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Wheeling into Spring

February 27, 2019

By Gretchen Hofing

We’re rounding the corner on spring sticking around for good. Many people use spring as a time to renew and refresh – that might be cleaning your garage or maybe it’s taking inventory of how those New Year’s resolutions are going. At this seasonal change and possible time of reflection, the Wheel of Health used here at Duke Integrative Medicine can be a good tool to contemplate the big picture and the many factors that contribute to your well-being. Here are some self-care reminders and suggestions to get you jump-started into spring.


Movement, Exercise, and Rest:

When you keep your body active, you can prevent and treat many physical and mental health problems. Getting good sleep and rest leaves you feeling balanced and restored. It also provides you more energy to do all the things you want to do.

  • Select a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as a warm bath or listening to calming music.
  • Make a plan to get on track with physical activity-just 5 minutes is a great place to start.


Paying attention to what you eat and drink can nourish and strengthen your body and mind. A healthy diet can improve your well-being throughout your life. Choosing a healthier diet does not have to mean avoiding all the foods you love. After all, quality of life is an important part of being healthy too.

  • Consider planting a vegetable or herb garden or exploring your local farmers market this spring.
  • If you find yourself stuck inside with spring rain showers, here’s some fun food creations that are great indoor activities.

Physical Environment:

Your surroundings at work and at home can affect your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Addressing any concerns about toxins, safety, noise, and clutter in your environment can also improve your health. Every aspect of our physical space can influence our health, for better or worse.

  • Take advantage of the seasonal change to keep up with home maintenance with this checklist.
  • Dive into spring and engage your senses. Ask yourself what changes you could make so that each room in your home is a more nurturing, healthy, environment for you. Experiment with colors, materials, scents, music, or the overall design of different rooms so that these spaces satisfy all of your senses.

Mind-Body Connection:

In strengthening the connection between the mind and body, you nourish every aspect of who you are. Our thought patterns and emotions impact nearly every illness we can get—from arthritis to headaches, from the common cold to cancer. This means that your mind, brain, and body are all communicating with each other. Use this season of growth and renewal to encourage positive thinking and bring joy and good health into your life.

  • Bring more gratitude into your life every day. When you wake up in the morning make a list of five things for which you are grateful. Then, before you go to bed, mentally say thank you to five people.
  • Cultivate mindful awareness and practice being present for the richness of each moment of your life. Sign-up for a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class in-person or online through Duke IM.

Personal and Professional Development:

Take a deeper look at work–life balance, financial goals, and areas of personal growth. Personal and professional development refers to what gives you overall meaning and purpose in life. Whatever and wherever you are engaged in activities that give you a sense of fulfillment, you have many opportunities to enhance your health and the joy in your life.
Take a few minutes for yourself and consider the following.

  • If money and time were no object, what would you love to do that would bring you a profound sense of satisfaction, joy, and purpose?
  • If you continue with your current balance of professional and personal development, including time and energy spent on each, what will your life be like in five years from now? What will it be like 10 years from now?

Duke IM’s programs are a great source of professional and personal development. Build your own professional toolbox, explore the Wheel of Health further, and learn how to help others achieve their optimal health vision with the Integrative Health Coach Professional Training that is currently registering.


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