In traditional Chinese medical theory, one of the best ways to stay healthy is to live in balance with the seasons. Balance, in this context, means mindfully crafting your diet and certain aspects of your lifestyle based on what season it is.

An easy way to think about this is with fruits and vegetables: weare lucky these days to have grocery stores stocked year round with fruits andvegetables from every corner of the globe at all times of year. That makes itpossible to enjoy asparagus into the winter months in northern climates whereasparagus would never naturally grow at that time of year if at all. Chinesemedical thought prescribes realigning our diets with what would be available tous in the region where we live and at each time of year. In this way,we’re aligning ourselves with the rhythms of the earth. Not only that, buteating fresh, local fruits and vegetables probably means they’re going to bebetter tasting fruits and vegetables in the first place, because they’re freshoff the vine and ripened close by. Living in balance with the seasons helps tokeep us healthy and free of disease, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM).

Eachseason is also connected to one of the main organ networks and a relatedelement, both based on associations with what is happening in our bodies and inthe natural world. In spring, Chinese medicine says we should be attentive toour livers. Springtime is all about new life and life-giving processes. Theliver provides essential support to our lungs, heart and circulation system –in other words, all the life-giving systems in our bodies. The liver alsostores and distributes nourishment to the whole body. It also filters toxinsfrom the blood and breaks them down for elimination.

Whenthe liver is functioning properly, there is functionality throughout the wholebody, and we feel a physical and emotional freedom and expansiveness that allowus to take on the essence of springtime.

Hereare four ways to tweak your lifestyle this spring in order to support balancein your liver.

Rise and shine

Makeit a habit to wake up earlier in the spring than you were during winter. Noticeif getting up earlier allows you to have more energy during the day.

Exercise more

Tryto incorporate more movement into your daily life during the spring. Especiallyduring spring, exercise is a great way to battle depression and anxiety thatcan creep in due to a liver imbalance.

Add sour foods to your diet

Theflavor connected to the liver is sour. Adding lemon to your water is a simpleway to do this that will help you digestive and emotional health.

Keep breathing

Beintentional about developing or maintaining habits that help you to de-stressduring spring. Springtime can feel like a burst of energy compared to winter,but it is important to make space each for downtime and not get too busy toofast.