The arrival of Spring is fast approaching, meaning that we’re all getting ready for some exciting changes, no doubt that Spring cleaning ideas are starting to pop up in your mind.
I love how Spring subtly evokes hope and organically introduces change - Change of habits, change of house decor, and change of closet.
Some of us are inclined to take part in a deep Spring cleaning to remove what no longer serves a purpose and incorporate more openness and brightness into our lives.
With that, this is a great time to tie in some self-care into the Spring cleaning process to declutter your mind from thoughts and interactions that don't bring any value. I put together a practical list to get you started!
1. Mind Check
First of all, let’s take stock of how we’re doing. What’s going great? What do we need to let go of? What do we need more of?
Take a deep look at your habits, particularly if you recently introduced new ones at the beginning of the year.
Just like we do when we declutter spaces, we need to make a quick audit and decide on what can stay and what should exit our minds.
Keep in mind that this is a judgment-free zone where we gather honest and valuable information in the process. Ask questions like:
How’s waking up earlier or meditating working out for me?
What actions or thoughts make me feel fulfilled and happy?
What's causing stress in my life?
This is a great check-in exercise and a starting point for the following tips.
2. Say "No"
You must have heard, in some form or another, that we need to learn how to say “no” more often. Declining certain activities and separating from certain thoughts can have incredibly positive effects on our minds.
In order to foster a positive and healthy mind ecosystem, you need to engage in activities that bring you value, that inspire you, make you laugh, and make you feel good about yourself.
One easy technique that you can use to identify when to say "no" is to do a quick check. For example, check how you feel when you go back home after a social activity. Do you feel drained or inspired? This is a great indication of how a particular situation affects you, positively or negatively, and whether or not you need to reduce or eliminate it from your life.
3. Reduce and Block Negativity
Completely letting go of negativity is clearly unattainable and unrealistic even. The waves in which negativity presents in our lives makes it a bit hard to just avoid. Instead, we’ll aim to reduce and learn how to block it.
Negativity feeds from internal and external sources. It may come from within us, that negative inner self-talk, or from the environment around us, meaning people we interact with on a daily basis. Sometimes, negativity may originate from people who we love, respect, and care about adding a layer of complexity into the mix. However, using effective ways to block it off allows us to observe, deflect, and disengage rather than absorb negative energies - All while keeping people we care about close to us.
The first step is to identify the sources of negativity and then build boundaries and filters around them. It may sound easier said than done but this article summarizes practical ways to block negativity.
4. Brain Dump
The amount of information, thoughts, and ideas that we process daily is truly staggering. On average, we process 34 GB of information per day, equivalent to 100,000 words coming at us from different directions.
Information overload affects our attention span, decision-making abilities, and even the quality of sleep.
As a form of brain detox, a brain dump exercise is highly effective. It helps transfer scattered thoughts from our brains into paper freeing up space and decluttering our minds.
On a piece of paper, write down all of your thoughts and ideas. They don’t need to make sense at this stage. Once you have a list, organize them into 4 categories: Concerns, Emotions, To-Dos, and Ideas.
This exercise helps to visualize thoughts, free up brain space, and reduce the anxiety caused by information overload. You can later revisit this list to tackle each thought at a time.
5. Say "Yes"
Without a doubt, the best part of mind decluttering is making space for positivity.
Now that you acknowledged your needs, set some boundaries, and decluttered your mind, you can use this space to gain new experiences and explore your creativity.
Create inspiring environments and try something new this Spring! Take that dance class you’ve always wanted, finally commit to taking cooking classes, or take time off to visit a close friend.
Ultimately, the reason why we declutter our lives is not only to reduce and organize but to cultivate space for growth and foster an environment that leads to happiness.
In the end, all of these tips go back to one main idea: You have control over your life, the power to create new beginnings, and prioritize your well-being.
Good luck and Happy Spring Cleaning!