Mental Health Spring CleaningDec 31, 2020
Spring is here! Spring represents a time for rejuvenation and renewal. Traditionally, this is a time to open all the windows and deep clean the house after hunkering down for the winter (at least here in the northeast). Spring is also an excellent opportunity for mental health spring cleaning.
1) Declutter Your Mind by Decluttering Your Space
Mess can cause stress! There is a mirroring effect between our minds and our environments. If your space is messy, your mind is likely to follow suit. Therefore, spring cleaning and decluttering your home provide positive benefits for your mental health.
2) Stop Worrying About What Others Think
"Did I say the right thing? Does this outfit look good on me? What will they think?" — many of us spend a great deal of energy worrying about the opinions of others. These thoughts are exhausting! When we spend our energy worrying about what others think, it creates unnecessary stress and a toxic mental mindset. We can never please everyone, so stop trying. Work on showing up as your best you in every space and every place. When you feel good about who you are, you worry less about what others think and free up that energy for more important things.
3) Evaluate your relationship with Social Media
In 2020, the average time spent on social media was about 145 minutes per day. Cyberbullying, unrealistic and unattainable images, and secondary trauma exposures are social media factors leading to adverse mental health effects.
Consider a social media spring clean by:
- Disconnecting for the weekend or scheduling in extended social media breaks every so often.
- Create virtual boundaries by designating "offline" hours. Let your co-workers know you won't be checking emails after a specific time of the day.
- Create a morning routine that doesn't involve immediately looking at your phone. Before giving your energy to others, take time to set your day up for success by counting your blessings, meditating, or even just sitting quietly for a few minutes.
- Create a bedtime routine that does not end your day by scrolling on your phone. The light from the phone can disrupt your sleep cycle. Consider counting your blessings, meditating, or deep breathing exercises to support a good night's sleep.
4) Learn to Embrace the moment
Many of us spend a lot of mental energy focusing on the past, leading to depression or worrying about the future, leading to anxiety. We can't change the past, and we can't know what will happen in the future. When we focus on the past or the future, we miss and often steal the joy from the present. You can stay in the present moment by practicing mindfulness. If you practice mindfulness, try something new. If mindfulness is new to you, try these suggestions:
- Housework practice - When you are doing housework like washing the dishes or folding laundry, focus entirely on the task. Don't plan the rest of your day or evening. Don't do the chore to get another job checked off your list. Instead, notice the experience of all of your five senses and see if you can enjoy the act of house chores.
- Waiting practice: We spend a lot of time waiting, and most of us don't like it. We wait at stoplights, waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting for something to heat up in the microwave. Use these times as opportunities to stop, take 1 or 2 deep breaths and reorient yourself to the present moment.
- Doorway practice - As you cross through a doorway or threshold, stop to take a deep breath.
Use this spring as your opportunity to dust off your self-care, clear out negative energy, and update your stress management routines. Let these mental health spring cleaning tips support your rejuvenation.