5 ways to spring clean for your mental health

For many people spring offers an opportunity for renewal, in the form of spring cleaning! So why not do a little spring cleaning for your mental health while you’re at it? Removing all the metaphorical “junk” and negativity and putting more energy into restoring habits that promote mental health are just as important as cleaning out that garage or pulling up all those weeds. Here’s a few items to add to your spring cleaning list (for your mental health):

1.     Simplify. Get rid of the extra environmental noise. Life is so incredibly hectic, which makes it even more important to enjoy the simple things. I’m talking about taking time to turn off the electronics to take a walk outside, feel the sunshine, fly a kite, light a new candle, watch the clouds, go for bike ride, visit a farmer’s market, take a coffee break, buy your favorite flower. Okay, you get it.

2.     Organize (or reorganize) your goals. Take time to reassess what is important to you and what you want to accomplish in the short- and long-term. Goals give us a vision for the future, provide us with a focus and sense of purpose, and encourage us to make better decisions. Creating clear goals for oneself is motivating, whether it be eating healthier, taking more time for yourself, or reaching a career milestone. For the best success, make sure your goals are specific, realistic, and measurable. And don’t beat yourself up if you experience glitches along the way, praise yourself for what progress you’ve made instead.

3.     Trash the negative thoughts and negative talk. Although occasional venting and complaining can relieve some stress, it’s important not to dwell on the negatives. Attempt to find any and all positives in stressful or difficult situations. For example, being stuck in traffic is one of the most frustrating parts of my day, but when I roll down my windows and feel the nice weather, listen to some of my favorite songs, and yes, enjoy some people watching, it’s not so bad after all.

4.     Clear your mind. Find activities in which you become mindless, and do these things often! “Flow” is a mental state of energized focus, in which you are fully immersed and completely enjoy an activity. Some people find their state of “flow” through exercise, creating art, meditating, or even… cleaning! Find your flow.

5.     Say goodbye to toxic relationships. It may be hard, but it is okay to allow people who are mentally or emotionally draining to fade from your life. Being around others who are constantly complaining or instigating drama drains your own emotional resources and affects your ability to manage your own problems. Monitor your mood around people with whom you spend time. Do you feel energized and cheerful, or are you exhausted and gloomy? Place more time and effort into the relationships that make you feel good.