We, in the northeast, have reached that time of the year when we are ready to throw open the windows, shed our winter coats, pull out t-shirts and shorts and head for the garden or beach.

Unfortunately, March weather is not cooperating. We get teased with a sunny day in the 60’s and are exhilarated; only to be devastated the following day by a nor’easter. We are grumbling and irritable as we shake the last vestiges of our winter virus, pay off those holiday credit card bills, and struggle to do our taxes. Frigid air moves in. We hunker down and inertia is not far behind. Winter has knocked us off balance.

We are not at our best.

When we are taking care of all aspects of ourselves, we are in balance and content. So, I offer this daily prescription for March to help lift our spirits and put us in May mode even if weather is more like January. Just do one small thing from each category daily, so you don’t overwhelm yourself and end up in bed bingeing on Oreos and Netflix.

This is not a call for big change. In reality, you are probably proficient in a few of these categories, so you will only need to up your game in a couple of areas. Consider what areas need work and dedicate 20 minutes to that category.

They are: Clean, Cleanse, Create, Contemplate and Connect.

1. Clean– do something each day to clean up or clean out your environment. One task a day- wash curtains, clean out a closet, organize your desk. Purge stuff. Sort through the mail, clean out e-mails, throw out single socks (sorry, their match is gone). Begin to notice winter clothes that you haven’t worn and think about their future-trash, donate, consign?

2. Cleanse– Do something to make your body cleaner. Look at what you are eating and consider either eliminating or limiting one food that is your nemesis. If cookies are your downfall, try substituting fruit or a granola bar.

If you are a smoker, think about cutting back. Eliminate that first cigarette in the morning. Each time you reject a cigarette you are reducing the hold that cigarettes has on you. Then maybe you can face quitting come spring.

Were you drinking more alcohol than you wanted to over the winter? Tired of Hangovers? Wondering if you have a problem? Or simply want to cut out extra calories? This may be the time to cut back or quit.

3. Create– When was the last time you did some writing, made art, knitted a scarf, tried a new recipe? Put aside 20-30 mins every day to simply sketch, knit, write a poem, make a spring wreath. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t even have to be good. The goal is creativity and self expression. No idea where to begin? Try finger painting with chocolate pudding!

4. Contemplate– Spend a bit of time every day reflecting, meditating, daydreaming, practicing gratitude or just noticing nature. In these tiny “time out’ moments we allow room for our minds and bodies to relax and restore.

5. Connect-Make plans with friends you haven’t seen in a while. Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t recently been in touch with. E-mail an old acquaintance. If you usually text, call. If you call, write a letter. If you write, then meet. Deepening and expanding our connections to others contributes to a feeling of well-being.

That’s it. Easy, huh? As I mentioned, there is a good chance that you probably do a few of the aforementioned.

But life feels so full already, right? Change can feel impossible.

Well, first consider where you may be “over doing”; remember our goal is balance.  If you clean constantly, isolate through creating and contemplation, spend all your free time drinking with friends, then you aren’t in balance and you probably feel a little “off”.  Can you clean a bit less, shave some time off contemplating or socializing? If so, you create space. Next, mindfully examine how much time you spend on your devices. Turn off social media, video games, searching the net, watching videos and texting. Unplug for just twenty minutes. Making these small adjustments will open up the needed space in your life to improve self-care. You will feel accomplished and affirmed by your efforts and ready for spring!


Copyright 2018. Donna F. Ferber, LPC, LADC, LLC is a psychotherapist and addictions counselor in private practice for over 30 years. She is located in Farmington, CT. Currently, she is focused on rebalancing her life by cleaning out closets and waging war on dust bunnies. Her book From Ex-Wife to Exceptional Life: A Women’s Journey through Divorce, first published in 2004 won honorable mention from the Independent Publisher Association and continues to resonate with women experiencing the loss of their marriage.



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