The last chill of winter is finally starting to recede and the mercury on the thermometer is slowly creeping up to a reasonable temperature. With that, we can put the horror that was the Polar Vortex behind us and say ‘goodbye’ to winter and ‘hello’ to spring! When spring starts to roll around, most people long for the day when they can throw the windows open, blast some music, and clean up the house. For some, spring cleaning may be a tradition (whether we look forward to it or not), but the item that many of us often don’t put on the spring cleaning list is ourselves.
This spring season – be sure to make time for yourself. During the past winter, you may have put on a few pounds, adopted some bad habits, or even realized that it’s time for a change. Here are a few suggestions on how to do some spring cleaning – for you – this year.
Clear Your Mind
Meditation isn’t a practice that is reserved for just yogis and monks. Simple daily meditations can really do wonders to help you clear your mind and make the most out of each day. Performing a short morning meditation can help you set yourself up to have a very productive and happy day. Meditating before going to sleep each night is a great way to clear your mind of any negative thoughts and bad energy you may have been carrying around with you all day. Meditating before you go to bed will also help you get a more restful sleep at night.
Kick A Habit
Let’s face it. During this harsh winter, we may have stayed inside too much and may even have picked up a bad habit or two. This spring, try to kick at least one of your habits that you know isn’t good for you. Whether it’s something as simple as spending too much time on your smartphone, watching too much Netflix, or something bigger (such as smoking or drinking) use this time to expel that habit from your lifestyle and start fresh.
Be More Active
Many people made resolutions on New Year’s to get healthy and be more active. Statistics show that approximately 71% of resolution makers gave up after about two weeks. So what? That doesn’t mean you have to wait another year to try again. Spring is all about rebirth and growth. Why not do the same for yourself. Start simple. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Drink an extra bottle of water during the day. Walk around the block or a nearby park while you eat your lunch. Adding small changes to your daily routine will ensure that you succeed in being more active. Remember to ease into a workout plan, which will give your body and your mind time to adapt to the changes.
Many people like to pair a healthier diet in with a more active lifestyle. This is a great decision! The same rules apply for eating healthier. Don’t completely change your diet overnight. Make small gradual changes, such as replacing your afternoon snack with a serving of fruits or vegetables. Add a new change to your diet every week, in addition to the change you added in the previous weeks. After a while, you will notice they become habits – and eventually become part of your natural lifestyle. (And don’t forget to give yourself a treat every once in a while). Work towards a cheat day (such as a birthday or office party at the end of the week). Take things day by day. If you go off one day or even one week, your diet isn’t ruined until next year! Regroup and start anew the next day.
Make Time For Fun
Even if you love what you do for a living, work can take a mental toll on your mind and your body. Make sure to set apart a time every day or every week that is just for you. Whether it is a bike ride through your neighborhood each week, a picnic on the beach with your friends on the weekends, or even a TV show that you watch with your loved one each week. Having those little things to look forward to will keep you less stressed and give you a time – even if just for an hour – to escape from reality, and relax. You can also use this time to pick up a new hobby, such as an art or a cooking class.
Clean Your House
Yes, traditional spring cleaning can also be extremely beneficial to your mind as well. Clean out your home, office (and even your car) of junk, clutter and garbage that may have accumulated in the past months. That drawer you can’t ever open? If you don’t even know what’s in there, chances are you will still be fine without those things in your life. Clean out your closet. Get rid of clothes that don’t fit anymore. If you are still trying to convince yourself that you’re going to wear a few things that you just can’t get rid of, take all of the clothes out of your closet and hang them back up, with the hanger in the opposite direction (hook facing towards you). At the end of the year, donate everything that still has a backwards-facing hanger. You’ll feel good about donating your old clothes while also making room for new ones!
We all have that one friend that is always complaining, draining us of all of our energy or even flaking out of plans left and right. Friendships like this can be toxic to your mental well-being. Think about any toxic people you may around you and rid them from your lives. If they are not doing anything beneficial for you, you are better off without them. This can even include purging your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter of friends or people you follow that seem to always be complaining or are just plain annoying. Making new friends is also a great way to improve your life. Find someone that shares a common hobby or interest, and you will find them much easier and less stressful to hang out with.
This list could go on and on. These are just some of our favorites. Effectively detoxing and spring cleaning your mind can help you achieve bigger and better things. So this spring, do what’s best for you. Stop avoiding big things in your life, such as going back to or finishing school, or looking for a job that you actually want to do. It’s your life! Take control of it.