The arrival of spring feels like a new beginning. It can be a fresh start that encourages us to open our internal windows to release the stale and tired emotions we’ve carried all winter and allow a light breeze in. The regenerative powers of sunshine, warm weather and time outside can almost instantly restore your body and mind. This is the time when people are keen to clean out clutter, freshen up their home and get outdoors.
Even though it might be more difficult than cleaning out a cupboard or even a house, traditional ‘spring cleaning’ can extend to decluttering our minds. Imagine if you could take out everything – all that we’ve been told, all that we’ve absorbed and learned – and only put back the things we need and are helpful!
Here are some ways to begin the internal spring cleaning process:
Wipe away the old, daily routines you’ve been following all winter long. Create a few new routines and new ways of doing things. Our lives become boring and stale when we do the same things day in and day out. We need to keep putting new things into our lives.
To paraphrase William Glasser:
"If we always do what we've always done, then we're going to get what we've always got."
Just as spring is a time of renewal and rebirth, we can take this opportunity to renew ourselves — to start taking actions in response to the important question: ‘Who and how do I want to be in the world?’
When you are clear on the values you hold most strongly, then it is easy to work out where and how your life doesn’t reflect those values. You may think of dozens of values, but having only a handful (maybe 5-10) that are the most important, non-negotiable driving principles of your life, will make life easier.
Your values can change over time. At one point in your life, adventure might be a core value and at another point it might be security or flexibility. This is a good time to clear out the old values and reinforce those that are important right now.
After a winter of miserable weather, it becomes a habit to allow negativity to dominate. We become accustomed to complaining, worrying, and seeing the glass half empty that we can easily miss the things that bring a smile.
Use this time to shift your attention from what is going wrong in your life to what is going right. Spend time with people who support this way of being and thinking.
Sweep out distractions, projects, and tasks that drain your energy. Prioritise just a few main goals for each day, and allow yourself the time to focus on them.