Spring Cleaning That's Good for the Soul

spring salad: spinach leaves topped with blueberries, almonds, ham and raspberry vinaigrette. 

spring salad: spinach leaves topped with blueberries, almonds, ham and raspberry vinaigrette. 

If I had to choose a favorite season, spring would have to be it.

There's something about the blooming season that makes me feel so happy. Since I live in Florida, all of our "seasons" run together, minus the 2 weeks of solid winter that we might get. Although summer is great, spring temperatures are a tad under summer and the weather is still just as perfect to hit the beach.

Spring is a time of renewal not only for nature, but for myself. As the semester winds down, I am finding myself overwhelmed with the stress of finals, work obligations and finalizing summer plans. Recently, I decided to make a few changes in how I spend my (very limited) free time, and it has definitely made me appreciate this season and all the good things it brings. 

Spring cleaning usually refers to a thorough cleanse of your home, but I choose to see it as a lifestyle cleanse. Instead of going on a crazy diet, or making sure I make it to the gym every single day, these simple changes have resulted in more energy, and I've found myself dropping weight in the meantime. Below are my favorite ways to do some inner spring cleaning.

Wake up earlier. 

We all know that starting our days a little earlier never hurt. In fact, I find myself finishing small tasks that I would have rushed through during the day. You'd be surprised at how much you can accomplish with an extra hour in your morning. Plus, I now have time to actually make and eat my breakfast at home instead of taking it to go.

the Heyl classic breakfast! ham, spinach and cheese omelet with fruit and a blueberry bagel.

the Heyl classic breakfast! ham, spinach and cheese omelet with fruit and a blueberry bagel.

Spend more time outdoors. 

In Florida, our weather fluctuates a crazy amount. But when those beautiful days arrive, soak 'em in! On my days off work and in between classes, I'll take a blanket, music, and a smoothie and lay in my backyard to read my textbook or write a paper. Productivity and a tan? Yes, please.

 

riding the bike trails with dad

riding the bike trails with dad

Buy flowers for yourself. 

 

Spring is nothing without flowers.  Buy some flowers for your kitchen and bedside table, and bring the outdoors in. It's a refreshing feeling to walk by them every day and of course, they're great to look at/instagram.

Ride a bike.

Back to spending time outdoors, riding bikes rule. I just invested in this cute little Schwinn, called the Admiral. Although I can only ride it to class and around my neighborhood during the week, scope out some trails in your area on the weekends and take an adventure. It's fun to get lost on a bike ride. It's also great cardio without the stress on your knees.

The Schwinn Admiral. <3

The Schwinn Admiral. <3

Go to your local farmer's market.

Instead of buying my produce at the grocery store, I spend one day during the weekend going to local farmer's markets, specifically the one off Park Ave. in Winter Park (Saturdays) and the Farmer's Market at Lake Eola (Sundays). These are two great locations where you can grab a bite to eat, along with some fresh fruits and veggies at a much lower cost than Publix or Walmart. Plus, you can even find some neat plants and flowers at these markets as well.

fresh produce from the farmers market.

fresh produce from the farmers market.

Organize! 

For me, spring is also the most stressful time when it comes to schoolwork. I took a week to write out all the important dates I have coming up until the end of the semester and used those as milestones. With finals and group projects, I need to set some strict guidelines for myself to make sure that procrastination doesn't get the best of me. It's the final stretch! I also took some time to sweep out the garage, deep clean the kitchen and attempt to keep my room cleaner on a daily basis. It's so refreshing to come home to a clean house.

Detach from technology at night. 

I recently read in Women's Health Magazine that beds are for sleeping only. As simple of a concept as that sounds, I realized that I constantly bring my computer or phone into bed at night and try to knock out some last minute emails or just waste time on Pinterest or Facebook. But, choosing to put my phone on the charger across the room and keep my computer at my desk, I find myself going to sleep much more relaxed. Pick a time at night to detach from your phone and computer and wind down with a book before you head to bed.

Enjoy alone time. 

Recently, I've embraced having alone time. After a crazy day or work or school, coming home and doing nothing has been the best. Since my roommates aren't usually home, going for a quick run after a long day, making a healthy dinner and sitting on the back porch make for some great evenings. 

Although these are really simple changes, I find myself to be so much happier on a daily basis. Feel free to share any tips you may have when it comes to some inner spring cleaning!