Spring Clean Your Outlook

For many people, springtime is all about deep cleaning, organizing and putting those winter blues behind them. It’s also a good time to consider cleaning out your mental and emotional spaces: your thoughts and feelings. A “mental spring cleaning” can give you an energetic boost and a sense of relief and accomplishment. Are you ready for a new, positive outlook?

Follow our checklist to spring clean your outlook:

GET OUTSIDE AND MOVE. The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and nature is beckoning. Go outside, breathe deeply and take a walk, preferably somewhere in nature. Go for a hike with friends or take a yoga class at the beach. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it involves you connecting with nature and moving your body.

MEDITATE. The practice of quieting your mind and focusing on your breath is not just for the enlightened. Anyone can meditate. Research has shown that regular meditation can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and increase mental clarity. It’s an indispensable tool for living a longer, richer life and avoiding the burnout that comes from cultural stress. Even 10 minutes a day will make a difference.

JOT IT IN A JOURNAL. Writing out your thoughts and emotions helps clear out your emotional space, making everything in your life seem more manageable. It also gives you a different, fresh perspective. You may not realize how cluttered your mind has become until you start articulating your thoughts by putting a pen to paper.

FORGIVE YOURSELF AND OTHERS. Chances are you’re an imperfect human, and maybe you had some letdowns this winter. Can you identify what those less-than-perfect moments were? Are you holding resentments and grudges against yourself or others? What can you let go of? Remember that you can’t control everything, and berating yourself or others will not allow you to heal or change. Forgive and move forward.

MINIMIZE. Just like we take off the heavy sweaters from winter, we should be mindful to shed other “baggage” that might be weighing us down. Lighten your load, both physically and mentally. Clean out your closet, get your paperwork in order, and toss stuff you just don’t need anymore. This is so freeing. Emotionally you will feel lighter, opening up more space inside yourself for new things to come.

EAT HEALTHIER. After the rich foods from the holidays and the comforting winter casseroles, it’s time to clean up your diet. Clean out your cupboards and toss out processed foods. Spring provides a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Haven’t you missed them? Head to the farmer’s market and stock up on colorful, water-rich fruits and veggies. Your body and your mind will thank you.

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