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Erin Nitschke

Winter is long. Winter is cold and the mercury on the thermometer doesn’t want to travel upwards. Instead of visions of sugar plums, dreams of spring tulips and green grass dominate. Does anyone else feel as if coming out of winter is akin to emerging from a cocoon? While Wyoming may not be out of the winter season quite yet…let’s “spring clean” our minds and bodies of the winter “clutter”.

The calendar doesn’t lie; it’s March! Signs of spring are emerging. If you’ve hibernated for the last few months, it’s time you do the same. Enjoy these top 12 ways to say “see ya” to Old Man Winter…until next year anyway.

For the Mind:

1. Read. Search for a new book or topic to explore. If reading is not a passion, try doing a puzzle or a challenging mind-building activity to pump some mental muscle.

2. Learn. Is there a skill or craft that peaks your interest? Do you want to learn a foreign language or cultivate a budding artistic desire? Do it.

3. Practice gratitude. Set a goal to begin and end each day with gratitude. This can be as simple as saying “thank you for another day” or journal three positive things you observed or experienced during the day. Practicing gratitude and positive thinking will change your mindset.

4. Meditate. Sit quietly for 15 minutes a day. Clear the mind, clear the air, clear the clutter. Just take a moment to focus on your breathing and the beauty of the silence.

For the Body:

5. Organize a spring fling potluck. Good food and good friends – what’s better than that? Keep the focus on nutritious dishes and incorporate a recipe exchange.

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6. Try a new workout. Activity levels tend to decrease during the darker months. The days are longer and brighter now, so embrace that change with a new routine. Check out fun fitness apps or a class at a local studio.

7. Explore nature. As the spring thaw arrives, ask yourself how you can connect with nature? Perhaps there’s a trail you want to hike or a nature run you want to complete.

8. Get a massage. Massage is enormously therapeutic in many ways – even 15 minutes can provide relief.

For the Soul:

9. Volunteer. What nonprofits or organizations need assistance?

10. Reconnect with a friend. Life gets busy and it is a challenge to keep up with all those we hold dear. Reach out to a friend and make a meaningful connection.

11. Unplug. This is simple – set the phone down, walk away from the computer, shut out the noise for 30 minutes a day.

12. Seek joy. We have a lot of responsibilities and obligations in life. Do more of what brings happiness to your life.

Health isn’t just about what you do physically and nutritionally. Health encompasses the mind, body and soul. To support any health or fitness-related goal requires nourishing each aspect of our existence. Let go of winter and let the light in.

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Dr. Erin Nitschke, NFPT-CPT, NSCA-CPT, ACE Health Coach, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Therapeutic Exercise Specialist and Pn1 is a health and human performance college professor, fitness blogger, mother and passionate fitness professional. Visit her personal blog at belivestaywell.com. She can be reached at erinmd03@gmail.com

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