The different seasons lend themselves to different perspectives and activities. To me, the beginning of spring marks the most palpable change in the year.
Visibly, our surroundings change in dramatic ways—there are more hours of daylight, flowers blossom, trees turn a bright green. Spring also sparks a certain feeling of excitement. As temperatures rise, we spend more time outdoors, often get more exercise, and dedicate more time to being with friends and family.
Our mindfulness practice can also take on different forms for spring. Here are a few ways to take advantage of the spring season in your mindfulness practice.
Watch the Sunset
For me, there is not a more present feeling than watching the sun say goodbye for the day. Aside from the natural beauty, the sunset is also a brilliant reminder that each and every day offers us a new end and a new beginning.
Get lost in the vibrant colors and take Mother Nature’s advice that the rest of your to-do list can wait until morning.
The weather’s warm and the sun is out late—it’s time to dive into your walking meditation practice. Energy is typically higher in the spring, so experiencing mindfulness on foot is one way to use that energy in a healthy way. Plus, it’s a beautiful time to be outdoors.
Find a quiet route to wander, and follow these steps to practice walking meditation.
This tip sounds overdone, but I’m such a huge advocate of de-cluttering your space, that I’m going to emphasize it anyway.
Our personal spaces and our emotional states are closely linked. If you want to cultivate a sort of inner chaos and confusion, you should make a total mess of your home and workspace; be sure to make it difficult to find your belongings.
If you want to cultivate an emotional state of peace and tranquility, clean up your space and get rid of things that are no longer valuable, beautiful or useful to you. When you de-clutter your home and workspace, you’ll discover more focus and clarity, and feel lighter overall—the perfect sentiment to pair with springtime.
Try This: Go through everything in your kitchen, bedroom and office—and make three piles.
- One pile is to give stuff away to friends and family. Another cliché overflowing with truth: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
- One pile is to toss or donate to good will.
- One pile is to keep. The trick here is to make sure everything in this pile has a home in your space and can be put away neatly.
When you’re done, you’ll enjoy a more mindful, energized feeling that will last as long as you can keep your clutter at bay.
Find a spot to meditate that’s outdoors, but not in direct sunlight. Take a comfortable seat, a few cleansing breaths, and tune into the surroundings. If you are in a green park, in front of the ocean or a body of water, on a mountaintop or in any location that is quiet and beautiful, start with your eyes open. Take in all of the sights in detail—the colors, the landscape, the flowers or other pieces of nature that inspire feelings of beauty.
Then close your eyes and tune into the sensations in the body. Notice the temperature, the sun as it warms you up, and the wind gliding over your face or body.
Then bring your awareness to any sounds of nature that might be humming around you—birds, animals, laughter, trees, waves. Take it all in through your ears, honing in on nature’s music.
Then tune into your sense of smell, identifying any scents your environment may offer. Salt air, flowers, food, a crispness …
End by bringing focus to your breath while enjoying the fresh air.
Spring is bursting with fresh produce, and it’s the season where farmers markets are in full swing. Take advantage of this by beginning a mindful and clean-eating kick.
- Find a new recipe full of seasonal produce
- Hit up a farmers market and pick out your ingredients. Talk to the farmers and get to know where and how the ingredients were grown so you can really appreciate all the work that goes into your meal
- Prepare your new recipe in silence
- Eat your meal mindfully, tuning into the sight, smell, taste, and texture one at a time. Engage in all of your senses as you slowly savor your delicious creation in small bites. Avoid distractions of any kind during this meal so you can focus on each morsel
When you eat mindfully, you’ll notice a lot more about your meal than when you chow down without a break.
Revel in the Springtime Aromas
Hit the beach and revel in the saltwater air. Spend some time in a garden inspecting the aromas. Settle your nose in a flower, analyzing its sweet smell. Spring is full of delightful scents if you take the time and attention to notice. Look for the springtime aromas all around you—and when you find one, take time to study it, get curious with it, and delight in its sweetness.