“Out with the old and in with the new”! It’s time to spring clean your mind for a happier new season. Here is how.
Yes, the pandemic induced colder months were tough on many of us. Some of us lost their jobs, changed career paths, broke up long-term relationships, rekindled or built up new ones, lost loved ones, started a business, moved overseas (or are planning to do so in the near future), or struggled with children’s home schooling. And as a tropical girl, I am literally counting down the days toward the spring season. Interestingly, through this tsunami of global changes, a ray of hope remained in people’s hearts – the hope of a new beginning.
To embrace this new season on the right footing, it’s time to shake off the winter blues and spring clean your mind to prepare for your own rebirth. The few suggestions below might inspire you along the way.
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1. Release The Past
Every birth or renaissance is marked by some form of death. To start in business, I turned down job offers, gave up a lucrative career, lost almost all leisure time and personal savings.
In your case, it might be something else that you might need to release to fully step into your new season as you fully engage in the process of spring cleaning your mind for greater clarity, inner peace and happiness.
It could be a pain linked to an absent parent or a job loss, the end of a friendship, old habits that are no longer serving you, or simply self-limiting beliefs about your ability to love more, to be more and to do more with your own life.
The first step to release the past is to make a decision to let it go. Write down the pain points of your life that you want to improve upon, and take time “to carefront” them in silence and by being willing to open yourself to be the student of your own life.
Learn through books, therapy sessions, podcasts, online classes (or whatever works for you) how people who have been in similar situations have managed to release the past to move forward with their lives. This leads to the second point.
2. Expose Yourself To Daily Positive Content
To live a happy and fulfilled life, be very intentional about the quality of the content you choose to absorb daily as part of your personal growth.
As you embark on spring cleaning your mind to birth a sharper version of yourself, make the conscious choice to spend at least 20 minutes a day consuming high quality content that aligns with your positive life vision, your values, and your personal development goals.
Subscribe to the “university of YouTube” to learn new skills in your areas of interest. Set yourself monthly reading challenges to expose your mind to great leaders and thinkers in your field of expertise in order to expand your horizon and keep yourself motivated. Take up an online course in a new field via Skillshare or Teachable, and attend virtual seminars.
3. Gratitude Journaling
Develop a habit of daily gratitude journaling to train your mind to think positively about yourself and life in general.
Count your blessings and celebrate your micro wins every day regardless of how little good stuff has actually happened to you that day.
The fact that you are alive is in itself fantastic, that you can breathe, that you are engaged in spring cleaning your mindset and attitude to tap into a better version of yourself are worthy of self-acknowledgement.
At the end of each week, go through your written notes, and you will be amazed to realise how much you have accomplished and at all the great things that have happened for you. By doing so, you are indeed becoming your best accountability partner.
4. Practice Prayer And Meditation
To me prayer is sending out a series of questions to God and the universe (or whatever you call them), whilst meditation is the practice of sitting still long enough to be willing to receive the answers or the directions you need to take in relation to the questions you put out there.
When you engage in the practice of spring cleaning your mind, learn to ask empowering questions about yourself and your life challenges that will help propel you to the next level of your journey.
Back in the days (and even a few months ago – hence the need for mind spring cleaning), your girl would just be asking “God, why me?”, “what is this problem happening to me?”. Needless, to say that I was operating from a victim mindset, resisting inner change.
A better approach is “God, teach me the lessons that I need to receive as part of this painful life experience”; “how can I navigate the difficulties that I am facing right now?”
As for meditation, be willing to carve out at least 10 to 20 minutes of silence in your daily routine to sit still and allow your mind to focus on the here and now. This will enable you to become more grounded and more receptive to the still small voice inside you which contains the answers or the next steps you need to take as a leap of faith on your personal journey.
5. Learn To Say “No”
Whoever said “no” is a complete sentence that requires no further explanation is indeed right.
Healthy boundaries exist to keep us and people safe. They are our personal code of conduct, our set of values, what we are willing to tolerate, accept, and accommodate in our own lives.
