5 Practical Ways to Prepare Yourself for Spring
We just got our first big snowfall here in Chicago since December! I almost thought we were gonna get away with a snow free first quarter of the year but Mother Nature had other plans. It’s hard to believe spring starts next Monday when there’s sparkling, white snow all over the ground but the vernal equinox is almost upon us. It’s time to prepare yourself for spring!
The first day of spring is the perfect time to reflect on the year.
As a kid, my mom used the first day of spring as an excuse to clean the entire house. But thankfully, those days spent cleaning the house, prepared me for cleaning up my life in general. So here are 5 simple but practical ways to transition to the next season ahead:
1) Evaluate Your Goals
At the beginning of the year, I made a goal to publish 2 blog posts a week. I started out pretty strong but then I slipped a few weeks when I got sick. But now I think I’ll be on track again by April. Another goal I made was to save enough money so that I could take two international trips without going into debt. As of today, I have a nice little stash tucked away so I can make fulfill my goal.
Evaluating your goals is a great way to prepare yourself for spring. What goals did you make for yourself in January? Are you on track or do you need to step it up a notch? If you’re not satisfied with how it’s going now is the time to make a change. If your year is going exactly how you wanted – perfect! Keep doing what you’re doing. Just remember to evaluate your goal progress every so often to make sure you’re on the right path.
2) Review Your Finances
After graduating college and joining AmeriCorps, the financial struggle was real. I had a stipend but unlike many of my fellow AmeriCorps members I didn’t have a side job and I wasn’t managing my money well. I was literally terrified to check my bank account for fear of being overdrawn!
Nowadays, I review my finances weekly. I developed a budget to keep myself in check. If I’m spending too much on food or clothes I scale it back. This has really helped me stay on track with my saving too. Since I know exactly what I’m spending my money on, I can set aside money for my trip to Punta Cana (see #1).
If you’re not regularly reviewing your financial goals, start today. It’s never a bad idea to start a retirement fund or work on paying down more of your debt. Check up on your finances regularly so you can live stress-free and comfortable. And don’t be afraid to get some financial help, if need be.
3) Check on Your Health
Up to 10% of the population suffers from seasonal depression, with about 4/5 of those people being women. It’s no wonder the winters in Chicago leave me in a dreary state. The constant cold keeps me inside and the lack of sun reduces serotonin, the brain’s feel good drug. The few days when I do get some sun, I notice an immediate boost in my mood.
Just as the weather is about to warm up, check in with yourself. How are YOU feeling? Are you in good spirits? Maybe you need to start that workout regime you’ve put on the back burner, do your annual check up with your gyno or find a new stimulating hobby. Either way take some time to check in with yourself physically, mentally and spiritually.
4) Freshen Up Your Space
As I mentioned in the intro, springtime meant spring cleaning for me growing up. Even now I take some time to declutter my surroundings. It’s difficult for me to feel comfortable at home when I have too much stuff taking up precious room. Contrary to popular belief, stuff will not make you happy. Contrary to popular belief:
stuff ≠ happiness
One of the simplest ways to prepare yourself for spring is by doing some spring cleaning. Free your closet of clothes and shoes you never wear. Then bring some freshness into your home. Consider painting your walls, getting some extra plushy bedding or adding some easy to care for plants. There are a number of ways you can liven up your special place that will make it feel and look fresh for spring.
5) Reignite Relationships
Every so often I come out of my self-absorbed shell and wonder about the people I haven’t seen since before winter. With so much going on in life, mixed with the desire to stay in bed all winter, I neglect to stay in contact with old friends. But spring is a great time to reignite those long forgotten relationships.
You can prepare yourself for spring by making plans with those out of touch friends. Host a pre-summer gathering at your place. Take a trip to your hometown and visit friends you lost touch with. This doesn’t apply to just friendships either. Email that business contact you met last year to see how their year is going. People appreciate being thought of so, go on, reignite those forgotten relationships.
How else do you going to prepare yourself for spring? Is there anything you’d add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!