My Italian friends tell me that they say “Aprile dolce dormire” which means “April, sweet sleep”. According to Wikipedia, “April, sweet sleep is a popular Italian proverb, since it deals with the habits induced by the weather characteristics of the month of April, among which there is also the first heat, a sort of comfort and above all a sense of tiredness casued by the warmth of this period”.
Well I disagree that we should be sleeping in April! This is the month that we see the new growth on the trees – that gorgeous bright green that you don’t see at any other time of the year. The yellows and purples of the crocuses are pushing through and of course, daffodils! Why would you want to sleep through all of that?
For me, Spring is about new beginnings, much more so than January 1st. After the darkness of winter, the promise of the new year is never more evident than now. And biologically speaking as well, the days get longer so our bodies want less sleep. Imagine if you were sleeping in a hunter/gatherer society without artificial lights or window blinds. You would naturally start to make use of more light, staying up later in the evening and waking up earlier in the morning as your body adapts to the changing day length.
It’s no surprise that you see more people out running at this time of year – mentally, it’s much more pleasant to head out in the early morning or in the evening when it is still light. The condition of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) often starts to lift at this time of year too and we find an energy that may not have been evident during the long, dark days of winter.
So why not use this abundant energy to motivate yourself and set some new targets? If your New Years resolutions didn’t make it past the 21st of January, you can use this as your chance to reset and start again. Here are some ways that you could make small steps to improving your year:
– Get up a little earlier and do 30 minutes yoga before the rest of the house wakes up. I love “Yoga with Adrienne” because each workout is between 25-30 minutes long. That is definitely doable.
– Start walking to work, get off the bus a couple of stops sooner or park the car further away.
– Eat spring greens. Get your body bouncing with some crunchy, fresh lettuce or even try some dandelion leaves to really stimulate your digestion.
– Get out and plant some stuff. Whether you have a garden, balcony or windowsill, planting things and watching them grow is a magical thing.
– Strawberries! This is when we start to see the first beautiful shiny red seasonal strawberries appearing in supermarkets. Full of vitamin C and bursting with flavour. Who can resist?
This winter has been particularly long and grey here in Luxembourg. Finally we are seeing some blue skies and warmth. Get yourself and your families out in the fresh air and blow away the cobwebs. Your body and your brain will thank you.
Lynsey Baxter – HealthyLux Passionate Contributor
HealthyLux April theme – Wake up! April sweet sleep…?