This is the time of year to have a good old spring clean. Traditionally the home was aired and cleaned after a long winter of smoke and dust from open fires. These days, with central heating, our homes are in less need of an overhaul.
Although this traditional spring clean is less popular, now is a good opportunity to take stock of some aspects of our lives and spend time de-cluttering, reorganising, editing and reducing the unnecessary and unwanted.
We feel more positive and relaxed in a tidy and clean environment, whether it’s our home or our working environment. If we are organised and methodical then we feel more calm. Untidiness and messiness in our immediate environment affects our stress levels, I know I write better when my desk is tidy. Whilst we can function in an unruly environment, living in a disorganised atmosphere can lead to a nagging feeling of low level stress.
If we allow this underlying stress to continue then it can impact on our ability to focus and our ability to relax. If we know that we really need to pick up that load of washing, attack that pile of ironing, tidy our workspace or open and file that post then it can quietly bug us until we get on and do it. Making ourselves do the dull chore that we have been putting off will give us relief.
It’s wise to have a place for things to live so that we can return them after using them. If we cannot find where we’ve put things then we can become stressed whilst looking for them, especially if we’re in a hurry.
When we are ill then we take less care of ourselves because just getting through the day is challenge enough. Once we feel better we have the energy to wash and take more care in our hygiene and appearance.
As well as physical illness this can also apply to how we feel about ourselves emotionally. The more negative we feel about ourself then the less effort we may take in looking after ourself, in a variety of ways. This can include:
- personal hygiene
- eating healthily
- learning new things
Do we feel that we have been neglecting an area of our life? Could we benefit from an emotional spring clean in part of our life?
Here are some suggestions for how we can spring clean ourselves:
- have a new hairstyle or hair colour
- take up a new hobby or sport
- go through our wardrobe and take clothes we haven’t worn for two years to a charity shop
- polish shoes
- organise our online files
- prune shrubs
- eat more healthily
- de-clutter drawers, cupboards and filing cabinets
- wash and air winter duvets before storing
- de-clutter and sort through the garage or garden shed
- take time to see how we are progressing towards our goals and resolutions for the year
- book a holiday
Any of the above ideas should help us feel more positive, focussed and relaxed.