Let the mental ‘spring clean’ begin!

18 March 2019 | Katy Ratican

As the season changes from winter to spring, it’s natural for us to embark upon the annual ‘spring clean’, usually centred around giving the house a good declutter, sorting that pile of papers on the desk or giving the lawn its first mow of the year.

The changing of the seasons is also a pivotal time for our mental wellbeing. As with any change, there’s the chance of disruption, but also opportunity. Given that we’re keen to organise our physical space at this time of year, isn’t it a good idea to give some focused attention to our emotional space too?

Spring is the perfect time to give yourself a mental reboot, a fresh outlook for the coming months. Here are our simple tips for focusing on a mental spring clean:

Halt the ‘monkey mind’

Monkey mind is what happens when all your thoughts hop around your brain with seemingly no link or purpose. It happens to all of us at some point, but when it becomes the norm, it’s time to put a stop to it. Changing your thoughts from negative to positive can make a huge difference to your day-to-day life. With the help of modern meditation, learn to pay attention to your thoughts more and actively decide which thoughts deserve your time, and which do not. This will take practice (lots of it, and regularly!), but you’ll soon begin to notice the positive impact it has on your life.

Schedule time for yourself

If you’re planning on spring cleaning your home, the chances are you’ve assigned a period of time to do it. In the same manner, clear a slot in your diary to give yourself the same attention. Research shows that those who are clearer about making new habits or behaviours are more likely to see them through, so whatever it is you intend to do with your time, make sure you schedule space for it. Soon enough, it’ll become part of your typical routine.

Get writing

Writing things down can be a powerful practice to clear the clutter in your mind. You don’t have to buy one of those expensive bullet journals; simply pick up a notebook and make daily list of all the positives in your life.
If you made a New Year’s resolution, spring is a great time to rewrite your goals from January. Not everything you write has to be a target you need to achieve; just the simple act of getting your thoughts onto paper can be extremely cathartic and will allow space to form in the mind.

Spark joy

Thanks to the Marie Kondo bestseller ‘Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up‘, we now feel justified in letting go of belongings if they don’t ‘spark joy’. This outlook can be used for your mental wellbeing too; if something in your life is not working for you, it’s time to let it go. Set yourself up for spring by asking yourself what’s been holding you back in recent months. If you apply the question ‘does this spark joy?’ to every aspect of your life, you will gain a clearer outlook for the rest of the year.

Seasonal change can promote beneficial mental changes. To make the most of it, we recommend you:

  • – Get outside and observe, without judgement, what is happening to the world around you — ensure you get plenty of natural light.
  • – Take care of your body. Try and get out for long walks and eat plenty of healthy food.
  • – Try and establish a slower but regular routine in the winter months and make sure you get enough sleep.
  • – Find in yourself a centre point of stillness that feels distinct from the change you see and feel around you. Modern meditation is the key. It will help you to build resilience, a sense of perspective and a state of inner calm.

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