Welcome Spring!

It’s almost time for the Vernal (Spring) Equinox, marking the balance of sunlight and darkness as the sun crosses the equator, moving from south to north. This special day marks the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere. This year the equinox falls on March 19, 2024, at 11:06 p.m. (EDT). Let’s explore this joyful season of balance and renewal. {Please note: apologies for posting this after the Equinox. I hope you will still enjoy the information and energy of the spring news.}

  • Finding the Balance: The equinox is a wonderful time to explore our personal balance. When thinking about balance a few things might leap to mind. The scale that reports our weight being one! Is it time to revisit the diet and make revisions? What about relationships (time for self, time for family or friends)? Other areas to explore include work/play, rest/activity, introvert/extrovert interactions, giving/receiving, practical/spiritual pursuits, being/doing, and so on. What about the checkbook and financials? Is there something that needs to be done to bring more balance to any of these areas? Grab your journal and reflect on what is needed to bring more balance to your life!
  • Honor the Day: Some traditions consider spring equinox to be the beginning of the new year, a time to celebrate, begin new projects, and plant the literal or metaphorical seeds that have been germinating since Imbolc. This is a day of renewal and rebirth. Wake up and stretch! Think about a brand-new start for personal, professional, or relationship goals. Look outside for new growth in the garden or tiny green buds on the trees. Spring invites us to move from heavier meals to lighter fare. Spring onions, easter egg radishes, rainbow carrots, asparagus, and water cress are popular veggies to enjoy as the sun’s warmth returns. For a delicious vegan equinox meal, pair a light miso soup with fresh spring rolls. Whatever you do, enjoy the day in a way that brings the energy of newness into your life!
  • Other Celebrations:  Renewal and fertility are all-important at the equinox and throughout springtime. Did you know that Easter (this year on March 31) is a “movable feast”? The Farmer’s Almanac gives a good explanation about this (hint, it relates to the moon, the equinox, and the early Christian church’s establishment of the holiday’s timing). The moveable celebration is scheduled to happen on the first Sunday after the first full moon that follows the spring equinox. Did you also know that the Easter bunny has a fascinating history rooted in ancient goddess culture, and fear of winter and witches? The bunny, like the Easter egg, is also associated with fertility. To those who celebrate the equinox, Easter, or both, I wish you joyful renewal and rebirth!

Caregiver Notes:  When spring comes calling, it is time to think about refreshing our bodies, minds, and spaces. Here are a few ideas to make spring cleaning more enjoyable.

  • Plan a day for self-care! Caregivers need self-care to continue serving care recipients from a healthy place. If time doesn’t allow for a whole self-care day, then make it a half day, or carve out a few hours to refresh your body and mind. Get a haircut, beard trim, facial, or massage. Do some stretching, conscious breathing, tai chi, or yoga. Journal about “new beginnings.” Take a mindful nature walk; smell the flowers! Spruce up your own personal space and let go of old worn-out items. Before jumping into spring cleaning for your dear one, take care of YOU!
  • Spring cleaning the care recipient’s space will require planning ahead. To lighten your load and make the day more fun, invite a friend to join you. Choose a day without other scheduled activities and be sure to discuss the plan with the care recipient before you start. Assess the room(s) and make a check list that fits your time, energy, and budget. Some considerations:
    • If the care recipient is mobile, they will need to have a comfortable alternative to their own room during spring cleaning. Temporary relocation to a recliner, couch, or a different bedroom will be comforting. Be sure to place personal items (laptop, phone, hearing aids, etc.) close by. Relocation can cause anxiety for some recipients, so consider having a friend or respite caregiver present on cleaning day to provide companionship and support.
    • The recipient’s bathroom is likely cleaned on a regular basis, but deep cleaning will give it a nice lift. Open the window (if there is one) for some fresh air. Discard old soaps and other outdated products, scrub tile, tub, sink, toilet, and baseboards. Snake the drains! Is it time to replace worn towels, tub mat, or shower curtain? Cleaning here breathes new life into that space after the long, cold winter!
    • In the bedroom, turn and flip the mattress, wash all bedding, and fluff pillows. If temps are rising, it may be time to pack away heavy bedding. Be mindful of the recipient’s needs for warmth and comfort. If the recipient is a hospice patient and bedbound, bedding can be refreshed with instruction and assistance from your hospice team.
    • Include organizing shelves, drawers, and closets. Donate things that no longer serve! Window washing, cleaning drapes or blinds, shampooing rugs, and general tidying are all part of a deep clean. The added touch of spring flowers will bring a smile to the care recipient upon return to their refreshed room.

On the BlogThe Long Covid Series is both a memoir and a resource for the “living well” portion of our mission. Watch for “X” is for Crossing coming soon to the ABC’s for Living Well.
Two Quotes for Season:If you restore balance in your own self, you will be contributing immensely to the healing of the whole world.” ~ Deepak Chopra “Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” ~ Rumi

May all beings be safe, well, happy, and content.

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