To set aside time to spring clean your mind requires that you learn how to set, announce, and maintain healthy boundaries, and that you inform people from a place of love about the consequences for violating your healthy boundaries. Make sure you enforce those consequences when your boundaries have been repeatedly violated.
Healthy boundaries are not walls designed to emotionally, mentally and physically keep people away from you. They exist to enable you to better manage your time, energy and limited resources to find time to rest, enjoy your leisure time, improve yourself, and serve people from a full cup.
Saying “yes” to excessive workload, family and social commitments when you actually needed to say “no” eventually leads to burnout, resentment, and sometimes a breakdown in relationships.
Consequently, value yourself enough to define what works for you, and teach people how you wish to be treated accordingly.
6. Spring Clean Your Home
There is something very therapeutic about removing winter dust from your windows, your rugs and furniture to purging your closets of colder months’ wardrobe for more joyful and vibrant outfits to welcome spring into your home.
Even if you enlist professional cleaners’ and organiser’s help, I highly recommend you pick one area of your home such as your closet or your bedroom to engage in a purging exercise.
As you go through your shoes, outfits, jewellery and beauty accessories, if you are truly engaged in the exercise, you will experience a shift of energy as if spring cleaning was not only happening in your living space but also in your mind.
You will have the impression of having pressed the reset button to start again with a clean slate and an uncluttered mind.
7. Focus On Outdoor Exercise
Spring cleaning your mind also requires that you find time at least once a week to spend quality time in nature by going for a moderate-intensity walk or jogging when the air is still fresh and a little bit cold.
The benefits of outdoor exercise are numerous. Aside from helping you increase your vitamin D intake through regular daylight exposure, this mood boosting activity will help build up your stamina, cut down your stress level, and release endorphin – the hormone that supports our body’s ability to experience pleasure.
After a seven-month hiatus (don’t judge me!), I finally returned to outdoor exercise 4 weeks ago, 3 times a week, and I can confirm that I am currently experiencing a surge in energy, greater clarity of thoughts and actions. And, the depressive episodes I experienced since last December have now almost disappeared. I am currently going through a renaissance after a long period of ill health.
8. Boost Your Immune System
Boosting your immune system is just as important to your mind as it is to your body. Consequently, spring cleaning your mind requires that you strengthen your immune system, particularly that spring marks the beginning of the pollen allergy season for many people, myself included. To operate at your optimum level you need a healthy body.
Interestingly, by taking a few preventative immune system boosting measures since last year to get rid of my seasonal pollen allergy, I have managed to enjoy an allergy free spring/summer season a year go and so far I have remained asymptomatic.
Regular outdoor exercise combined with daily consumption of my favourite cucumber juice recipe (500 ml per day), small cups of highly concentrated hibiscus tea twice a day topped up with 1 SOLGAR Gentle Iron supplement intake are my secrets to an allergy free season. Find out what works for you, and be disciplined about it to stop depending on pills and nasal sprays to minimally ease the symptoms of your pollen allergy.
9. Get More Rest
Take some time to enjoy quality sleep. This will help you to be calmer, more focused, and productive throughout the day. To achieve this, do your best to develop good sleep hygiene as part of the self-care habit you intend to explore to spring clean your mind.
Have blocks of time during the week when you deliberately choose to sleep a little longer than usual by either going to bed earlier or by having down time at the weekend.
Create some calming spaces in your home you can retreat to for some quiet time, and prepare your bed for a quality sleep by investing in durable and comfortable bedding and accessories, and by tucking away electronic equipment at least an hour before bedtime.
10. Disconnect From The Internet After Work
Spring cleaning your mind demands that you stop spending hours of your precious time aimlessly scrolling the internet to absorb meaningless content as a form of procrastination.
Once you have gone through relevant emails, scrolled Instagram to check out people’s wonderfully curated lives, and read the same disturbing news over and over, do yourself a favour and disconnect from the internet to persevere your mental health and wellbeing. Mute all social media alerts or turn off your mobile phone once at home, if necessary to be more present in your own life and simply reduce information overload.