Spring is the ideal season to freshen up and declutter your home. But your mental health also deserves the same level of care and attention.
Here are some tips for spring cleaning your mental health.
Start with the basics
Start your spring cleaning the old-fashioned way — by focusing on your physical space.
Handle the task room by room. If your home is in need of a serious cleaning, you might want to come up with a to-do list before getting started. After you clear out physical clutter, you’ll be spending less time cleaning, rearranging and storing excess items. And that can lead to overall less stress.
Set aside space for creativity
As you’re cleaning your home, try to establish a quiet space to enjoy your favorite hobbies. This space doesn’t necessarily have to be an entire room. Consider clearing off a table in your living room that you can use for writing. Dedicate a corner of your bedroom for an easel. Or set up an area in your basement that’s perfect for practicing yoga or a musical instrument. Use your hobby as a way to relieve stress at some point each day.
In addition to enjoying your usual hobbies, think about exploring new creative outlets. This is an especially good move if you always seem to find yourself with too much extra time on your hands. From wood carving to graphic design, there’s no shortage of hobbies that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. You might even want to take things a step further and take classes at a local community college.
Start a gratitude journal
Create a list of positive events or accomplishments from the winter months. Perhaps you made a new friend, discovered a new coffee shop or learned a skill. Put some real thought into this list, as it’s easy to overlook good things in life and focus too much on the bad.
Under that list, jot down anything you’d like to accomplish in the spring. Include a mix of work, relationship and hobby goals. Want to start a new workout routine? Add it to the list. Want to complete a home improvement project? Add that to your list. Allow your list of past accomplishments to motivate you through your newer goals.
Address bad habits
Identify a bad habit that you’d like to leave behind. It could be something like smoking cigarettes, hoarding items, binge eating or judging other people too harshly.
Come up with an actionable step-by-step plan to address the issue. Also, be patient with yourself as you strive to drop the habit. Try to focus on one habit at a time, giving it your full attention before you move on to a different behavior.
Rethink your social circle
The people around you can affect your daily thinking in both negative and positive ways. Overly critical and selfish friends can increase your self-doubt or leave you in a bad mood. On the other hand, supportive, caring friends make life less stressful.
So, if you’re wondering how to clean your thoughts, take a look at your social life. Let go of friendships or relationships that only bring drama into your life. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be less social. Instead, begin to prioritize healthier relationships.
Reconnect with old friends or spend more time with newer friends who make you feel good, help you grow and open you up to new perspectives. Take a proactive approach and invite these people over for lunch or out for a walk in the park.
Once you know how to cleanse your mind, you can take time to do it all year round.
For more tips on improving your mental health, consult with one of our behavioral health specialists.