By: Shannon McHale ’15, CRS Weight/Fitness Supervisor
During the transition from spring to winter, the old adage, “Out with the old, and in with the new” seems most appropriate.
The nice weather and uplifting mood that comes with the season change often inspires us to ditch the unnecessary stuff that’s accumulated in our homes since our last “spring cleaning.”
While getting rid of old stuff is definitely important, so is getting rid of old habits.
The motivation that comes when the snow melts away can be put to great use by taking time now to establish important new routines.
Here are five ways you can use “spring cleaning” time to improve your overall wellness:
Clean up your place. It may be the obvious and traditional tip, but actual cleaning is still an important task. A less cluttered space equals less stress – it’s a lot easier to do your homework when you can find it, or when you’re not distracted by the pile of clothes on your floor. If you’re anything like us, when a big assignment is due it often suddenly seems that you need to clean up your room, organize your fridge, throw away the trash, and go through your closet… the list goes on. It’s a lot tougher to procrastinate when you’ve got your space organized, and the cleanliness will put you in a good headspace regardless of what you’re doing.
Clean up your workout routine. A new routine can give you back some of that motivation we all lose when we’re confined to exercising indoors. Getting outside is a great way to fight off stress or feeling down – and combining the outdoors with some good old fashioned exercise will give you double the endorphin boost! If you’re not into outdoor activities, try out a simple gym or home exercise plan. Choose one that you can realistically stick to, and you’ll be feeling great in no time!
Clean up your eating. As the colder months disappear in favor of the warmer ones, try incorporating some of the freshness of spring into your meals. Let fresh, crunchy salads replace some of those heavy, wintry meals like thick stews. Using produce that’s in season will really make you feel like spring is in the air – which is a much-needed feeling after the brutal winter we’ve (hopefully) finally escaped from. You can buy seasonal produce at the on-campus farmers market that opens for its regular season on April 23.
Clean up your sleep schedule. We know you felt it when time “sprung forward” a few weeks ago. Good news: you can use that feeling to your advantage by setting a new schedule. Try going to bed and waking up an hour earlier than usual. Most college students don’t get enough sleep, and this can be combated by normalizing your sleep schedule. Experts say to aim for 7-8 hours a night, so even going to bed at 11 p.m. would still give you plenty of sleep, even if you have to wake up for a dreaded 8 a.m. class.
Clean up your resolve. Spring is the season of “new,” and not just in nature. Take the opportunity that comes with a new season to renew your New Year’s resolutions, or make new ones altogether. Having a goal to work towards will help you power through the last few weeks of a tough semester, and you’ll be rewarded with a hard-earned summer break!