Spring Cleaning For The Soul: 3 Ways to Welcome The New Season
The words “spring cleaning” used to instill a certain degree of fear and dread in me. I can still picture my mom with her “work gloves” on, puttering around the garage on the first nice day of the season, insisting that my brothers and I spend our Saturday figuring out what to do with every single item we had relegated to the household equivalent of a “junk drawer” over winter. In her defense, a lot of it was our stuff—my brothers’ sports equipment, a graveyard of to-go mugs removed from my jeep but that I was too lazy to carry up to the kitchen and wash, shoes on shoes on shoes—and also, we probably owed it to her. But still. Spring cleaning sucked!
These days, however, I’ve warmed to the sentiment. Now that I’m a grown woman, living on my own (with no garage to de-junk, thank gawd!), I make my own rules when it comes to welcoming the new season.
While keeping up with our household chores—whether we live solo, or otherwise—is great and all, I think we’ve put such an emphasis on physical de-cluttering, we’re missing a prime opportunity to declutter our heart, mind, and soul.
What I mean is, put down the Lysol wipes and turn your energy inward to shake the dust out of all the nooks and crannies of your headspace, heartspace, and okay...maybe just a little bit of your physical space.
1. De-clutter Your Headspace
You know that feeling when you have, like, a bazillion things on your mind all at the same time, and it’s hard to really turn your attention and focus on just one at any given moment because there’s just so much going on up there 24/7? I feel like this, a lot. Specifically, right before bed. So much so, that some nights I have a really hard time getting to sleep. I’m pretty sure its a side-effect to the fast-paced, tech-heavy world we’re living in today. However, since that’s not about to change anytime soon, it’s our job to come up with ways to deal and adapt to our environment.
Something that’s worked for me, is what I like to call a “brain dump.” Essentially, it’s putting pen to paper and jotting down every little thing that's stirring around up there. And I mean everything.
No matter how obvious, menial, or insignificant the detail might be, let it out. The act of physically writing what's on our mind works to psychosomatically empty the brain and free us from our mental to-do list. For a little while, at least.
Do Try This At Home:
Right now, grab a pen and paper and empty your brain onto it. Whether it’s short jots, or long prose on things you’ve been meaning to say, do, explore. Write until you literally have nothing left up there. And then put down your pen. And breathe. How do you feel?
If you, too, suffer from late night hamster wheel brain, then try turning this exercise into a nightly practice. Trust me, it works!
2. Prioritize Your Heartspace
In the age of social media, it’s easy to get carried away with it all. Like, one minute you’re commenting on your BFF’s photo and the next you’re “following” her classmate’s sister’s — who you don’t even know — because she’s wearing cute shoes in that photo she took back in 2015. Without even realizing it, your feed has turned into an endless scrolling of strangers — some of which undoubtedly provoke the dreaded comparisonitis of our ego selves. Sound familiar?
While I’m not about to tell you to give up social media altogether, because, let’s get real, it can be fun (and also, how would our parents know that we still hang out with Steph from our hometown?), I am suggesting several social media detox strategies that I’ve found helpful.
Do Try This At Home:
Cleanse your social feeds by unfollowing the accounts that aren’t serving you. If someone’s photos make you feel bad about yourself or cause you stress, grief, anger, or any other negative emotion, hit that “unfollow” button STAT. The beautiful thing about social media is that you get to personalize it to serve you. Your feed should be a curation of people, places, and things you love — not your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend flashing an engagement ring.
Move your social media apps into a folder off the main screen and turn off your notifications. I stole this hack from my boyfriend, and it’s seemed to work for him — he’s basically completely un-sired to all apps. The idea is, without the constant reminder to see who’s liked or commented on your photos, you get to decide when and how you engage with an app. Not the other way around.
Set social media boundaries. If you find yourself spending way too much time on social media every day, try setting a couple of soft boundaries. Like, no phone in the bedroom, or no consuming after 6 pm. The beauty is that you get to set the rules and can be as rigid or fluid about it as you like. This is meant to be healthy and productive, not painful.
Always remember, Instagram is NOT real life.
3. Purify Your Physical Space
For those of you who don’t know, I’m a stay-at-home plant mama. And by that, I mean, I’m a freelance writer who works from home and owns a lot of plants. Ever since moving into my new space, I’ve been obsessed with filling it with ivy and palms, monstera and succulents, dracaena and weeping fig.
I think I may be subconsciously attempting to fulfill my desire of becoming a mother by giving myself something else (scratch that: several something else's) to keep alive and care for in the interim. But, reasoning aside, these plants aren’t just ornamental (or in my case, emotional crutches), these plants actually help to purify the air in your living space. This might be the least strenuous spring cleaning activity ever.
Do Try This At Home:
- Here’s a list of 7 Houseplants That Purify The Air (and are nearly impossible to kill).
- Go get one.