Spring cleaning offers folks a chance to clear out household junk that has built up during a long winter and start fresh as the weather warms up. However, it is just as important to spend time on our mental and emotional health as it is our physical environment.
Below are 4 tips for Mental Spring Cleaning that will help you have a positive and productive spring and summer:
- Set new goals. People often think of January as a good time for goal setting in the form of New Year’s Resolutions. Nevertheless, studies have shown that approximately 60-80% of people have already broken their resolutions by the end of February! Spring can be a great time to reset your resolutions and create long- and short-term goals that are achievable. You can use a 3 weeksà3 monthsà3 years method to create, and break down goals into manageable steps, or you can come up with your own plan. Make sure when you set goals that they are SMART—specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
- Spend time on reflection. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by how much we need to do and how little time we have to do it. Spring break is a good time to press the pause button on your to-do list and think back on what you’ve achieved so far. Make a list of everything you have accomplished in 2019 and be sure to compliment yourself on the hard work you’ve put into each of these tasks. Then, make another list of challenges or letdowns and brainstorm ways that you can overcome these setbacks in the future. It’s okay to make mistakes—but it’s not okay to skip the process of learning from them.
- Take a screen break. I KNOW! This one can be really hard, especially if video games or television typically help you de-stress. That being said, mixing it up can help increase creativity and decrease fatigue and eye strain. Brains need a break, so have fun while your mind rests by choosing activities such as listening to music, reading a book, spending time outside or cooking with friends and family.
- Say THANK YOU. Frequently, we forget to say thank you to the people around us who make our daily lives better. However, giving thanks isn’t just good for the person to whom you say it—it can be good for you as well! A 2016 study by the British Psychological Society found that expressing gratitude both verbally and non-verbally can help promote positive emotions, social well-being and even academic outcomes. Taking time to write thank-you notes, send a quick text or email and even thanking someone in person shows the people around you that you appreciate them.