Spring Cleaning and Well-Being

Spring = Time for New Growth
With Spring officially upon us, it is typically the time we begin to come out of our hibernation mode and thaw out from Michigan winter. Spring is a season of renewal and new growth. With that comes “spring cleaning” – time to dust off, clear out, and revitalize our surroundings. The spring cleaning process is not only about clearing and organizing our physical environment, but it also has many benefits for refreshing our mental well-being.

Cultivating Self-Care
Similar to caring for a garden, where plants need consistent watering and feeding to encourage growth, we need to realize that taking time for ourselves is necessary and vital to our personal well-being. Often times, we find ourselves taking meticulous care of our possessions, or focusing only on the needs of other family members. However, we all too easily neglect ourselves. We often feel guilty and selfish when we think about making time for ourselves. However, it is critical we take care of ourselves, in order for us to be able to best take care of the well-being of others.

Self-care entails ensuring getting adequate sleep, healthy eating, physical activity and exercise. It is also important to focus on our mental health. Recognizing and honoring our emotional needs is critical in helping manage our stress. With our seemingly never ending to-do lists, it is also crucial to balance out those tasks with allowing yourself time to reenergize by doing something enjoyable. Taking small breaks actually helps to refresh us and can help with maintaining motivation.

Pruning Away The Unhealthy
Pruning is the process of removing parts of a plant that are no longer useful. By taking away the parts that are unhealthy, it leaves space to allow in more light to reach the healthy growing parts. Pruning also allows the plant to put more energy into new growth, and creates more room for flowers and fruit to bloom.

Are there things in your life that you are holding onto that are no longer working for you? Spending time to assess what and why it isn’t working, and exploring other ways of changing or improving that habit, will help make things more efficient in the long run. Do you find you are holding onto any negative memories or feelings? It can be healthy to give up on deeply held grudges. Holding onto grudges takes up space in our lives that prevents us from moving forward.

Finding Time
It is beneficial to have a time to take inventory of your life, identify areas that need to be cultivated, and other areas that need to change. Ideally, we consistently make efforts to assess our situations and create action plans, however, having certain times in the year, such as “spring cleaning”, can be a good reminder to assess, reevaluate, and make changes that can lead to improved well-being.