Mindfulness for the Springtime
By Krishna Dholakia, MS, RD, CDN
It’s April in New York and life has finally broken free from the clutches of winter. The sun is shining longer, plants are forming new buds, and birds are reclaiming ownership over treetops and window ledges. Spring is definitely here.
Seasonal changes often bring with them a change in perspective. Practicing mindfulness during this time can be especially rewarding. It can help us to focus on present moment awareness of our internal and external environment, reduce stress and anxiety, free space in the mind, and form deeper connections to our faith and the people in our lives.
Here are simple suggestions for increasing your mindfulness:
Allow for some space in your life. Sit by yourself for as little as five to 10 minutes. Pay attention to your thoughts and the sensations in your body, and observe your surroundings. Creating time to connect with yourself can help you recognize internal thought patterns and understand how you react to your outside world.
Journaling. Write down your thoughts and experiences as a way to unburden your mind. You don’t have to write a lot. Identifying your feelings and writing them down is powerful enough.
Take walks in nature. Visit parks, spend time in your garden, go for hikes, and be near water. Spring is a great time to be outdoors. Allow yourself to use all of your senses to absorb the experience. Smell flowers, touch the bark on a tree, listen to the sounds of the leaves and birds, taste the air, and capture the beauty around you with your eyes.
Declutter. Look over your space at work and at home. If you haven’t used an item in a while, or if it doesn’t hold value to you anymore, consider donating it or giving it away. Decluttering can be very freeing and uplifting! It also makes you think twice about what you purchase or accept in the future.
Eat mindfully. Use your senses while you eat as a way to tap into the present moment. Paying greater attention to the taste, smell, and look of food can help you slow down when you eat, and appreciate every bite. Practicing mindfulness can change the eating experience both physiologically and emotionally.
Practicing mindfulness in our daily lives can help build self-awareness, appreciation, and ultimately lead to a better sense of self-care. Wishing you a happy and healthy spring!
Krishna Dholakia serves as the Senior Health Education Specialist in the Education & Wellness department at CPG. She is a registered dietitian and a 500-hour certified yoga instructor.