It might seem a little early to think about spring cleaning at all, what with snow on the ground and those frosty temperatures every morning. But when the calendar hits February, I always start to seek the signs of Spring, and as soon as I can see the bulbs poking out of the ground, snow drops in flower, leaf buds emerging, I get a need to clean.
However, it is still early in the month… and I am not totally sold on the whole cleaning thing yet, but I am keen on getting rid of some of the mental clutter that is lying around making things feel a little awkward. We all know that if you don’t sometimes have a clear out of your stuff that seems to accumulate with startling ease, that you end up feeling choked and cramped in your own home. Well, I believe the same is the case for the mental clutter that builds up. The more clutter the psyche has, the greater the toll on your mental well being.
I was inspired by an article I read in this month’s Slimming World Magazine. A new book has been published called “This Book Will Make You Feel Beautiful” by Dr Jessamy Hibberd and it is basically suggesting that doing a spring clean of the brain is a great way to kick start creative and bodily energy, and to keep you on track when you are dieting. It has been a difficult week for me in terms of head stuff generally, so I am totally up for this, and thought I could share the tips from the article with you too.
The first piece of advice is to get out of the rut that you are in. As we are all creatures of habit, we sometimes slavishly follow routines. That can be everything from getting the same coffee at the same time every day, to exercising on the same machines at the gym, to wearing the same clothes in rotation. Sometime routines really work. Like if you need to take regular medication. Routines is what is going to make it work. But routines can also be bad. That cookie you have at 3pm, or the dessert you have after supper. So, ringing the changes in some ways has got to be a good thing. Maybe have fruit instead of the cookie, or have a hot cup of tea instead of the dessert. One thing I like to do is just to sit down and think about what are my routines and then if there are some unhealthy or bad ones… then I will try and change things up a bit to be more positive.
Advice point two is to declutter the calendar. Who hasn’t had that moment when you look at the month on the 1st and think “Oh my Goodness, how am I going to get through all of THAT!”. The whole thought of it is energy sapping in the extreme, and that is before you even attempt to do any of it. A few years ago, I learnt two really powerful tricks. One, was to keep at least 2 weekends completely free of anything per month. The second, was to say no. That last one is soooo hard, because over most of our lives we are conditioned to say yes, yes, yes all the time. At some point though we have to say enough is enough and then say no. It is simple, but boy does it work!
Third piece of advice is something I have got sloppy over. You need to clear out your worries. Now, I am the first to admit that I am a worry wart. I always have been. I am better now than I used to be, but occasionally some niggles will nibble at the sides of my brain and keep me awake in the middle of the night. I deal with them in two ways. First, I imagine a box in an attic and then I put the worry in the box, move the box to a corner and then leave the attic. All done in the imagination. It works for me. Second, if it is still causing sleeplessness, then I will think about what it is that is causing me to worry. Now, I know from long personal experience that the things which stress me out are the things that are outside of my control. If I can control it, then I don’t need to worry. So, I tend to repeat to myself “I can’t do anything about it, so why worry?”. For me it works a bit like counting sheep. After the first 100 times or so, I go back to sleep! Generally, the following morning, I am not worried about it any more.
Now… the next piece of advice is a tricky one. You might want to do a friendship audit. There is nothing quite so energy sapping as a negative Nelly, or an energy Vampire as some people call them. You know the type. It doesn’t matter what you say, they always turn it to a negative. “Oh it is a lovely sunny day” will be met with “And the sun is in my eyes”. You know the type. I was one of those for years and years and years. Thankfully I am not a reformed negative person and instead I try and concentrate on the positive. It is hard. It is exceptionally hard sometimes, but I have noticed that it is indeed worth the effort. If you can’t kick them out of your life entirely, then reduce the time you spend with them. It will free up a lot of room in your brain when you haven’t got the negative commentary from them running around your head. Or if they are a close family member, try and introduce them to the gifts of positivity. You may convert them!
Finally, in order to spring clean your mind, you might want to think about the outside package. Update your “look”. For me, with Operation Chrysalis under way, I am doing my own updating as I go. I will, at some point soon, go into the local charity shops and see if I can buy a couple of amazing outfits that will update my image a little and put a spring in my step. A new outfit on the outside can bring huge benefits on the inside. If I look confident, I feel confident. If I look beautiful, then I feel beautiful.
What is there not to love about that? And spring added into the bargain! What a great deal!