Today is the Spring Equinox, which marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere. At this moment, light and dark are fully balanced and moving forward, the days will grow longer. More flowers will bloom. More birds will chirp. The weather will warm.
This is the earliest Spring equinox in more than 100 years and boy do we need it. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the future uncertain and called into question our collective sense of security. The Spring Equinox is a much needed and powerful symbol of rebirth—a reminder of nature’s resilience, which mirrors our own.
Now is an excellent time to check in with yourself and establish new habits to take care of your mental health. Think of it as spring cleaning for your mind.
Here are some tips:
- Note your status quo: Find 30 minutes in your schedule and a cozy, comforting place to journal about where you are today and where you’d like to be. You can write on a pad of paper or take notes on your phone—so long as you won’t get distracted by texts or app notifications. Consider the following questions as well as any thoughts that pop in your mind. Remember to remain as neutral as possible. The point is not to judge but to check-in.
- What’s your current mood and have you noticed any patterns recently?
- What is important to you? What do you value most?
- What is something you’ve accomplished that you’re really proud of?
- What are things—including thought patterns or negative beliefs—you’d like to release?
- Create intentions: A day or so after you’ve taken note of your status quo, revisit what you wrote and look for recurring themes. Feel free to build upon what you wrote but resist the urge to delete anything. Once you’ve identified themes, write a handful of intentions you’d like to establish for yourself. Note that intentions differ from goals because they are less focused on future, external accomplishments and deal more with living each present moment. Here are a few examples:
- My intention is to be kinder to myself when I struggle with anger
- My intention is to honor my creative desire to paint
- My intention is to practice compassion with my colleagues and family
- My intention is to release the need to be perfect
- Set reminders: Write your intentions on a piece of paper or a note on your phone and find time each week to reread them. You can even set reminders on your calendar to revisit them. Some people like to post their intentions in their doorway, so they see them every day. The point is not to track your progress but to root yourself in your intentions so you can live them every day.
- Walking meditation: Walking meditations are a great way to revisit your intentions and enjoy the blooming of spring. If you can, identify a path outside where you can enjoy springtime scenery and select one of your intentions to concentrate on during your walk. As you begin, focus on the way your body feels as it moves, noticing any sensations. After you’ve settled into your gait, focus on the intention you’ve chosen. Repeat it several times in your mind. Take a deep breath and picture yourself breathing in your intention. Take your time with this meditation.
We hope these tips help you find balance this spring and establish new habits you can celebrate throughout the year. It’s important to take care of yourself during this uncertain time and look for reminders of the positive in each new bed and ray of sunshine.
What does the Spring equinox mean to you? What self-care practices do you want to establish this spring? Let us know in the comments below.