There’s something about spring that makes everything feel new - flowers blooming, warmer weather, and longer days are just a few reasons this season feels like you’re being reintroduced to the world. Spring-cleaning your home is tradition, but have you considered other areas in your life that may benefit from some spring cleaning? Consider the following ideas to help renew your day-to-day life!
Clean Your Mind
Psychologists suggest that a messy home represents a disorganized mental state; even though tidying up your home will help ease your mental state, there is more that can be done to clean your mind. First, identify the thoughts that have been weighing you down and the root of these thoughts - they may stem from strained relationships, a demanding job, or general negative thinking. Next, evaluate these causes to see if there is room for improvement or if it is something you can eliminate completely.
If the strained relationship is with a friend who is toxic or makes you think less of yourself, rethink that friendship - is it really worth the negativity it adds to your mind? Life is too short to give your time and your thoughts to people who bring you down. Perhaps the strained relationship is with a family member that you struggle with- if so, concentrate on their good qualities and brainstorm ways to improve your relationship with them. Even if nothing changes on their end, you will have more positive thoughts knowing that you are trying your best to improve. If you are struggling with your job, consider looking for other employment opportunities or figure out how to have a better work-life balance. The less you allow your job to permeate your mind, the more you can enjoy your life.
Finally, if you find yourself stuck in the cycle of negative thinking- being fearful, feeling overwhelmed or inferior, criticizing, complaining, etc. - the time to change that is now. Taking these thoughts out of your mind will not only help you clear your mind to make room for positive thoughts, it will renew the way you look at the world and make you feel like a new person. Try to always start and end your day with a positive thought - you will be surprised at what a difference it makes!
Clean Your Schedule & Commitments
How much time do you spend on social media? Watching TV? Playing video games? It’s easy to fall into those mindless routines during the colder winter months, but now that spring is here, it’s time to refocus your schedule and commitments! By taking these time wasters out of your schedule, you are allowing yourself to focus more on the important things in life - your family, friends, health, etc. In turn, you will be able to accomplish more, feel less stressed, and further develop relationships and habits that will be beneficial throughout your life. The beautiful weather beckons you to get outside and explore - answer the call!
How many New Year’s Resolutions have you faithfully kept? Are you paying for a gym membership that you don’t use? Did you join too many activities and now you feel spread too thin, unable to fully commit your time or attention to the matter at hand? Don’t let things that stress you out stay on your schedule - no matter how valuable the activity may be, if it’s stressing you out, it’s not actually good for you.
For example, if you’ve joined a particular group because you support its cause but realize you’re actually too busy for it, respect both yourself and your fellow group members by taking a step back. If you feel unable to follow through with your commitments, this could become a point of stress in your life. Furthermore, others may be feeling stressed if they are constantly picking up the slack where you might be falling short. If you find that’s the case, there’s no shame in honestly admitting that you’re unable to take on those duties at this time. Your friends and colleagues will understand and appreciate your honesty, and you can still support them by attending fundraisers and activities.
Similarly, if you signed up for a gym membership in January and you’ve only gone twice, is that really a good use of your money? Evaluate your commitment to the gym and consider trying an alternate approach to fitness - perhaps the problem is that the gym is too far away or it’s difficult to fit it into your schedule. If that is the case, purchase weights or a yoga mat and try working out at home; YouTube has a lot of great workout videos in various time increments that can fit into your schedule- and it’s all free! With the warm spring weather, start doing some cardio outside - whether walking, running, or biking, it’s a great way to get some exercise while also exploring the beautiful world around you.
Clean Your To-Do List
To-do lists are a great way to stay organized and keep your mind clear; however, sometimes to-do lists can become a source of anxiety when certain items stay on the list week after week, month after month because they seem too difficult. The longer an intimidating item claims a line on your to-do list, the more overwhelming that item becomes. Identify what these daunting items are and plan out creative ways to finally check them off the list. For example, if it’s a big project, set aside a few hours each week to try to tackle it or create a monthly schedule for the specific task with smaller to-do items; by having smaller and more attainable goals, you’ll allow yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment for each time you work on the project instead of feeling overwhelmed for still not having the entire project completed. After having just cleaned your schedule and commitments, you’ll have some free time to take care of this item! If the challenging task is something that you don’t fully understand so you’re unsure of where or how to start, browse the Internet for tips or talk to a friend to bounce some ideas off of them. Sometimes having someone in your corner helps you feel less discouraged about the task at hand!
Clean Your Home
Spring cleaning is a global tradition for a reason! Your home should be your safe space from the world, but it may not feel like that if you feel overwhelmed by it every time you walk through the door. Designate a few hours to do some serious cleaning in areas that you don’t usually clean, purchase organizational items, and evaluate items that you can discard or give away to a local shelter. Moving forward, commit to taking 5-10 minutes each day to clean up around the house. This practice will transform your house into a place of refuge from the chaos of the world.
Spring-cleaning your mind, schedule, to-do list, and home won’t solve all of life’s problems, but it will allow you to declutter your life. This will help you enjoy each day more fully- and everyone can benefit from that!