“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” Mark Twain.
The word spring is evocative in itself. Spring; a leap forward, a jump up, a rapid movement. A renewal, a beginning, a celebration. It’s energetic and optimistic, encouraging yet self-reflective. When daylight savings hits the whole world becomes brighter, don’t you think? You can almost taste summer.
Spring for me is always about cleansing, not so much in the physical sense (it’s unlikely you’ll find me drinking six juices a day for 3-5 days), but more recognising toxic things in my life, making positive changes, tracking my goals, and creating that healthy mind, body, and soul connection.
I’m someone who is so affected by the seasons. Who knows, maybe I’m subject to some form of seasonal affective disorder? Perhaps that’s why I chased summer for over two years, to escape the winter blues. Either way, when the days become longer, the sleeves become shorter, and the sun starts to shine, I like to embark my own version of a spring detox for a healthy, happy, motivated me.
Here are fifteen of my favourite things to do to “detox” come spring. It’s all about looking after you. Who knows, maybe they’ll help you put a little spring in your step too.
1. Take a hike
Forget pounding the pavements or staring out the window at the gym, get back to nature and take a hike. Catch the ferry to Rangitoto and spend your Saturday morning admiring the view of Auckland City from the top. Or drive up to the Waitakere Ranges and go on a bush walk (I recommend Fairy Falls). You’d be surprised how energised you’ll feel after a city escape and a breath of fresh air. We live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, take advantage of it!
2. Have an alcohol free weekend
It’s easy; just say no. Have dinner at Little Bird and sip on a kombucha cocktail. Then get up early and go to yoga. Watch a film and eat gelato. Even with a couple of treats I bet you’ll end up having a much healthier weekend without the booze, plus you’ll wake up on Monday feeling refreshed and that’s always a great way to start the week.
3. Start planning your summer vacation
Having something to look forward to is always a good motivator. Talk to your friends, plan your trip away, daydream about lazy days at the beach and barbecues at the batch. It’s not far away. Get excited!
4. Revisit your goals
Are you on track with your 2014 goals? Have they changed? What to do you need to do to get to where you want to be? Too often people set goals but either forget about them or don’t actively work towards them. Don’t hit 2015 and be writing out the same list. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, make shit happen.
5. Go to the markets
Grab a friend and drive up to Matakana Farmers Markets on Saturday morning, or if that’s too far try the La Cigale French Market in Parnell or the stalls in Mt Albert. On Sunday there’s the Grey Lynn Farmers Markets too which I’m eager to check out (my plan is to go this Sunday because I really want to try one of the Cocoloco bircher coconuts – I’ll fill you in next week). Get a yummy breakfast and pick up some fresh, organic produce for the week. Practical, fun, and social, now that’s an ideal weekend activity!
6. Clean out your wardrobe
Get rid of all those things you tell yourself you’ll wear every year but know you never will. I did this on Wednesday and got rid of six big rubbish bags of stuff and now I can actually close my wardrobe door. Hallelujah!
7. Go to the beach
You don’t have to be in a bikini, yet. Grab your book, a snack, and something to sit on and find a quiet space to relax by the ocean. With the sand at your feet and the salt in your hair, you’ll remember why the beach is one of nature’s best cures.
8. Start a class or hobby you’ve always wanted to do
You know all those things you always say you want to do, but you’ve never actually done? Like learning to play the guitar, taking a drawing class, or starting French lessons. Well now’s the time. Look up what’s on at your local community centre if you need some inspiration. You never know who you’ll meet – plus it’s always so refreshing to do something outside your usual social circles – and I’m 100% positive you’ll get more out of any class that just the skill.
I’m starting at the School of Philosophy in two weeks and I couldn’t be more excited. The idea of like-minded people talking freely in an open space discussing ideas, spirituality, and profound Eastern and Western thought (everyone from Socrates and Plato to Shakespeare and Thoreau) while also practicing mindfulness and self-awareness is pretty much my idea of a party. Mental stimulation is everything!
9. Read a book instead of streaming a TV show
It goes without saying, but exercising your brain and reading a brilliant piece of literature is going to do far more for your mind and body than watching another episode of an HBO series, as addictive as they are. Escape into a world of words and language and let your imagination create the visuals. Books are one of the most wonderful tools we have, creatively and/or intellectually. Use them!
10. Treat yourself to a facial
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of you time. Pamper yourself and get a skin treatment that will not only detox your skin as the seasons change but will give you some much needed time to relax. Sure they’re expensive, but for many people it’s cheaper than a night out and just think of all the delicious smells, the head massage and that deeply cleansed, glowing skin you’ll walk away with. I’m dying to book in with facialist Mayrse O’Donnell of The Bespoke Beauty Studio after hearing how incredible she is from two of my favourite and most respected makeup artists in the industry (I’m looking at you Darya and Aimee). Based beneath the Simon James Concept Store on Jervois Road, she makes her own natural and organic skincare too called Spring Collective. Ironic? I think not. I’m in love already!
11. Smell the roses
Not literally (necessarily), but take a minute to stop and notice all the wonderful things around you, maybe you’ll even gain a new perspective on the familiar. There’s beauty everywhere, but you’ll only notice if you actually look.
12. Watch the sunset
The most magical time of the day and one of the most remarkable things that exists in this world, and every time it’s just as amazing. It’s universal and it’s free. Enjoy it!
13. Don’t forget to look up
Next time you’re walking down the street look up. It’s a beautiful view and you always miss it.
14. Be present
Practice mindfulness. Find that state of balance and presence. Live in the here and now and connect with your body. I know it’s hard, believe me, but yoga is a good start.
This goes without saying, but listen to your body and allow yourself time to rest. The closer we get to the year’s end, the busier and more stressed we become. Make sure you allow yourself the space to breathe. Summer’s coming and you don’t want to burn out before Christmas!
Et voilà. Embrace that spring fever and detox for a happy you. It may only come once a year but it’s enough to start anew. Our yearly miracle; there’s a reason why the flowers bloom. Make the most of it!