Spring Cleaning for the Mind
Spring is all about fresh starts and new beginnings, symbolized by growth and new life. It’s a time when we are encouraged to clean our homes and organize our lives. It’s also a great time to give a little attention to renewing your mental health.
At Alpha’s Discovery Kids, we place equal focus on teaching children about mindful awareness and physical health as we do with teaching them academic skills. We do this because we know how important mental health is to the learning process. Engaging in self-care is fundamental to having a clear and refreshed mind. We often forget to take care of ourselves when busy schedules and caring for others is prioritized. We must actively listen to our mind and body and understand that taking time for oneself is not a luxury or an act of selfishness, but rather a critical element for self-growth and fulfillment. Doing this for ourselves is good for those around you too: your family, your co-workers, and it sets a good example for your children. You may wonder how we calm the busyness and begin the self -care process.
Here are 5 steps that can help you clear and refresh your mind, spirit and body.
5 steps to spring cleaning of the mind, spirit and body
A clear mind begins with self-love and self-reflection. Self-love starts with taking the time to do the work that is needed to be healthier, happier, and more at peace with yourself. Once you have gifted yourself the time, then reflection can begin. How can we connect with what our mind and body are telling us if we don’t pause and listen first? Renewal of the mind, body and spirit is a journey, and is successful when practiced gradually. The good news is that you have already begun by taking the time to read this blog.
Here’s a little activity you can do to start the reflection process:
- Imagine yourself sitting beside the water and the waves are crashing. Try to find your reflection in the water.
- Now, imagine yourself sitting beside the water and there are no waves, and the water is still. Try to find your reflection in the water.
The waves represent your active and stressed mind. You can not see your reflection when the waves are crashing. You must calm the waves and your mind to reflect, refresh and renew. Each of these steps require a mind free of clutter and distractions. Find a quiet place at home or in nature and just take some time for yourself to reflect, without thinking about anything on your to-do list and make sure you don’t have a phone with you or anything else that may distract you.
2.Re-write short-term and long-term goals
It does not matter how big or small. Having a set of goals can give you a sense of purpose in life and guide you toward your desired path.
Short term goals that can bring you joy, and happiness can be as simple as:
- Reconnecting with an old friend by phone or in person.
- Taking more time to do enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea alone
- Getting a fresh new haircut
- Forgiving someone who has done you wrong
Long term goals that can bring you joy, and happiness can be as simple as:
- Planning or completing a project at home
- Starting a new hobby
- Booking a trip
- Read a book
- Improving a relationship with someone you care about
3.Refresh Physical health
Engaging in physical activity has been scientifically proven to play an important role in sustaining mental health and well-being. This can be as simple as adding one healthy habit to your routine. or removing one unhealthy habit.
Here’s some ideas:
- Drink more water
- Park father away so you get a few more steps
- Put it away – Tidy up as you go
- Make your bed
- Opting for fresh over processed food
- Cutting back on sugar or salt
- Cut back on caffeine or Alcohol
- Take the dog out for a walk or run
- Sign up for a sport you enjoy
4.Renew your spiritual health
Practicing your faith can do wonders for cleansing of the mind. According to wellness coach and author of “The Adrenal Fatigue Solution”, there is a strong connection between faith and mental health. She states “There is one age-old method that can reduce stress levels. It’s free, doesn’t require a prescription, and has zero side effects or drug interactions. You will know it as faith, and millions of people around the world rely on it to see them through hard times. The results are not just anecdotal, there is evidence that it works. Faith and spirituality are abstract concepts, but they can lead to concrete results in mental health improvement and stress reduction.”
Whatever your faith is, spend more time with it. Really connect with it to engage your mind and spirit.
5. Rethink your stress management skills
Learning coping skills that allow you to accept any given situation is an important skill in reducing stress. Knowing which situations make you uncomfortable can minimize distress and encourage better coping behaviors. Making a conscious effort to notice and understand your inner and outer world at this very moment can improve your mental health. Living in the present moment is difficult when you are distracted with tasks and responsibilities. We forget to appreciate life’s precious moments.
Taking time to develop the skills needed to better manage your stress and anxiety can be as simple as:
- Take a brief pause in your day to indulge in a sensory experience (Smell something pleasant or touch something soft)
- Try your best not to dwell on what you can’t control or what is in the past
- Pay attention to what triggers your stress responses and avoid those things if possible
- Take a moment to notice the sun and wind on your face
- Remove physical clutter to clear mental clutter and stress
With these 5 steps to spring cleaning the mind, body and spirit, let’s take a moment to spring into action and be good to ourselves.