Woman to Woman: How to Spring-Clean Your Life
By Stacy Baker
Clearing out the cupboards and sprucing up the garden aren't the only things that need a little attention this season; you do too.
These 10 tips can put a little spring in your step and a smile on your face.
1. Create a date night
It's hard to drag yourself out the door when the mercury is low, but warmer temps mean you've got no excuses. Give yourself something to look forward to each week with a standing date with friends or a significant other.
2. Indulge in fresh fashion
If "black is the new black" is your signature style, brighten up your look with one key piece in spring's hottest shades. Think updated pinks, teals and yellows. Start with accessories, like bangles or a clutch, for an instant, less expensive pick-me-up.
3. Give yourself 10
Science is finally proving what Eastern medicine has been advocating for centuries: Meditation is a mood elixir. It beats stress, recharges creativity, boosts energy and improves your disposition. If you can't completely power down for 10 minutes a day, steal some quiet time for yourself -- in the shower, on the way to work, or before everyone in your house wakes up in the morning.
4. Rekindle a resolution
You may have lost a step or two in landing your 2011 goals. If so, why not recommit? Take another look at what you'd still like to accomplish, and set a new plan for making it happen. Start by creating mini targets that are easier to meet, and help fuel long-term success.
5. Revamp your workout
Spring is the perfect time to freshen up your exercise routine with a new class or regimen that recharges your energy levels and re-engages you in your fitness goals. Opt for something you can do outdoors: Try bicycling, rollerblading, yoga or a boot camp class in your local park.
6. School yourself
Learning is the perfect Rx for boredom. Stay engaged, mentally challenged and creatively stimulated by soaking up some self-education. Catch up on current events, subscribe to a book-of-the-month club, watch movies that inspire you, or take a class at your local college. A fresh POV is the perfect way to shine up that attitude for spring.
7. Engage in the great outdoors
For some of us, becoming one with nature means taking an all-day hike or having a leisurely picnic in the park. For others, a patio brunch followed by an afternoon of window-shopping is just what the mood doctor ordered. Get some fresh air and feel the sun on your UV-protected face. It's uplifting after a season of being snowbound.
8. Treat your feet
After endless months of slogging around in boots, it's likely your pedicure has become somewhat neglected. Book an appointment for your salon's spa service, complete with exfoliation, deep hydration and a mini massage. Follow with a spring polish with pop. When the weather breaks, you'll be ready for those peep-toe sandals.
9. Meet and greet
Expanding your social network is an easy way to mix it up. Join a group that shares a hobby with you, start your own regular get-togethers, or host a dinner for friends and ask everyone to bring someone new to the party.
10. Dust off your resume
Get out your red pen and give that CV a good makeover. Add new responsibilities, incorporate power language and rebrand your skills. You'll give yourself a shot of confidence and a leg up for a new position or promotion.
Stacy Baker has written for InStyle, SHAPE, Fitness, SELF, Family Circle and Prevention. She is the former editorial director of Sephora and executive editor of Life & Style Weekly. Baker collaborated with author Tosca Reno to write Your Best Body Now.
Woman to Woman: "How to Spring-Clean Your Life"