Spring Cleaning: Decluttering Home & Mind

As the birds start singing again and the world around us is slowly turning green, many are quick to get outside. This change of season often sparks the housekeeper in everyone. The time for spring cleaning has arrived!

This spring, i understand challenges you to do your own "internal" spring cleaning. While you’re sprucing up your home and perfecting your seasonal feng shui, take the time to declutter your mind. Below are a few helpful tips to help you tidy up your mind while organizing your home, hopefully relieving some stress this spring.

 

  1. MAKE LISTS
    Our first piece of advice hopes to give your spring some order. Make a list of everything that needs to do be done. Developing lists will not only help keep your stress level down but can also help keep anxiety down. The more planning you do before starting, the less you have to worry about after commencing your project. When making this list, prioritize what needs to be done and what you want to be done.



  2. MANAGE EXPECTATIONS
    Expect your cleaning to be bigger than it is. This is important to remember in both spring cleaning and mental decluttering. My parents would often ask me and my siblings to help for “just an hour,” but little did we know what we were getting ourselves into. After what we thought was just our committed time, our parents would be shocked at how much time they needed to clean. This lead to the executive decision to extend our agreed time limit. To help, break things into manageable sections, and don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to family members or kids that are helping out. Set realistic goals for how much you can accomplish in a given time. It's a good idea to overestimate the time you will need. Getting done early always feels more rewarding.

  3. GET OUTSIDE
    Springtime gives us the opportunity to enjoy many stress relieving activities outside that many of us haven’t experienced since last fall.  Spending time in the fresh spring air gives us a chance to relieve built up stress in healthy ways such as: running, walking, biking, playing in the sun, gardening, yard clean up, and grilling. Being outside is scientifically proven to benefit your mental well being. In fact, walking outside is strongly associated with increased activity in a portion of the brain dedicated to our mood. When we walk, we tend to process make better decisions with the negative aspects of our lives, thus making us happier.

  4. GIVE YOURSELF A REST
    Don’t push yourself and take breaks. When we get into a cleaning rhythm we tend to have difficulty getting out of it. The longer we stay on one activity, the more irritable we become. This is due to the mental toll experienced when fixating on one task for a long period of time. It is also important to not push others if you have helpers. Children are especially prone to being ill tempered after a long day cleaning.

  5. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
    Being "present" allows us to truly appreciate the splendor of spring. Meditation is a great way to declutter your mind and manage stress no matter what the season. Join us for our FREE community class with b meditation studio in East Grand Rapids, Michigan on Thursday, March 23 from 7:30-8pm. No previous experience is required. Bring a towel or yoga mat and an open mind. Click here to register: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/mainclass You will be asked to create an account when registering for this class on March 23.

 

 

 

by Keegan McGonigal

About the Author
Keegan McGonigal is currently an intern with i understand for the 2016-2017 school year. He is a senior at Kent Innovation High School, soccer player, and mental health advocate.


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