Warmer weather and longer days bring the desire to clean, wash, weed and sow. While we tend to think of spring cleaning in the physical sense, we should also take the opportunity to clean out our mental clutter and sow seeds of positivity.
First, let’s consider how to declutter our minds and throw out all of the junk that causes problems in our lives. Then, let’s look at some positive behaviors that will foster overall health and wellness.
Avoid toxic relationships and drama.
Some relationships are just not good for us, especially if they instigate negativity and drama. This type of behavior is emotionally draining and can wreak havoc on our minds and souls. Cut out—or at least cut back—on time spent with people who bring you down or involve you in their drama.
Break bad habits.
Make a list of habits you wish to break and then start on them one at a time. Perhaps the list includes eliminating sodas or cutting out junk food. Maybe you need to stop biting your nails or spending so much time watching TV. Or those habits could be major, like smoking or even substance abuse. Whatever behavior you wish to change, know that slow and steady wins the race.
Eliminate negative talk.
Gossiping, complaining, venting, wallowing—we all do it from time to time. But those who engage in negative conversations on a regular basis will find that drama and negativity tend to follow them. That kind of toxicity will only bring you down and keep you from focusing on the positive, happy aspects of your life.
Shut down negative thoughts.
Controlling what we say is easier than controlling what we think. One negative thought works its way into our minds and then before you know it, we have lost all self-confidence. So, for starters, cut out “I can’t,” “I’ll never” and “I’m not good enough” from your self-talk. If you think you can, you will. Tell yourself every day that you have the seeds of greatness inside and you can do whatever you set your heart on.
Clear your physical space.
Having lots of stuff and clutter leads us to worry about where to put something—or where we put something we can’t find. The more we have sitting around, the more we have to take care of, so whether it’s your desk, a closet or the garage, cleaning out your physical space helps to clear up space in your mind.
Prioritize your physical health.
Physical and mental health go hand in hand. If you’re feeling down, you likely lack the energy and motivation to exercise, eat well or engage in favorite activities. By the same token, a decline in physical health can lead to anxiety and/or depression. So, in order to better your overall health, make an effort to do something each day to take care of yourself physically—go for a walk, drink more water, cut down on sugar or simply stretch your muscles.
Focus on the blessings in your life, such as a loving family, supportive friends, breaking a bad habit, improved health or nice weather. Start a daily gratitude journal to keep those positive thoughts on your mind, surround yourself with inspiration and send thank you notes or messages to those who have aided in your journey—showing gratitude and cultivating kindness is mutually beneficial.
Plan creative projects.
Indulge in your creative whims, learn to play an instrument or find fun crafts to do with your children or grandchildren. Creativity engages different parts of your brain and the sense of accomplishment and pride in completing a project or learning a new skill is good for the mind and soul.
Grow positive friendships.
Many times, laughter truly is the best medicine. Good friends who love and support you no matter what are to be treasured. Evaluate which relationships bring joy and happiness to your life and take time to nurture them.
Mindfulness means being aware of what you think and how you feel. Understanding why you’re feeling a certain way is the first step to coping with those feelings and their effects, such as stress, anxiety or depression. Journaling might seem daunting for some, but start out with a notebook in which you simply jot down the day, the weather, any significant events, how you’re feeling and perhaps a to-do or wish list. Consistently taking stock of what you think and how you feel will better prepare you for dealing with life’s challenges.