We are very close to summer. Many of us may have already undergone a spring-cleaning session, but I say why limit it only to a specific season. Incorporating regular seasonal cleanings makes decluttering much more manageable. A “spring cleaning” ritual can help us get rid of items that no longer serve us. But how many of us focus on a mental cleanse along with the physical clean-up? Studies show that decluttering leads to reduced levels of stress and anxiety. It feels good to organize and tidy up our physical spaces. The simple act of straightening up provides immediate visible results and a sense of accomplishment. The same reasoning can be applied to the removal of mental clutter. Here are a few simple suggestions to remove unhelpful mental clutter which can over time improve our well-being:
1) Just like we schedule time to tackle a specific drawer or a room in our house, schedule time for yourself. Schedule your walks, yoga, or sign up for that tai chi class you have been meaning to check out.
2) Take inventory- What can you drop? Maybe it’s a grudge you have been holding onto for too long. Write that grudge down and let it go. Holding onto anger only hurts us.
3) Maybe it’s not something you want to release, but rather, something you would like to make a regular part of your life. Setting small goals for that you want to accomplish, can sometimes make them easier to achieve.
4) Write it down! Whether you want to let go of old slights, renew friendships, network more, or train for a marathon. Write it down. Make yourself accountable. Writing it down makes it more likely you will follow through.
5) Get moving. Summer provides so many opportunities to get exercise and fresh air. Make some time to get out during your workday. Mini breaks are not only good for the physical body but also for the mind. Moving helps us release tension and improves focus. It’s also a good way to sneak in some mindfulness in our lives. As you are outside in the elements take the time to tune into what you are doing as you walk. Pay attention to the sounds and smells around you. No one ever comes back to their work from a walk more stressed than when they left!
Just as cleaning out our physical surroundings can increase productivity and self-satisfaction, mentally taking stock and paying attention to where we are in life can also have positive results. We are likely to experience a renewed sense of connection to our bodies, both mental and physical. Making well-being a priority in our lives will benefit us professionally and personally, and these are these are simple and approachable suggestions to consider integrating (like spring cleaning).