Spring is my favourite time of year. The blossoming trees, birds chirping, feeling the sun on your face… Doesn’t that instantly put you in a better mood?
With nature reawakening from being dormant all winter, there’s a sense of hopefulness in the air, this lighthearted energy of change and new beginnings. That makes spring the perfect season not just for cleaning out your closets, but for clearing up your mind, re-energizing your body and freshening up your routines.
So have a look at these 11 ideas to spring clean your life!
“If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”
“Excuses are for people who don’t want it bad enough.”
“It’s not about having time, it’s about making time.”
This time of year, with our New Year’s Resolutions still fresh in our memories, there’s no escaping these kind of motivational quotes or stories of transformation.
Wellness websites, blogs about lifestyle design and fitspiration on Instagram are all telling us there are no excuses to live the life you want or to make a healthy lifestyle a priority. No matter how well intended – and true to a certain point – these are empty words for anyone living with real, severe problems that won’t go away any time soon.
The “stop making excuses” slogans seem to insinuate that we’re unmotivated, lazy people who just need to get off our butts to make our desires happen instead of going through life as zombies. But motivation and a strong will to succeed are not always enough. In spite of what some people may say, there are valid reasons why someone hasn’t been able to achieve their dreams yet.
These dark December days are the perfect time to curl up on the couch with a big mug of tea and catch up on some reading. I hope you enjoy the interesting articles below with useful tips for a healthy and happy 2015!
Going for a walk is one of the simplest yet effective activities to boost your physical and mental health. But if strolling around is a bit too dull for your liking, have a look at these 7 powerful ways to make walking more exciting.
Most kids love the idea of staying home from school for a day. But that delighted feeling swiftly disappears when you’re sick in bed all day every day.
During most of my high school years, I was too ill to go to class. Even the simplest parts of a normal school day tested my endurance: the constant pain from sitting behind a desk, listening to the teacher’s instructions with a foggy brain, taking written tests with inflamed shoulders, the everlasting fatigue that influenced every aspect of my life.
So ever since I was 15, I had to rely solely on self-study from home to earn my high school diploma and later my Psychology degree from the Dutch Open University.
But getting an education when you’re chronically ill comes with its own set of problems, even if you’re able to attend class. For some sick students, a full-time schedule might be too demanding. Others could have severe trouble with concentration, memory and ‘mental stamina’ due to their symptoms or side-effects of medication.
If you’re a young student with chronic illness or disabilities, what are you to do?
You can feel this growing sense of excitement bubble up: It’s time for a fresh start, with a healthy new lifestyle to unleash your full potential.
Inspired by all the success stories about former coach potatoes who ended up running a marathon in one year, you go all in. You work out at the gym five days a week and you start a juice fast before definitely cutting out all sugar, gluten, dairy, alcohol and caffeine all at once.
At first, the positive effects of exercising and healthy eating rub off on the rest of your life. You wake up early and refreshed and you have no trouble saying “no, thank you” to that piece of chocolate cake on birthday parties.
Until after two or three weeks, life suddenly throws you off course. After being up all night with your child, you’re desperate for another shot of caffeine, and you miss your yoga class because you’re so swamped with work. When you finally get home at night, you feel too tired to cook up a healthy bowl of quinoa with grilled vegetables.
Of course you’ll jump back in the saddle tomorrow, but you can’t shake that feeling that you’ve somehow failed. It starts to feel like a lot of effort to keep up this perfectly healthy lifestyle, and the next time life gets in the way of your resolutions, you automatically fall back into your old routine of crashing in front of the TV with a microwaved meal after a stressful day.
Does this story sound familiar?
A total transformation of your health surely sounds appealing, but too many drastic lifestyle changes at once usually isn’t the recipe for longterm success. Research shows we only have a limited amount of willpower each day. So when you want to improve your health, it’s much easier to focus on creating small, doable habits – those automated, healthy behaviours you do without thinking about it.
Start small: pick one tiny health habit at a time, until it’s a natural part of your routine.
To help you kickstart a healthier lifestyle without too much stress and effort, here’s a list of 21 simple habits that can make a big difference.