Many of us think about spring cleaning our homes—throwing open the windows and diving into the season with a fresh start. We can also spring clean our minds (and our lives in general) by taking stock and recommitting to our priorities:
Begin with MINDSET.
Let go of thoughts that don’t serve you. We find evidence for what we focus on. If I am focused on what’s not going well, I will notice the negative more—and vice versa. We can train our minds to be on the lookout for all of the good stuff on the daily.
Be in the moment. We spend so much of our time in the past or in the future and miss out on what is happening in the moment. Notice when you are worrying (future) or rehashing (past) and come back to what’s right in front of you. (Meditation also helps train our minds to be more in the present moment.)
Do a daily brain dump. Get all of your to-do’s, worries, and thoughts down on paper first thing in the morning or keep a notebook and pencil by your bed to jot down random thoughts when your mind is full late at night.
Do a digital or screen detox. Spend a weekend day or shorter block of time screen-free in order to make room for creative thought.
Where in your life could you use more organization? Even if you are a well-organized person, there is usually at least one area that can be streamlined—emails, finances, paperwork, the sock drawer—pick one. If you need some motivation, set a timer for ten minutes or blast your favorite music.
Reflect: After a year of COVID what have you learned? What do you want to let go of and what gets to stay as events begin to open up. For example, if you enjoyed the slower pace of quarantine, you might keep one day on the weekend for unscheduled rest or fun.
Identify your top 4 values (what matters most to you—think nature, learning, community) and let them guide your actions and priorities. Knowing our top values helps keep our priorities and actions in check. For example if family is one of your top values, each time you decide whether or not to take on a work project or say yes to a social engagement, ask yourself if you are allowing enough time for family.
Track the energy: Notice your level of energy when engaged in various activities or tasks. For example, do you love to garden? You might feel relaxed, calm, content. Carve out time for more of that (and less social media, which likely drains you.) Does cooking dinner and deciding what to make tire you out? Meal plan, assign other family members to make dinner certain nights, or order a meal subscription service. When possible do more of what energizes you, less of what drains you. What can you add, delete or delegate from your to-do list?
Get outside and get moving. Spring ushers in a renewed sense of energy. Moving our bodies helps calm our minds and opens up creative thought.
Cold water swimming is trending to boost energy and ward off depression. Cold bodies of water are decidedly NOT for me. I do, however, love to step outside in the morning with my cup of coffee, listen to the birds sing, and let the cold air wake me up, starting the day refreshed.
Start a new healthy habit. Be intentional about what habit you choose. What do you want and why do you want it? Knowing our why helps renew our motivation when it flags.
For example, I might begin stretching 5-minutes a day to increase flexibility, feel less stiff, and prevent injuries, AND it feels great!
Happy Spring Cleaning!
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