It’s official: the end of snowy morning commutes and frosted
windshields is finally in sight. Spring has finally arrived and we all could use a few tips on how to use the new season to better our daily routine.
There’s plenty of clichés about spring time: perfumes fresh as a daisy, blossoming into summer, pastels and blush pinks in every store window. But one cliché we always adhere to is spring cleaning. After a long winter, there’s nothing more freeing and relaxing than purifying your personal space. The sense of calm we get from cleaning is worth it enough: the repetitive act of cleaning allows you to zone out and focus on the immediate task at hand. Combined with the active exercise of cleaning and the feeling of accomplishment you have as soon as the task is completed, cleaning is a proven form of stress relief.
The start of a new season is also a great time to reflect on what you need, and to actively incorporate some self-care habits into your everyday routine to for yourself.
With that in mind, here’s our top tips for “springing” forward...
Kitchen Cleaning Szn
Clutter can be everywhere, including your freezer. It’s time to check the expiration dates on your spices in the cabinet and investigate the take-out box lurking in the back of your fridge. Starting with your eating space may seem unnecessary, but it immediately sets the tone of a full house, new you. Plus, it’s extra sanitary! Don’t be afraid to toss that steak seasoning from 2015 — just make sure to keep a list of everything you discard, so you can replace it.
After you finishing wiping down the shelves, we like to keep it simple with baking soda, lemon, and vinegar. These natural remedies are amazing for basically everything related to sanitation and can erase any stray scents lingering around. Slice up a couple lemons and grind them in your garbage disposal or pour some baking soda down the drain. Your nose will thank you.
For more tips on how to incorporate lemon as an all-natural disinfectant Bren Did has some great ideas. Check out her article here.
Check out your vanity table! Cosmetics and haircare expire, too. Check the back of your bronzers and shampoos and look out for the expiration date listed there
Keep It Fresh
If you suffer from seasonal spring allergies, you’re most likely gearing up for a sneeze-filled May. To combat the watery eyes, make time to vacuum and wipe down your air vents and ceiling fans. Dust and other nasties can collect there throughout the winter; the last thing you want to be breathing in for a fresh start!
If you’re only sneezing certain days in the spring and sick of playing Russian Roulette with antihistamines, take a look at Pollen.com. Their National Allergy Map gives you the pollen forecasts—and the count of specific types of pollen—for your zip code daily. That way, you can identify the allergen (Poplar and Cypress for me), and plan accordingly.
Tackle Your Closet with Style
Ah, the dreaded closet. With scarves piled high and drawers stuffed full of t-shirts, it’s one of the last zones of the house you want to conquer when cleaning.
Here’s a general rule of thumb to make it easier: take out each piece of clothing one by one, and try to remember the last time you wore it. If it’s been 3 or more years, let it go. Chances are, you’ll never wear it again. Donating the leftovers to charities like Goodwill make the process easier: find a Goodwill donation site or call to arrange a pick-up, and see what you loved passed onto someone else who needs it.
Pay attention to your skincare and makeup, too. Cosmetic and hair care products expire, too. No one likes to throw out a good bronzer or their favorite deep conditioner, but if it’s well past the expiration date on the back of the product, it’s time to part ways.
Incorporate a morning smoothie into your routine with good for you ingredients like blueberries, chia seeds, and spinach. Plus, it’s easy to grab and go for work. One of our favorite smoothie fixes is this oatmeal number from Well Plated.
Prioritize Sleep Health
Here’s news that isn’t groundbreaking: sleep is important. We all know that. Continual sleep debt causes long-term impacts on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being, from depression to weight gain to increased risks of chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s. Still, sleep seems to be the first thing we sacrifice in modern life to get everything done that we need to get done.
It takes about 3 weeks to build a new habit. The same way you try to set habits to go to the gym, work on setting a routine for better sleep hygiene.
Taking a hot bath or shower at night has been shown to help people fall asleep. Aim for a shower or bath an hour and a half before your planned bed time, and reap the benefits. Add Epsom Salts or a face mask for extra relaxation.
On top of that, try not to do anything for an hour before bed that engages you. If you’re a huge reader, for example, try not to start a new book you’ve been dying to read as you get under the covers. You might end up staying awake to read it, as it can stimulate your brain. (Listening to classical music while reading can make it even worse: classical music can increase your focus, making you even more locked in on the pages!) Or, if you love true crime podcasts, playing an episode of My Favorite Murder or a similar podcast to doze off to might keep you up later and binging more.
Try podcasts like Sleep with Meinstead, a podcast “designed to put you to sleep”. Or, invest in a white noise machine or a meditation lamp like the Dodow.
Everyone has different ways of relaxing. Experiment to find what works for you. Just keep in mind that self-care can’t ever be undervalued.