Your mental health may need a spring clean too – here’s how.
There is nothing more inherently comforting than the first day of Spring. A rolling of the days that will only get warmer with each one that passes, and the knowledge that celebration season is only a few months away.
Spring is all about excitement. Its very fabric is lined with thoughts of growth and life, and has even the laziest of us champing at the bit to get back out into the world.
However, along with the smells and anticipation that the season brings, Spring is also a striking reminder to realign your priorities for the coming months ahead and conduct a mental spring clean.
Wait, what is a mental spring clean?
Like the particularly prized line coined by television sensation Marie Kondo, questioning whether something ‘sparks joy’ is a great start. We’re talking about taking a deliberate approach to what thoughts and habits are best serving you, and by doing so, you are able to set in place the necessary foundations for a well-intentioned season.
Mental spring cleaning allows for us to sift through a lot of the grit and habits that we may have acquired during the cooler months that have, to put simply, run their course. It is the practice of decluttering the emotional baggage we may have found ourselves unknowingly steeped in.
Vidhi Tamboli, psychologist and co-founder of The Mood Space, believes the practice to be incredibly necessary in creating space for new habits to form. She explains, ‘we are constantly consumed with multiple thoughts racing through our minds, particularly in Winter. With so many things to take care of, we often tend to push our mental and wellbeing needs to the backseat and end up giving them the least priority.’
So, how do we do it (effectively)?
Slow down with intention.
Before you go running out the door with reckless abandon into the warmer months, take the time to consider how you will prioritise the self-care rituals you may have found being pushed further down your to-do list. Scheduling in the time and space for active rest and relaxation will become paramount as the nights become longer (as well as your social commitments). Practices like journaling, skin-care and body massage are incredibly important in providing release for a lot of the pressure and stress that can come from the social season. Oh, and remember breathwork? Yeah, that too.
Movement. Simple as that.
This may seem like an odd one to add to a list addressing issues of the mind, but movement can help lubricate a lot of the mental blocks that you may find are holding you back. On top of improving your overall health, and increasing that wonderful dopamine release, moving your body is the perfect push that your mind may need. Gentle exercises such as pilates and yoga, or even a daily walk, is the perfect opportunity for your mind to centre bodily care, and process the stresses you may have been unkindly holding on to.
Every self-help book has said it, and I’m sure even your friends have expounded on the benefits, but we’re here to say – do it! Our minds are phenomenally powerful, but they can also be a little messy. Writing down your day, good and bad, can help free up some of that space for more important things like enjoying the sun with friends, or switching off when the day is done.
The payoff for setting aside the time for a mental spring clean cannot be overstated. The clean, decluttered feeling from within will have you taking full advantage of the warmer months ahead.