We did it! We survived the long, cold winter. We have emerged from our caves, shed our wool sweaters and are squinting our eyes as we blinkingly gaze at the bright, promising sunshine of spring.
Birds are chirping, trees are budding and baseball gloves are being dug out of the closet. Spring is here and with its longer days comes the fresh hope of new beginnings.
Still, as exhilarating as this fresh new season is, in order to truly harness the creative and rejuvenating energy of spring, we must first make sure that we have cleared the cobwebs and dust bunnies that have taken up residence over the winter months. Many of us use this time of year as an opportunity to “spring clean” our homes, but how many of us make an intentional effort to “spring clean” our psyches? This emotional, physical and spiritual cleansing can be so beneficial and set us up to better receive all of the joy that spring has to offer.
Spring Clean Your Physical State
Let’s start our spring cleaning ritual by cleaning out our physical state. Yes, this can mean tidying up your work and living areas so as to allow for better energy throughout your physical environment; but it also means bringing fresh, new energy to our physical bodies as well.
I don’t know about you, but for me, winter is a time of hibernation. I hunker down with my books and warm blankets and basically don’t move for three months. While I certainly think that a season of rest is valuable, I also know that come spring, I am ready to get moving again. Here are some suggestions on how to spring clean both, your physical surroundings and your physical being…
- Clean out the clutter in your home
- Have a garage sale to make some money off of the clutter you no longer need
- Donate unused/unwanted items to a worthy charity so that others can benefit from them
- Clean out your vehicle
- Swap out your winter wardrobe for lighter, brighter spring styles
- Get a bicycle (preferably one with a basket and bell!) and start riding
- Fill your space with springtime scents by diffusing seasonal essential oils (my favorite springy diffuser blend is 3 drops of Tangerine, 4 drops of Lavender, 5 drops of Cedarwood)
- Swap out stews for salads
- Open the windows to let fresh air and sunlight in
- Get your hands dirty by planting some flowers or starting a garden
- Take a daily walk around your neighborhood
- Get a massage
- Spend more time outside in nature
- Walk barefoot through the grass
- Dine al fresco whenever possible
- Grab your ball glove and have a game of catch in the backyard
- Get your toes ready for sandals with a pedicure and fresh coat of bright pink nail polish
Spring Clean Your Mental/Spiritual State
While I enjoy the quiet coziness of fall and winter, my naturally high-energy personality starts to go a little bonkers after a while. That’s why I love the longer, brighter days of spring. Something about the sunshine mixed with spring rains and starry nights brings my psyche back to life and makes me feel like I can conquer the world. If your mental/spiritual state still feels a little groggy and hasn’t quite woken up from winter’s slumber, try the following suggestions for a spiritual spring cleaning…
- Review your annual goals. Which ones have you accomplished? Which ones still need some work? Which ones now seem ridiculous? Spring is a great time to recommit to the goals that truly matter to you.
- Learn something new. One thing that my husband and I have talked about learning is pottery making, so this spring we plan to enroll in a beginning pottery class. What is something that you’ve always wanted to know more about? Spring is a great time fire up the brain cells and learn more about something that interests you.
- Spend time with friends who make you laugh and who lift your spirits
- Start a gratitude journal
- Pay attention to tweets (the kind made by birds–not social media!) Listening to the tweets and chirps of birds has been proven to have positive mental health benefits. These avian acoustics foster a connection with nature, which research shows may restore alertness, reduce stress, decrease hostility, and promote a sense of well-being
- Head outside with a good book
- Develop a self-care practice that incorporates time in nature
- Savor a sunset while giving thanks for your blessings
- Gain a sense of perspective while gazing at a star filled night sky
- Let go of negative thoughts, behaviors and relationships that are holding you back. It’s impossible to spring forward in life when too many things are dragging you backwards
By taking our cues from the flowers that grow in the spring time, we too can use the fresh energy of the season to bloom–all it takes is a little spring cleaning.