hunt out of it, or go at it alone and post your findings on Facebook and Instagram hashtagging #empoweredwellnesscamp.  
  2. But what about the-not-having-enough-time-for-it part? Well, this one you might have to schedule if you want to go the extent of a scavenger hunt.  However, you can do a smaller version of this when walking to the bus stop, or from the parking lot to the building, or from one class to another, etc. I encourage you to make time for this one, especially since many of us have been cooped up indoors all winter long.  The smell and feel of spring air is so refreshing!
  3. Get creative using your hands.  You can really think outside the box with this one!  It’s common to think of arts and crafts ideas like getting a head start on your friendship bracelets for camp or to build something like picture frames for the new spring pictures you took on your hike.  But, I know, you’re busy with work and school things. You know that report your boss or professor needs by next Friday that you haven’t started yet? Take a pen and paper and go outside to write it. Leave the laptop behind and let your hands flow across the paper then type it later.  This way you can be out of the stuffy building and doing something productive with your hands. If you’re looking for something more challenging to do with your hands, learn American Sign Language (ASL). Put some words into practice as you speak verbally to people. Gallaudet University offers the basics for free online.  Or you can download an app on your phone.  Not only is this being creative with your hands and brain, but it’s making you more well-rounded and inclusive.
  4. Show off your first spring purchase.  Yes go shopping and buy something new for spring!  All of the flowers come back each year with their pretty colors, so why shouldn’t you?  You might as well put that Bar Mitzvah money or tax return to good use on yourself! I’m a shoe girl, so I suggest some new shoes.  Maybe some new heels to wear to the Greek Life Social on campus, or some new spring workout gear! Or maybe play it smart and get all of the winter clothes you need for next year since they will all be on sale!  Get daring and buy that new swimsuit that’s been popping up on your Facebook Feed all winter. Is your closet already full? Go to your local craft supply store and buy something new for your wall in the office or living room instead.  After you’ve bought your new do-dad, show it off! Post a pic of your awesome new purchase on social media. Write a funny description or the reason why you bought it.
  5. Research ways to give back.  It always makes us feel good to help others!  Look up your local soup kitchen and spend a Saturday there serving meals.  Hit up your JCC or YMCA to see if they could use volunteers for any upcoming programs.  Love animals? Check out the animal shelters in your area to see how you can help. If you’re like me and yearn to be outside, Earth Day is April 22.  The big Earth Day campaign this year is about protecting species like bees or giraffes. You can learn more on the Earth Day Network website here.   Lots of city, county and national parks will be doing restoration programs and need volunteers.  Check out their websites and see if there is a way you can lend a hand. You can also simply walk around your neighborhood or school and pick up trash.  Hint: it’s more fun when you can get a group of friends to do that with you! Wanna go big? Go abroad, or to another state to give back! Every year our communities in the US and overseas encounter natural disasters.  Habitat for Humanity looks for people to join their Disaster Corp to rebuild communities.  Use the ole’ Google machine to find more ways you can volunteer!  
  6. Clear the Clutter.  That’s right, bust out the feather duster, mop, and broom, maybe even rent a dumpster, and Clear the Clutter!  Make more room for happiness by decluttering and organizing your room, house, garage, locker, office, etc. You can learn more about this in Gretchen Rubin’s new book Outer Order, Inner Calm. Maybe some of us don’t have the time or don’t want to take the time to read an extra book.  Let us instead plan an entire day with the family to Spring into Movement and clear the clutter.  Maybe with prom shopping, or summer vacation planning, or final exams, you still don’t have time to take a full day to clean, instead dedicate 5 minutes each day to clean or organize a specific space.  Take a trash can to your locker between bells one day and throw away those notes from first quarter that your friends passed (do people even do that anymore?). Still writing that report for your boss but feel like you’re saying the same thing over and over?  Take a five minute break to organize or clean your desk area. This will give your brain a break, then you can come back with some fresh ideas. Clearing all of the clutter we’ve hoarded during the winter months is a great way to make us feel refreshed!

I understand, all of these things can be done anytime during the year.  But if you’re mindful about it, it can be special just for spring. Spring symbolizes new life!  

Flowers bloom, animals are born, and trees turn green.

Take this time to create a new you.

Wait, that’s new years, right?  It doesn’t matter when you do it, these are some ideas for you to Spring into Movement with the fresh air on your back and sunshine on your face.

By Nikki Downey