Thursday, 20 September 2018

Spring is Here! - Abi Copley, Scribed by Abi

Spring is here...finally!

Even after five years here, I’m still getting used to the Southern Hemisphere way of doing things and Spring in September is more than a bit strange. At this time of year, I’m normally digging out the winter boots, wrapping up in a cosy scarf and preparing for the early onset of Christmas. 

Although the advent calendars and tinsel are still creeping into stores as we speak, instead of crawling under blankets and cranking up the heating we are emerging, blinkingly, from our cosy hibernation spots and relishing that first brush of balmy air against our skin. 

Winter can be a lot of fun (if you’re in the right place) but it’s also super harsh on our bodies, minds, and souls! The effects of darker days and lower temperatures have been well documented. Between playing havoc with asthma and our aching joints, to triggering SADS and being linked with depression, Winter sure has a lot to answer for! Ok, credit where it’s due, it’s not all bad. One upside...The Journal of Consumer Research (2012) found the colder temperatures brought out our romantic side; cue snuggling on the sofa with ‘Love Actually’. 

Whoever you are, wherever you are, Spring is the perfect time to start checking in with yourself again. Our cold-battered skin needs some T.L.C. and, yes, unfortunately shaving your legs has to become a ‘thing’ again (no more hiding under thick tights and jeans). More than that though, now is also the perfect time to give all areas of your life a W.O.F! 


1/Go Outside! 

New Zealand isn’t somewhere you would immediately link to low Vitamin D levels but, according to the Ministry of Health, those of you on the South Island are at risk of missing out on those little gems from the sun! Get that spring in your step (sorry...had to be done!) and venture into the great outdoors. Better yet, grab some friends and boost your oxytocin supplies and lower that cortisol together. 

Check out these sites for some ‘out’spiration: 

Department of Conservation Walking & tramping Trails: 

2/Spring clean your life 

So, now you’ve blasted away the last of the Winter grogginess, it’s time to start taking stock. Give your life a ‘New Year’s Eve’ style dose of thinking (but with fewer bubbles and embarrassing midnight encounters). What is it you want out of life? What don’t you want? A bit deep and meaningful (true) but it’s so easy to be caught up spinning the everyday wheel; step back and ask if it’s turning the way we want to! 

Take work, for example. Our jobs are a huge part of our lives. According to Newshub (2016), Kiwis work an average of 43.3 hours per week. Taking out time for sleep and the dreaded commute, that’s almost half the week! If you love your job, congratulations. Enjoy it and may it always compliment your life. If you don’t...well, now’s the time to make a change. 

Obviously, life isn’t as simple as saying, ‘ Right boss, I don’t like my job. I quit!’ As tempting as that may be, not a great move for everyone. Use this time as a springboard, a chance to re-evaluate and see if there’s something (big or small) that you could do to improve your work life. 

If you’re in business for yourself, look backward and think ahead. How far have you come? Are you where you wanted to be? Where are you going to be? Spring is a great time to look over your business plan; reaffirm your goals, consider your strategies and maybe expand your network to support you. 

3/See the frog, but maybe don’t eat it! 

I’ve heard this phrase, ‘Eat the Frog’ a lot since the seed of starting up my own business first sprouted. At first, I thought it was another crazy business buzzword; up there with the winners of the Most Annoying Phrase category: ‘blue-sky thinking’ and ‘going forward’. However, we apparently have Mark Twain to thank for the lovely image of eating a frog for breakfast, and a man called Brain Tracey for propelling it into modern parlance. 

At first, I thought it made sense. Do your worst task first, and the rest will come easily. Now, I’m not so sure. Perhaps the idea works for you and, if it does, fantastic. If you’re like me and it serves to further embed the stoic procrastination vibe, I’d steer clear of the amphibians! 

Basically, see those priorities that you set at Number 2? Well, don’t just set them and consider the job well done. Take them, act on them and tick them off. Spring isn’t the time to have a good old sit on the sofa and think; there was enough of that in Winter, while you were cuddled up watching those romantic movies...remember? Be the Spring. The coiled type, not the saggy old sofa kind! 

What writer doesn’t love a bit of alliteration and #selfcareseptember rolls so beautifully off the tongue, it would be rude to pass it up. 

Self-care has never been so important as at this time of year. Whatever your walk of life, you can’t avoid it. Winter has been and gone but there’s something else looming in the distance. If you’re like me, the inevitable Facebook countdowns and cheery music in the mall is the absolute best but if you’re not...welcome to the slippery slope to, yes you guessed it, Christmas! 

What’s the saying, make hay while the sun shines? Before the Silly Season lands upon us: tinsel, fairy lights, and carols all come parading past us, use Spring to take some time for you. Goodness knows you’ll need it after all that life-evaluation and fresh air. 

Maybe you're a spa kind of person, or perhaps you relish a good book and a glass of merlot. Pick your poison and indulge. I wrote another piece here on Liked by Becky about Self-care (check it out here) and how some of us see it as being selfish, too hard to fit in or simply forget to do it. Self-care is not a dirty word, and you deserve that time! 

5/Start enjoying 

Ok, so you’ve been outside and got your daily dose of vitamin D, you’ve Spring cleaned those cobwebs from the corners of your life, contemplated that frog and taken some well deserved me time. Wow, you’ve been busy! What’s left for Number 5? Well honestly... I’ve sort of run of sage advice, but five is a nice number to end on so let’s just go with: enjoy it! 

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