I’m not sure where in the world you’re reading this from, but over here in Columbus, Ohio the weather is breaking. My husband went golfing last week and we’ve been able to have the windows open to air out the house with some consistency. And as you know, when the weather breaks it’s time to spring clean! Soon you’ll start seeing all the “ultimate guides to spring cleaning your house” or “best checklist ever for spring cleaning”. I’m here to provide you with the Ultimate Guide to Spring Cleaning your Mind!
Here’s your mental “room by room” guide:
Goals – reflect on the most recent goals you’ve set. This could be new year’s resolutions, career goals, etc. Write them down and spend some time seeing the progress you’ve made so far. Are you on track? Are they still relevant? Do you need to make adjustments?
Priorities – “they” say our priorities are best reflected in how we spend our time and our money. Take some time to think about how you’ve been spending your time and money lately. Are those things aligned with what you say your priorities are? Are they aligned with what you want your priorities to be? If you notice a mismatch, it’s time to make some changes.
Relationships – think about the people in your life. Which of those people enhance your life? Whose lives do you enhance by being present? Are there relationships you would like to invest more into? It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and forget how much energy, effort, and intention fulfilling relationships require. Evaluate if you are spending your emotional capital in these relationships in the right proportions.
Health behaviors – “they” say the best time to plant a tree is 100 years ago and the second best time to plant a tree is today. The same is true with our health. The best time to make healthy choices is a long time ago. The second best time is today. Notice how your body and mental health feel. Do they feel good? Are there adjustments you need to make to enhance that?
Leisure – making time for leisure activities is one of the best things we can do for our health, physical and mental. However, not all of us make optimal leisure choices (I see you wine glasses in the sink!). Reflect on what you’ve been doing for leisure lately and ensure that it’s actually giving you the time and space to recharge. If you find you’ve engaged in too much alcohol, mindless TV, etc, maybe trade those things for a round or two of golf.
Finances – financial concerns are some of the greatest stressors in today’s society. What better time than now to sit down and reflect on your financial needs, goals, and behaviors. Getting a handle on this aspect of life clears out mental space for more positive, useful thoughts.
So while physical spring cleaning can be daunting (especially knowing that my 2 dogs and toddler will certainly ruin my efforts within hours), mental spring cleaning can do wonders for making space for productive, healthy thoughts that move us in the direction we’re trying to go in life!
Dr. Day is a licensed clinical psychologist. She is an Ohio native who completed her Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Health and Sport Studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio while competing on the Varsity Swimming and Diving team as a diver. She then went on to earn a Master's degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology followed by a Master's degree and later a Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University New England in Keene, NH.
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