Written by therapist Roslyn Jordan
Springtime is often thought of as a time of refreshing and renewal; a time when the sense of dread that comes with the winter blues and darker and shorter days starts to dissipate as signs of new life and hope spring up around us. It’s a time when the ice and snow which has blanketed our surroundings over the past months give way to a rainbow of blossoming flowers, trees are fully dressed with their leaves again, and the grass colors our world green once more.
When we think of this time of the year, we think about spring cleaning. Going through our closets and discarding those items we have had forever but never used, or storing away garments, shoes and other items that are no longer appropriate for this new season. We become preoccupied with getting rid of the old to make room for the new.
While springtime is a season that signals the end of what many consider to be a dreary time of the year, the hopefulness and newness of life that it brings can be cultivated in any season when it comes to our emotional and mental well-being. Spring cleaning emotionally and mentally year-round is a good habit to cultivate so that we can more fully enjoy and embrace the best all the seasons have to offer.
What’s in Your Closet?
Spring cleaning emotionally and mental starts in much the same way as when preparing to clean our closets. We start by taking inventory of what’s inside and identifying what it is that we are holding on to that keeps us from feeling alive and hopeful.
Some questions to we can ask to help with this internal inventory are:
- What kinds of thoughts am I allowing my mind to rest on? What am I saying about myself, others, life in general?
- What are the moods and feelings associated with those thoughts? Do my thoughts result in me feeling positive emotions such as peace and joy or dark, negative emotions such as depression and anger? Am I feeling weighed down and burdened, or hopeful as a result of my thoughts?
- How are my thoughts and emotions impacting me physically? What do I feel in my body as a result of my emotions? Is my heart racing out of fear and anxiety or excitement and joy?
- In what ways am I responding to the thoughts and emotions I am experiencing and do my behaviors align with my values? Do they represent the character and the kind of person I want to be?
Another angle to consider as we think about getting rid of the old to make room for the new, is to take inventory of the areas in our lives where we feel challenged or stuck. Where might we be clinging to the past? We need to consider our relationships, and acknowledge any grudges or unresolved emotions such as anger, unforgiveness, bitterness or resentment, we might be struggling with or holding against others.
Taking time to process and work through these questions through the use of techniques such as journaling, letter writing or having an honest conversation with trusted close friends or a counselor will help you to get the process of spring cleaning underway.
If you are ready to let go of the old and make room for new opportunities, new relationships, new hopes and dreams, a more refreshed and joyful you, we would like to come alongside and help you to do your Spring cleaning. Call us today.