Springtime has a natural feeling of rejuvenation and rebirth. The days get visibly longer, little green buds start to appear on the trees and hibernating animals come out of their winter slumber. For us, as humans, the lengthening days bring with them a natural urge to shed winter layers and move into new beginnings. Cleansing, either by eliminating things from your diet, introducing new things or clearing our spaces of unnecessary clutter, can be a supportive way to move into spring.
Cleansing by eliminating certain parts of your diet can be a great way to rid the body of any toxins that may have built up over the winter months, healing and resetting our bodies for the new season. Cleansing can look very differently depending on what your goals are, but the idea is to spend a chunk of time consuming a “cleaner” diet, meaning more whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts.
The natural availability of more fruits and vegetables during the spring presents the perfect opportunity to cleanse by only consuming raw fruits and vegetables or fruit and vegetable juices. This might feel dramatic. Cleansing can also mean eliminating just one part of your diet for a week or 10 days, which could be sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, etc. There is a spectrum of cleansing, but based on what your needs are this spring, practicing some sort of elimination diet can be incredibly rejuvenating and healing.
Incorporating a cleanse into your spring could also be introducing certain elements into your diet to support healthy digestive and immune system function. As mentioned before, consuming a diet based around only whole foods is very healing for the body, and spring is a great time to add more of those elements into your diet simply because more fruits and vegetables are in season once the weather improves. Incorporating vitamins or supplements into your diet can also support your overall health and have a rejuvenating effect. Adding local honey into your diet can also be a great way to boost your immune system and fight allergic reactions, because it is made from local flower pollens.
Dandelions, which pop up in huge numbers during spring, can also be incorporated into a springtime cleanse. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), spring is the time of year to attend to the liver and gallbladder, and dandelion is very cleansing and strengthening for both organs. The dandelion greens can be used in a salad or tea and are very nourishing.
In conjunction with dietary cleansing, spring is a time to incorporate more regular exercise and movement into your life. As the weather improves and it’s easier to get outside, our bodies come out of a type of hibernation themselves and crave more movement each day. Consider taking your bike to work instead of driving your car if that’s possible in your city, or incorporate movement into your day in other ways. Take walks after dinner or during your lunch break, up the intensity of your workouts or stretch in the mornings or evenings to facilitate more movement throughout your day. Body work, such as acupuncture or massage, can also be very beneficial and cleansing practices this time of year. Both acupuncture and massage will support your other cleansing efforts as well as your muscles and tendons for healthier exercise and physical activity.
Lastly, spring cleansing can extend beyond your physical body and into the spaces you inhabit. Taking some time this spring to clear out clutter from your home can be a great way to enter the new season feeling lighter and refreshed. Creating a clean, tidy space in your bedroom can be especially helpful, because it creates a restful atmosphere that invites relaxation and sleep. One simple way to incorporate more tidiness is to clear off any clutter from your bedside table. It is also a good time of year to go through your wardrobe and get rid of or donate anything you no longer wear. Creating a peaceful bedroom will support the rest you need to tackle any changes or opportunities that may present themselves this spring.