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 to start spring cleaning for mental health.
Start with the basics
Start your spring cleaning the old-fashioned way — by focusing on your physical living space.
Spring is a great time to tackle tasks like cleaning or organization. In order to avoid feeling overwhelmed, handle it room by room. If your home is in need of 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 and restore a sense of control.
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.
Some ways to make room to practice a creative outlet include:
- Clearing off a table in your living room that you can use for writing
- Dedicating a corner of your bedroom for an easel
- Setting 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
This can be especially useful if you’re feeling stressed. 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? Planning to complete a home improvement project? Add those 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.
As you drop bad habits, consider replacing them with more positive ones. Spring usually brings warmer weather, which is a great time to take up some outdoor hobbies, like a new workout routine that can have a positive effect on both your mental and physical health.
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.
Benefits of spring cleaning for mental health
A lot of people find that spring cleaning can lead to plenty of mental health benefits. However, if you are experiencing the symptoms of anxiety and depression, it may be time to speak with your primary care provider or a mental health professional.
For more tips on improving your mental health, consult with one of our behavioral health specialists.