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Spring is great but can also be overwhelming!

With the sunshine comes the blossoming trees, flowers, birds, bright and vibrant colors…everything is beautiful and renewing! Yet are you still feeling a little more tired and overwhelmed then usual?

Do you also have this dual feeling of spring energy but the need for more rest and sleep?

Well, welcome to the club! Spring is the time for renewal and change and this can take a lot of energy.

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As nature renews itself, so do our bodies, with the change of the season from cold-grey days to sunny-long days. Even, changing the clocks and having more daylight in the evening might make you feel more tired, almost like you have jetlag. There is an on going hormonal balancing that makes you feel like you have a “hang-over” that you are trying to shake off from those long winter days.

Also, with the interchangeable weather from one day to the next and the increased effect of climate changes, it is all contributing to putting more stress on our bodies and opening the doors for colds and flus. Add the allergies that also comes along with this season and we have the perfect spring storm brewing!

However…looking on the bright side!

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Spring also brings with it many tools to help us to channel the fatigue into energy, so let’s start adding them to our daily life and get the most out of this season!

Most of them are obvious, yet we tend to skip them during our daily routine.

1. Set your alarm to “sleep” earlier!

I know it sounds really obvious yet this is the most effective way to combat fatigue quickly. Choose some days in the week, set your alarm for “sleep” take your book to bed (turn your iPads and iPhones off) and go to sleep like a baby!

Think of it as a date with your dreams that will give you the extra energy you will need for the following day.

When we get the required dose of sleep, our willpower improves radically and we will not feel tempted to have that extra cup of coffee or chocolate bar that is actually a burden to our hormones by providing extra cortisol (the stress hormone)! So, first thing to do is to plan those nights that you can give up your best TV series or Facebooking moments, relax and take a warm bath, do some slow stretching, read a book and sleep to re-energise!

2. Hydrate more then ever with a sexier water!

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Winter is a more difficult time to drink the water that we need, as we usually do not feel the need and much prefer the hot drinks on a cold winters eve. Depending on your body weight and physical activity now is the time to get back into the habit of drinking 2 to 3lts of water a day.

You can always make your water a little more interesting, spice it up with lemon, mint, cinnamon or a spot of ginger – make it sexier and more effective and remove the toxins at the same time!

Also consider setting an alarm for this as well, or just leave water jugs and bottles around the house, in your car and office as a reminder.

Cleaning the system inside and out starts with hydration – so take this very obvious habit like a doctor’s prescription and apply it daily!

3. Time for a healthier menu?

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As summer approaches and those bikini days are closing in, it is a classic cliché to start a “new diet” or as we call it these days a “detox”!

But hey, why not?

Why can it not be a good idea to re-start your good intentions for healthier eating? So what if this is your 20th season of re-starting healthier eating?? The world has been “detoxing” since the beginning of time and your body is actually detoxing every moment of everyday! All you are doing is helping this tired system, giving it a hand by eating cleaner and filling up with more nutrition that aids and heals.

We all know what we should eliminate and what to integrate into our diets – but just to jog your memory here are some general rules that can be adapted to your background and keep in line with your goals:

  • Start the day with a protein and healthy fats rich breakfast, like eggs, nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, dairy and whole grains for energy. Check out my post about  nutritious breakfast options.
  • Have a strong lunch with a balance of protein, fats, vegetables (cooked and raw), fruits and other complex carbohydrates. Watch for your portions; eat about 80% of your capacity.
  • Healthy snacking during day, if you feel hungry it is OK. But keep to healthy options, the best are veggies, nuts, fruits and protein like yogurt, seeds. Stay away or limit  your carbs in the afternoon.
  • Have a light dinner (which will also support a good nights sleep) enjoy soups, light salads and veggies. Limit or avoid all together carbs and heavy proteins, that will support the detoxification process that happens during your sleep.
  • Try to skip 1 or 2 dinners during the week and replace with a green juice instead, full of fresh veggies, greens and you can even add a bit of fruit. This will help the alkalis the body, decrease acidity, and support the detoxifying organs like liver and kidney.

4. Move! Get off the couch, start using your club membership or put on your sneakers and go for a walk!

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Another very obvious point is moving! Get off the couch and put your sneakers on! As it is with healthier eating, you need to get over that “being a cliché” and restart your exercise routine. Get out and about and look at nature again! Take in its wonders! Everything moves in the spring, every year, every day! Clouds, blossoms, rivers, birds…. and you! Join the gang, enjoy the exposure to sunlight, walk or run outside, all you need is a pair of sports shoes and you are ready to rock n roll!!

In the meantime, you can also start a new class to give you more strength and improve cardio – this will makes things move much, much faster! For example, this year I started (actually re-started after about 3 years) physical training in addition to my yoga practice and outdoor walks. I hope to gain more muscle mass and gain strength in my legs, arms and upper back. I also need this for my cardio power as I find running really difficult these days! So, this is my plan for now, what is yours?

Make a plan, research and choose your options, put them in your agenda like a very important doctor’s appointment (or date, whichever motivates you the most!!) and stick to your guns! Work with a coach or join group exercise classes if that helps keep you motivated.

Just to repeat, simple act of walking…

If you walk 3 times per week for approx 50minute per walk, this will make your heart stronger, burn fat, top up on vitamin D and increases your energy, prevents dementia and will most certainly help you sleep better….. and all for free!

Another free activity is to clean and re-order the house-office-room where you live!

When you have order in your physical environment, once you have gotten rid of the garbage, given away to charity or people in need this things you no longer need, this will create a renewed energy, especially in the mind!

Spring cleaning has a purpose beyond the classical understanding of it, make use of it!

5. Slow down and be kind to yourself

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All of the above things might seem overwhelming! If you can plan and schedule them in order, then they will just flow. Meanwhile, your mind and body also needs times of relaxation and calmness more then ever.

So first of all, please be kind to yourself and remember that your body is in a state of transition with the changing season. It needs some time, care and attention to adapt.

Do some simple stretching or yoga practices with breathing 10 to 15minutes per day (or as much as you like, there is no time limit to this), followed by 5 to 10 minutes of meditation or simply just sitting calm and quietly, without thinking about your to do lists and obligations and emotions, give your body and mind the time to rest and reset for the next day.

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Think of this like emptying your inbox, creating new space and getting rid of all the clutter.

Use some of the apps or simple directives that you can find easily in the internet, explore some classes in the area that you live – open up a new and clean page in your life. You can also literally open a new page in a new journal and empty the mind there. Benefits of journaling are so interesting and easy to apply!

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What are your cures for channeling the spring fatigue into the energy that you need? Please share with me some of your ideas and ways!

If you need help or direction with any of the above, coaching for your healthier life style yoga, meditation or breathing techniques, check out my website or send me a message to: ceylan@ceylanayik.com

Biggest hugs to you all and sending lots of good energies that we all need right now!

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