I can pretty much pin point when the overwhelming need to spring clean comes upon me each year.
You know what I’m talking about….It’s an urge for freshness in everything you do, from your diet, to your curtains, to your thinking.
We live in Southern California and I’m very grateful that our weather is beautiful 90% of the time. (I know, I know, don't take it out on me).
Even though our temperatures are mostly mild all year round, there’s something different about spring.
That extra sparkly something …
I used to run long distance, but since I became a mother…I run short distance, or… errm….any distance I can fit in.
There’s that blessed 30 minutes after the "before school chaos", and when work starts.
That’s my time.
30-45 precious minutes… It’s big.
I yank my hair up, brush my teeth (hopefully, just in case I run into any of my PTO moms), lace my shoes, grab the pooch (who’s shaking uncontrollably as soon as he sees me lace the shoes)..and we hit the pavement.
When spring starts to come alive, I notice the difference almost immediately in my run.
I breathe in the scents of the fresh cut grass, soft jasmine and neroli (orange blossom) and the heavy, almost cloying scent of ylang-ylang as they float by me on gentle breezes.
It’s as if I could fly.
Those warm smells lift me, and I suddenly have this intense craving to do away with the dust, and bring in the new sprout of spring to everything.
It’s both invigorating and relaxing at the same time.
Just about everything.
What do you think is giving you that uncontrollable urge to “freshen everything up”?
You got it…your grey matter.
Along with the urge to freshen and renew your surroundings, your mind needs to be refreshed as well.
It's had to process illness, stress, confusion, doubt, maybe even depression throughout the year and it needs to be de-gunked.
Yes, that’s right you heard me. As I’m typing this on a computer, I’m telling you to take time to unplug from your Ipads and laptops, smart phones and even smart watches, each day for a bit, and replace that with something brain building.
Interact with friends and be social...but in person, not online.
Do some hand/eye sports for coordination.
What about just reading a hard copy book…or gardening in the sun while listening to some good music?
Numerous in-depth studies show that long term meditators have re-grown their brain...I know that sounds too good to be true but it is.
Despite the fact that our cortex has been shown to shrink as we age, the brains of 50 year old consistent meditators have as much grey matter as 25 year olds!
Think about this...When we are very young we are on fire to learn, and we continue on that curve all throughout college.
We get our dream jobs after years of hard work.
We meet our special someone and start a family…and then what?
Well, we get busy.. busier than we ever thought possible…and we get tired- exhausted actually.
Raising a family, and excelling at your chosen career doesn’t leave room for much else.
Just a few years before though, you were constantly learning new things. Now your goal has been reached and ...what?
Why aren't we seeking out new learning?
Because we're so focused on our routine.
When our daughter had barely turned 4 I taught her to read, just because I wondered …well why not?
Now at the age of 8 she reads 205 words per minute…correctly. She’s literally off the charts.
At the age of 5 I thought we should learn something together. Something to challenge me as well...why not right?
We decided to learn a language together… I’m laughing while I write this, because we’re still learning-but that's a good thing.
The documentation behind life long learning and brain growth is extensive.
I’m learning new things daily and I love it. It challenges me, and my grey matter. I hope I'm still curious to learn new things at the age of 90!
According to Harvard Medical School, engaging in a program of regular exercise of moderate intensity over six months or a year is associated with an increase in the volume of selected brain regions.
...in other words, jumping around and getting sweaty,on a consistent basis boosts your brain.
Learn tai-chi, or yoga…take up softball or jogging.
Enroll in a dance class… if you're a spicy kinda guy or gal try salsa or samba..just move it-move it 🙂
There are foods that have been cooked with spices for centuries that have numerous health benefits and we’re just scratching the surface of them here in the US.
I was very lucky to grow up with a mother who was all about natural, whole plant foods.
Because of this we grew and prepared ethnic foods from all around the world…There is something very exciting about cooking a completely new and amazing flavor…it’s an adventure, and adventures are always good.
So…what should you cook and eat?
Ok, my advice on this is simple…follow the food chain.
Where is your food coming from? Try to find out. If the trail is too long, you might want to look elsewhere.
Next…all you need is common sense and you've got that in spades.
Real food goes bad…Eat from the Earth...if it's "shelf stable for 12 months" that's kinda not a good thing. (The exception to this is fermented foods that are probiotic or dried.)
Meat, fish, vegetables, legumes and beans, fruit and grains, whole nuts……real food, not “edible food-like substances”.
The quieter the food, the healthier.
Whole food doesn't need huge marketing slogans about how it's been "fortified" or "modified".
Get some real food, and pick a cuisine that you think you might like to try.
I don't know about you, but we like to have some jazz on while we cook so that we can dance around the kitchen in between crushing garlic and roasting spices.
In our house we cook Thai, Indian, Jamaican, Mexican, Korean, Ethiopian, Morrocan...the list goes on.
When you look at the basics of some of these cuisines, you will see an abundance of healthy spices, fresh fish, legumes, fresh fruits and veggies. It's a never ending rainbow...just go for it, and have fun! :)
Who knows, you may just end up being a superb Indonesian chef and all of your friends will want you to cook for them! Why not right?
Look at this amazing proprietary formula with it’s natural nootropic ingredients- Mind Boost Day.
Think of MindBoost like a high quality brain food.
These ingredients are natural substances that have been around for hundreds of years.
MindBoosts nootropics have been clinically tested and shown to improve brain functioning.
They are focus enhancers, anti-stressors, neural builders and proctectors, and they are free of side effects.
Because of age, pollution, alcohol, stress, lack of sleep, etc, your brain becomes like a road in a 3rd world country... filled with trash.
There's only 2 guys with shovels trying to dig it out every day.
MindBoost is a whole crew with bulldozers that come in to clean up and repair those roads.
It’s the last broom in your closet to spring clean that beautiful brain of yours and get it ready for a new season.
Grab some MindBoost here, and start cleaning those neural pathways-daily.
I don't know about you but I feel the need to re-organize my entire kitchen right now...Ta-Ta.
If you enjoyed this article, please share with someone who has had a cobb-webby type of year, and could use some shimmer 🙂