Spring Cleaning for Your Mental Health
By: Brittany Desch, MSW, LSW,
Homestead Substitute Residential Counselor, IIC Provider
When I think of spring cleaning, I think of dusting, vacuuming, and getting rid of clothing that I do not plan to wear in warmer weather. I think of de-cluttering my home but often do not think of de-cluttering my mind. This made me think about the significance of having a clutter free mind during a time of year that is typically associated with renewal and refreshment. While spring is connected to growth and rejuvenation, it can also be a time of overwhelming apprehension about the season to come. It can be easy to carry around any burdens you may be facing, but spring is a good time to focus on freeing your mind of the emotional baggage that is weighing you down.
Breathe: Even for me, something so simple can sometimes be so difficult. We often live such fast paced lives that we forget to stop and take it all in. I have found that it is necessary for me to take some time to myself every day to just think, focus, and breathe. Sometimes this involves taking a long walk or going to the beach but it is important for each individual to find their own place where breathing becomes effortless. If this is the first time all day that you consciously thought about breathing, take a moment to take a deep breath right now.
Let Go of Grudges: This is a good time to forgive both yourself and others. You may need to forgive yourself for putting yourself down and criticizing yourself. Maybe you need to let go of blame for your circumstances and forgive those who have hurt you. Sometimes we need to forgive our families for not being there for us. On the contrary, we may need to forgive ourselves for not accepting their support when it was offered. I know that this sometimes takes a lot of time to accomplish but it will free your mind to focus on more meaningful thoughts and opportunities.
Focus On The Positive: The future can often seem overwhelming and negative but that is usually because we fail to see the potential for a positive result. Sometimes there appears to be much more negative circumstances in our lives than positive ones. This is when it is most important to look at the positive things and take one step, one day at a time. There are days when having a cup of coffee is the one positive thing I focus on while there are other days when many things outshine my cup of coffee. It is essential to find the little things that bring joy and optimism to our lives as it frequently balances out the pessimistic thoughts that can often become overwhelming this time of year.
This season has a lot of opportunities for personal growth and renewal if we are able to let go of negativity and spend some time focusing on our own mental health. Spring cleaning does not need to apply only to physical belongings but also to personal mind, body, and spirit. Take some time to focus on the positive things in life, take a deep breath, and let go of anything holding you back from fully enjoying this beautiful season.