Spring has finally arrived on the west coast – cherry blossoms line the streets with their pink canopies, bright green shoots are pushing their way through the rich soil, it’s an awakening for the earth and my body. The damp chill winter was an orbiting repetition of flares and fatigue, and it was only when the sun returned and the earth warmed that my body finally returned to a stable flow of wellbeing, and part of that flow was getting up and moving again.
The return of spring offers a resurgence of wellness and inspiration, a chance to shed the desolate husk of winter. Longer days means walks along the beaches watching the sun sink into the ocean, leaving behind a streak of crimson fire along the skyline; it means strolls around the park after supper, exploring the trails in the local bird sanctuary and road trips to old ghost towns, hiking through the remnants of history.
Winter is challenging for me. In the dark cold days, it’s difficult to be motivated and instead of going for a morning walk, I prefer to curl into the comfort of my heating blanket and curl up with a cup of tea, which is a good self-care activity for a bad flare day, but not so good for keeping the joints mobile. Exercise is what will keep my body strong and curb the stiffness of RA.
My work life as an administrative assistant and a writer is very sedentary, so I have to make an effort to keep moving. I get up from the desk every half hour, stretch and go for a short walk. Yoga is great for flexibility, building strength and endurance; swimming offers a cardio workout that reduces pressure on my joints; a weekly ballroom dance class with my partner is not only fun, but helps with balance and keeps the blood flowing.
Here are some tips on how to keep moving from an article I wrote for Arthritis Research Canada: https://www.arthritisresearch.ca/spring-into-action/
Springtime is not only the beginning of new life and rebirth for the body, but for the mind. It’s a time to begin new projects, renew friendships, call on family, and enjoy the eruption of life in all its forms.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend, and here’s to a spring filled with health, happiness, discovery, and abundant restoration.