Five Quick Ways to Renew YOU for Spring

Think of all the things we dutifully renew. We would never let the tags expire on the family car. Ours is the first hand raised to sign up for next year’s fundraiser. And how many people under our roof are signed up, suited up, and ready to join a new team due to our efforts? We have a routine. It’s efficient. People are dazzled by what we accomplish. So why do we secretly identify with Harry the Hamster upstairs in his cage endlessly making the wheel go round? Because we renewed everything and everyone except ourselves.

Self-renewal is the time and attention we give ourselves to excitedly move in a new direction. While it may not be possible to take a month off, fly to Europe and walk the Camino de Santiago; neither does it have to be another year on the wheel with Harry.

Here are five nearly effortless ways to renew YOU for spring.

One—Have a New Conversation

Gather two or three friends for lunch. The twist? Gather friends who have never met each other and ask them to bring someone you’ve never met. A University of Arizona study by Dr. Matthias R. Mehl determined that happy people have twice as many substantive conversations as those who only engage in small talk such as whose turn it is to clean out Harry’s cage.

Two—Change a Daily Routine

Take a new route to work or to run your usual errands. A study published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences by Jaeggi, Buschkuehl, Jonides, and Perrig suggests that anything that makes you comfortable is not good for your brain. The secret to optimizing your cognitive function can be found in breaking those daily habits. Who knows? You might find a new café for lunch with your new friends.

Three—Tell a New Story

Give up one story you tell about yourself and replace it with a better one. We all tell ourselves stories from the distant past. Pick one of your “I’m not” stories and challenge it. “I’m not good at delegating” is a favorite way to remain a perfectionist. Move a task under someone else’s name on the chart and declare yourself a master delegator.

Four—Delete One Item on Your To Do List

Do you really want to finish researching how to raise chickens and find 100 new ways to serve fresh eggs for dinner, or is it good enough to support your local farmer’s market? Delete the project that sounded like something you should do rather than something you want to do. No one is keeping score.

Five—Sign up for a Class

Now that you’re not chasing chickens, you have time to take that class you almost signed up for a dozen times. Learning not only helps us stay one step ahead of declining cognitive function but according to research by neurologist Dr. Judy Willis, learning reduces boredom and thus stress. What topic excites you?

Renewing YOU for spring doesn’t have to take more time than you have. Delete an “I should,” replace it with an “I could,” and excitedly move in a new direction.


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