Spring Clean Your Home… and Mind
With the colder season in our rearview mirror and the extra sunlight each day, most of us are looking forward to turning off our heaters and getting outside. Now that it is officially spring, we will soon see all the beautiful things spring brings. Flowers, birds, warm weather, and the sometimes joyous (sometimes daunting) task of spring cleaning. Spring cleaning doesn’t only mean packing your jackets and sweaters away, decluttering your home, or tackling the cleanout of your garage. It can also be a great time to clean all areas of your life to make sure you’re not just living – that you are thriving.
One of the easiest ways to clean your mind and soul is to treat it like a spring-cleaning task. Use these tips to clean out your life the same way you would wash, declutter, and organize your home. Use the acronym S.P.R.I.N.G. as an easy way to remember your mind and soul during spring cleaning.
S = Serenity
Rid your home and mind of clutter by escaping into serenity. As humans, when we step into serenity in our minds, our bodies positively respond physically. Our blood pressure goes down, our heart rates decrease, and our immune system is boosted. But you’re probably wondering how to achieve serenity. The most effective way to find serenity in your mind is through meditation. Achieving serenity becomes even easier when you are spending time in nature. As the weather warms, try combining meditation and nature by stepping outside, barefoot, to practice grounding exercises. Grounding is a meditation technique that reconnects us to the earth. This practice relies on earthing science and grounding physics to explain how electrical charges from the earth can positively affect your body.
P = Pause
Rest for a few minutes every day. We are all busy, and sometimes it seems like we can’t come up for air. So set an alarm and force yourself to pause. Take a few minutes to text, call, or email a loved one. You can also simply sit and be silent. Use these moments to calm your mind and soothe your nerves. Try breathing techniques such as box breathing. Box breathing is a simple technique that you can apply regardless of time or location. Before starting, sit with your back supported and your feet on the floor.
- Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose while counting to four slowly. Feel the air enter your lungs.
- Hold your breath inside while counting slowly to four. Try not to clamp your mouth or nose shut. Simply avoid inhaling or exhaling for four seconds.
- Begin to slowly exhale for four seconds.
- Wait four seconds after exhaling before starting the process again. Repeat for four minutes.
R = Ritualize
Organize your energy. Establish daily rituals by setting aside time just for you or time for family togetherness. It’s as simple as eating a meal together (at home or out), taking a bath, or reading a book before bedtime. Create an event to look forward to throughout the week. The simple expectation of a night out or time alone (or together with family) creates anticipation and fosters a consistent sense of excitement.
I = Intention
Polish your purpose. Listen to what ignites your passion, energy, and love. Listen to what drains you, distracts you, and irritates you. These are clues to becoming more aware of what you love and what stresses you. You may not be able to control many of your circumstances, but you can choose your attitude and intentions in response to events. Practice living intentionally. An excellent place to start is by saying “no” more often. Your time is your most precious asset. A perfect way to measure if something is worth your time is to pay attention to your initial reaction to an invite or question. If your initial reaction is not a “HECK YES!” – then consider saying “no” instead. Try this for a week and you will be amazed by how much lighter you feel.
N = Nature
Sweep your worries out the door–literally! Get outside and reconnect with nature. A garden can be a great way to relieve stress. Whether you have a small patio for container gardening or ample space in the backyard, the act of making your particular stretch of nature into a haven can be a stress reliever. The garden you create can bring you nourishment and peace. As you prepare your dirt, plant your seed, and water your garden, envision that you are preparing your mind for positivity, planting seeds of positivity, and watering your mind to grow positivity. Just being outside, soaking up the sunlight, getting your vitamin D (with a hat and sunscreen, of course), and inhaling fresh air will make you feel better.
G = Give
Dust off your working clothes or break out your wallet and discover a place to visit or give to. Being charitable and practicing generosity makes us happier. Try volunteering with your kids, family, or friends. Share in the value of helping others and create a bond. Consider helping an animal shelter once a month, joining an organization that helps build homes for families in need, or volunteering at a shelter.