Spring is officially here! Pops of colour shooting up from the earth, bursting blooms and clearer skies, all give us a sense of hope. We feel lighter and ready to shed off the layers, and not just your clothing layers. Springtime is full of fresh starts and new beginnings, a time of renewal and a good time to pay attention to your mental health. Taking time to focus on your needs and discover the things that make you happy helps to gain a clear and refreshed mind.
Here are 10 tips to follow when spring-cleaning your mental health:
• 1 Create a to-do list: Instead of the common everyday to-do list, create a list of things you want to achieve emotionally over the next few months. Include dreams – things you’ve always wanted to do – as well as long-term and short-term goals that are easily achievable. Perhaps you have wanted to reconnect with that old school friend or maybe you wish you knew how to play the guitar. Put them on your list!
• 2 Enhance your physical health: Physical wellness is an important part of sustaining mental well-being. Exercising and eating healthy are a big part of physical wellness but often are hard to incorporate in your routine. Try something simple like replacing coffee with herbal teas or eating a small portion of dark chocolate instead of a snack high in sugar. Lighter mornings and evenings make it easier to be motivated and to get moving.
• 3 Renew your spirit: Taking just a few minutes each day to relax by yourself can make a huge difference and reduce negative energy and thoughts that may be consuming your day. Yoga, Pilates and meditation often lend themselves to mental cleansing.
• 4 Gratitude: Start your day by listing what you are grateful for in your life. It can be as simple as the sun streaming through your curtains whilst you still lay in bed, a good cup of coffee and the fact that it is easy for you to jump out of bed in the mornings. Try to get into a daily practice of this, soon you will see that you have so much to be grateful for that you will be jumping out of bed!
• 5 Keep it simple: We tend to overcomplicate life and can actually make it a lot more stressful than it needs to be. Remember we are human beings, not human doings, we need to let ourselves just be much more. It is okay to say no to things that you don’t want to do – we don’t have to please everyone, the most important person to please is yourself.
• 6 Laugh: Make this a daily practice, it is amazing how a good laugh-out-loud moment can make your day.
• 7 Share your feelings: We often keep a lid on how we are actually feeling and tell others and ourselves that we are fine. If you have an issue, find someone you trust – that could be a therapist, family member or close friend – that you open up to. More often than not, once we have shared something that is bringing us down, we feel lighter and more optimistic.
• 8 Surround yourself with people that make you feel good: Life is too short to have people in your life that do you no favours. Surround yourself with people that lift you up, who you have lots in common with, who make you laugh and accept you for who you are.
• 9 Breathe: Give yourself time each day to deep breathe, proper belly breathing. See our article here on how to breathe well.
• 10 Be kind: Not just to others but also to yourself. Often, we can be quite cruel to ourselves, saying awful things to our inner selves that you would not dare say to anyone. Turn this round by saying each day: ‘My name is … and I am a good person. I am kind. I am worthy. I do not have to please everyone. I am not perfect and I accept myself. I am the best version of myself and I deserve to be happy.’
New beginnings and healthy steps toward better living can help us rid ourselves of negative emotions and built up stress. Start with small steps today and see the rewards by the summer. Remember that each day is a fresh start – just like spring.