'Spring Cleaning' for Your Mental Health
There’s something about the transition from winter to spring. Of course, there are the physical changes: daytime creeps further and further past the working hours, piles of snow begin to melt, at first a trickle and then all at once into miniature lakes pooling across our sidewalks and filling gutters along city streets. But more than just rising mercury, this annual switch inspires us to undergo a cleansing of our physical spaces, to declutter and clean away the messes that we’ve acquired over the months we’ve spent bundled up inside.
Marie Kondo taught us the joy of tidying, and cleaning TikTok is filled with clever deep cleansing hacks to get our homes sparkling. And while there's no doubt that our living spaces can impact how we feel, taking time to refresh and shake off the winter cobwebs shouldn’t be limited to dusting shelves and washing windows. Prioritizing time and space to cleanse our minds and care for our emotional health can be just as satisfying and infinitely more valuable than an organized home.
5 Ways to Clear Your Mind This Spring
Schedule ‘You’ Time
And stick to it. Take on a new hobby, make physical activity a priority, or simply carve out a half an hour to sit down and eat your breakfast without distraction. We are all guilty of giving into the hussle, but burnout is real. If ‘you’ time is not already a part of your daily schedule, take this opportunity to prioritize it this spring.
- Give up what you can. There are only so many hours in the day. If your schedule is already packed full, see where you can outsource some of your to-do list. Reach out to a loved one for some help, or if it’s in the budget, hire someone to do a chore that you don’t have time for.
- Limit distractions. Turn off your phone, shut the door, pause notifications, or set your calendar to busy for the entire length of your ‘you’ time.
Remember, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind. Scheduling a bit of time each day for you and you alone is a simple way to show yourself care and compassion.
Write Things Down
One of the best ways to cut through the noise is to get the thoughts in your head onto a piece of paper. Capturing your emotions in writing can help you work through an issue by putting it into words that are easier to understand. Instead of having thoughts and emotions swim aimlessly through your mind, journaling about what you are going through can help you see things more clearly and better understand your needs, desires, and frustrations.
If you are the type of person whose mind is usually a bit frazzled, writing down what you are thinking into lists or schedules can also help relieve stress by getting more organized.
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Make Time for Gratitude
It’s a cliche, but there really is something to the power of positive thinking. Consider the things that you are grateful for and actively acknowledge them. Whether you start your day by declaring them out loud in front of a mirror, write them down in a journal, or sending a text expressing your gratitude to someone you love, physically manifesting your positive thoughts has been scientifically proven to improve happiness.
Stress compounds when we take on more than we have the bandwidth for. As the seasons shift, it’s easy to feel weighed down by the stresses of winter. Refresh your mental health this spring by breaking leftover projects into simple tasks. Tackling manageable checklists can give our brains a dose of dopamine and help us feel more confident and accomplished as we tick off those boxes. The momentum we build up by firing those small things off can also keep us motivated to get on top of larger goals.
Let Your Mind be Still
Meditation, prayer, and yoga are great for promoting internal reflection and allowing your mind to tune out of harmful distractions. Meditation and shutting off can allow you to visualize how you want to feel and acknowledge the things that may be holding you back. Take planned breaks from technology throughout the day and allow your mind to quiet. If you are new to meditation, there are a number of apps that can help you get started.
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