young woman standing on mountain top

How to rest and rejuvenate

After a long, hard winter in the Northeast and elsewhere, you may be turning your thoughts to Spring and Summer. No doubt you’ve felt out of sorts.

Not to worry. There are steps you can take to re-charge your batteries in preparation for the long, hot days ahead.

1) Let in the light – As the days grow longer, the sun gets closer to earth, causing temperatures to rise, and that sunlight is good for you. For anyone who has ever suffered from Seasonal Affect Disorder, letting in lots of sunlight after experiencing a number of overcast days can work wonders for one’s mood. So why not keep those artificial lights to a minimum and let in the sun?

2) Get moving – Unless you’re a gym rat or a ski bum, chances are you’ve been living the life of a couch potato for a good part of the winter. Those cold, blustery days can make getting out a little daunting. It’a good time to get out the walking or running choes or the hiking boots. Re-discover the natural world, breathe in some fresh air, and limber up those muscles in preparation for the more active life.

3) Purge, purge, purge – There’s nothing like getting rid of old clothing 0 or old habits – even as the warm weather brings with it the inevitable signs of new life. Pick up a few boxes and pack up those clothes that you haven’t worn in years. It’s a great time to donate them to Good Will. Donate old books to a library or sell them online. Get your winter gear cleaned; patch up those old jeans. Air out closets and add lavender sachets or cedar blocks to dresser drawers. You’ll gain some much-needed space, and you’ll feel good, too!

4) Re-think your cleaning routines – During the colder months, it’s easy to stockpile products that get little use, or that may add toxins to the air. Bleach, drain cleaner, and other household products create fumes (called “volatile organic compounds”) that stay trapped in the home when it’s sealed up against the cold. Think about creating your own products from ingredients like hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and lemon juice. Products like Murphy’s oil soap are gentle enough to use everywhere. Choose products with multiple uses to avoid piling up plastic bottles. Pine oil adds a fresh scent to bathrooms and kitchenn counters. Lavender oil and vinegar clean windows while leaving a lovely scent behind. Recycle a few plastic spray bottles for homemade products and send the rest to the recycling station.

5) Green your beauty routine – About 70% of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bodies. It’s important to know what’s in your beauty and skincare products. Be an obsessive label reader. Even all-natural and organic brands may contain ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or irritation. Look for easy-to-understand ingredient names, botanical products, and oil-based products that require little or no preservatives. Know what the ingredients do and where they come from. Your skin, and the planet, will be better for it.