I absolutely love springtime. When I was younger, it meant summer break was just around the corner. As an adult, it means spring cleaning. Families around the world take time to micro-clean their homes and purge their closets. They clean out their refrigerators and detail their cars. I hope you do all of these things, but the type of spring cleaning I am talking about doesn’t involve a toilet bowl cleaner and duster. This type of spring cleaning is much more interesting.
In nature, spring is a time for new beginnings and transformations. Flowers bloom, trees grow new leaves, mammals come out of hibernation, and new animals are born. As mammals, it is only natural that we should go through some sort of transformation, too. This springtime, I invite you to join me in “mind-body spring cleaning.” Purging what no longer serves you and cultivating what you want to see grow.
Mind-body spring cleaning could be anything from improving your diet to learning to quiet negative self-talk. Whatever you choose to clean up, make it something manageable. Self cleansing takes conscious effort and dedication, but it shouldn’t be stressful or overwhelming.
My 5 Favorite Mind-Body Spring Cleaning Ideas
1. Unfollow social media pages that don’t serve you. We spend over two hours on social media every day. Make that time nourishing and valuable. Consider unfollowing family, friends, influencers, or brand pages that don’t make you feel happy or good about yourself. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about doing this. Protecting your peace on social media is vital for personal growth. You may not be ready to follow certain people and that is okay.
2. Learn to breath more. How often do you check in on your breath during the day? Start doing this and you’ll realize how often you are holding your breath or breathing high in the chest and shoulders. The breath is our life force and we need to be more aware of it. A steady breath can relive anxiety, stress, and nervousness. It can make us more attentive and energetic. Consider taking 5 minutes before bed to do breath work.
Breath Exercise: Sit in a comfortable seated position with your spine straight. Hands can lay comfortably in the lap or on the knees. Close your eyes and check in on your breath. What’s it like? Where are you breathing from? Now, set a timer for 5 minutes. Begin by inhaling on a count of 5, then exhaling on a count of 5. Extend the breath by a 1 count halfway through. You can take do this breath exercise any time during the day.
3. Detox from sugar. I eat an obscene amount of sugar. Guys, I really need an intervention. Sugar in all its forms can worsen chronic disease like Crohn’s Disease, so I’ve got to make some changes. For this year’s spring cleaning, I am making a conscious decision to detox from sugar. This means avoiding artificial sugar, choosing the right carbs, eating more natural sugars from fruit and honey, and drinking more water with lemon (helps curb the cravings).
4. Go to the spa. Give yourself permission to be pampered. We do not do this enough. A massage, steam room, sauna, or hot tub can do wonders for our mental health. Recently, I was feeling anxious and happened to be near a hot tub. As soon I got into the water my body relaxed which allowed my mind to calm down. A hot bath will do the same trick.
5. Change up your exercise routine. What made you initially fall in love with your current workout? Are you still feeling that excitement about it or is it time to spice things up for a fresh start? Consider checking out a local yoga or pilates studio. Join a running or cycling group. I recently started lifting weights once a week and walking outside every evening, in addition to my daily yoga practice. Move your body in a different way and you’ll feel the incredible benefits.
You may also be interested in: “8 Yoga Poses for Bloating, Cramping, and Gas” and “5 Ways to Use Indian Digestive Spices in Your Kitchen.”