Spring Cleaning

I love spring. My favorite season, hands down. With the flowers bursting from the ground and trees coming to life, it is such a time of rebirth and renewal. I know that New Years is typically a time when we make resolutions, but I think that spring is a much more realistic time to make changes in our life when it is sunny, warmer weather, and just less gloomy.

As heart failure patients, there is just so much time-consuming and hard stuff to do. Are we eating correctly? Are we exercising? Are we watching our stress? I would add, too, are we creating community to help us get through the hard times? Heart failure is a rough road to do alone.

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Making positive lifestyle changes with heart failure

What positive changes do you want to make in your life? Are there lifestyle changes that you can make to live a longer and more functional life with heart failure? 

Instead of New Years resolutions, let's have spring resolutions. Instead of spring cleaning our homes, spring clean our lives!

Take small manageable steps and make realistic, measurable goals. I am reminded of the Michael Jackson song "Man in the Mirror." If you want to make a change, look in the mirror. That change must come from you.

Here are a few ideas if you are looking to "spring clean" your life:

  • If you have cheat days, can you go awhile longer without a cheat day? Or can you find a way to take away some of the salt, or eat a smaller portion, so the burden on your heart is less?
  • If you are trying to lose weight, I think spring produce is truly great. You can make delicious healthy salads. Try mixing it up with nuts, dried fruit and/or goat cheese. It is also so easy to make your own salad dressings so you can watch the salt and sugar and eat healthier fats!
  • If you find yourself getting less exercise during the winter, spring is here! It is a great time to get outside and take those long walks.
  • I also find that I feel better when I get outside, too. If you get the winter blues, try getting outside. Maybe get a cup of tea and have it outside if the store has an outdoor patio. Or go to a nature preserve if they have a viewing platform. Or even a friend's patio! Get creative.
  • I have found that having a community and working on finding joy has helped me through the hard times, whether it is creating memories or just having people to chat with. Is there a hobby that you have wanted to try? A class that you have wanted to take? Is there a friend that you have not seen in awhile? Heart disease has a huge burden emotionally as well, so take care of your whole self.
  • Think about not just bringing joy in, but removing things that take it away from you. This might seem harsh, but are there toxic friends in your life that take away more then they add? Is there a colleague that is toxic? Either let the relationships go or let go of what is bothering you. Truly. And maybe use the natural renewal of spring to use the extra bandwidth in a positive way!

What do you think about "spring cleaning" our lifestyles?

Do you view springtime as a way to get moving, change things in your life, or get outside? How does this impact your heart failure journey?

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