Spring cleaning, most of us have heard this phrase before, but what exactly does it mean??? Most people seem to feel that it refers to their homes, cleaning out areas that have been neglected for a while, drawers, cabinets, pantries... Yes, it always feels good to do some deep cleaning, how about getting rid of some excess clutter that has been filling your environment, purging can feel so liberating and freeing!!! But what about your person, inside and out?!?! Wouldn't you like to be rid of some extra STUFF filling your your head, your heart, and your soul. Things that can weigh you down, that you are tired of carrying around, issues that should have been dealt with years ago???
Let's dive into spring cleaning ourselves!! We will call it spring cleaning into wellness! A wonderful thing about spring is that the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, it is a seasonal thing. As we organize and declutter our space, with the transition from winter to spring, we should also refresh our well being rituals. With some simple tweaks from how you move your body to how you manage your money (yes, finances are a part of your wellness routine) you will be on your way to Marie Kondo status.
You can start by changing your workout routine a bit, where you workout, how you workout, add some things, take away some things. Try to make it a bit more fun or just different, things that might motivate you more, or put you outdoors more. Take things up a notch, challenge yourself. Whether you pound the pavement, or bring your yoga mat to the park, exercising outdoors can do wonders for your body and mental well being.
Maybe upgrade your workout wear a bit, get rid of the jog bras with the elastic showing or that don't do their supportive job, new shoes, new colors....Toss any workout wear that has lost its shape or color, and invest in activewear that is equal parts supportive and stylish. Store them someplace with easy access, so that when you are ready to get moving you know where to find them.
The foods we eat!!! When we are in hibernation mode during the winter months, we have a tendency to crave comfort food, heartier meals. With spring arriving you are probably craving foods that are fresher and lighter, I am not talking cleanse, I am referring to clean foods. Fresh whole foods that are seasonal, eating intuitively, meaning what sounds good to you and your body. Foods that will supply your body with the utmost in health and nourishment. Start by cleaning out your refrigerator, getting rid of all foods that have expired, purge any foods that do not make you feel your best. Then restock your kitchen with lighter fare that your body has an appetite for, and make you feel your best. Do some meal planning, head to the farmers market (a great way to spend a few hours), reach for the leafy greens or asparagus and fruits such as strawberries and kiwi. When you pan your meals around local, in-season produce, you will not only get more nutritional value out of them but also a few extra dollars in your pocket.
Skin care...Clear away out-of-date products, not sure how long you have had your moisturizer??If it has a strange smell or color, or the oils have separated, it is a safe bet that it is past its prime. Try some new products, your face and skin can get tired of the same things, switch up tings that you have used to get you through the winter months, and go lighter. I am not saying change up your whole skin care routine but look into some products that may be a bit lighter for the warmer months ahead. Keep your serums and sunscreen within reach because you need these is your skin care rotation, but try not to overthink it. Sometimes taking the less is more approach and stick with what you know works well, such as your skin care line. Always good to keep the ingredients clean and non-toxic.
Self care...Reflect on your self care practices, ask yourself is they serve YOU, and not something your friend is doing or something you saw on TikTok. If every practice is not truly caring for yourself, streamline your routine. Self care is personal and doesn't have to be extravagant, it can be a daily practice or something you do occasionally. Like bringing a plant into your space, lighting candles, take a day off of work, or a night in alone with a yummy dinner you didn't cook. Whatever your self-care looks like for you, know that it will fluctuate every day. Let's say working out and/or meditation is your non negotiable mode of self care and you carve out time each morning for it. You may wake up some mornings and not feel it, that is okay, feeling guilty on ly compromises your wellness. Do what you can in the season you are in---literally and figuratively.
Spring clean your schedule!!! So...for those of you that suffer from FOMO, this is especially for you. With warmer days on the horizon, it may be tempting to pack your calendar with social events, but think about whether you a spreading yourself too thin with too many commitments. Instead of feeling as if you need to say yes to everything, do more of what brings YOU joy!! Bottom line: Use this new season to take a step back and look fat your time-sucks versus valuable to-dos, this goes for both your personal life and work life.
Finances... Now is a good time to review your financial goals and reevaluate any expenses that may be keeping you from staying on budget. For example, come up with an updated plan to pay off debt, check your credit card statements for unnecessary costs, maybe there are some services you pay for but don't use anymore and haven't cancelled yet. Look into some retirement options, there are quite a few out there, educate yourself before you just settle for that 401(k) that an old company you worked for started for you, maybe there is something better that would suit your needs differently. Know your options, speak with a financial planner or someone in the health and life insurance business, educate yourself a bit, always a good time, don't wait. take care of yourself and your family. Start and emergency fund, for an item you have been wanting or a trip you want to take.
There are a lot of different areas in your life to be addressed, so what are yo waiting for, start your spring cleaning, and it is okay if it takes you into summer, just set some goals and make it happen.
Here are some seasonal foods to think about adding to you diet this spring:
Sweet and Spicy Chicken Nuggets
2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
kosher salt and pepper
1/4 cup flour or all purpose gluten free flour, optional
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup hot sauce, (I used franks)
6 tbsp salted butter or ghee or extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp honey
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On the baking sheet toss the chicken cubes, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Add the flour (if using) and toss again. Add 2 tbsp of the olive oil, and toss to coat. Bake 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
While chicken is cooking, set a sauce pan on medium heat, melt together the hot sauce and the butter, ghee or olive oil, seasoned salt and cayenne. Stir until melted and combined. Remove from the heat and add the honey.
When chicken is done remove from the oven and pour the sauce over the chicken. Toss the chicken in the sauce and cook for another 5 minutes, until the sauce is baked on the chicken.
Serve chicken with vegetable of choice, on a bed of rice if you choose, and save some sauce to drizzle on top.