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mw editorial

it’s time for some mental spring cleaning

March 30, 2021

Winters, with their shorter days and challenging weather, are often hard to navigate. And after a full year of dealing with the complications of the pandemic, you may be feeling especially heavy emotionally. The good news is that the days are already starting to get longer. And just like more daylight allows you to see the dust and cobwebs you’ve missed in your house over the winter, brighter days can show you the things cluttering up your mind and heart as well. Here are a few ways to do some mental spring cleaning for a fresh start this season.

Look at Your Habits

Just like rearranging furniture can make your house feel ready for spring, taking stock of your habits can feel like a fresh start. Winter may have had you curling up to binge-watch Netflix every night after work because it made you feel warm and safe, but taking the time to really look at that habit and how it makes you feel might show that it’s time to adjust to an evening walk instead. It’s not about applying judgment to your habits, but assessing whether they are still giving you the positive feelings they once did.

If you do decide on new habits to help you move forward, share your goals and vision with trusted friends and family. By saying them out loud to another person, you create more accountability and increase your chances of following through.

Write It Out

Research has long shown that journaling is a powerful tool in your mental health arsenal, and a new season is a perfect time to put it to use.  Writing out your thoughts and feelings can help you see recurring themes, spot those habits that may need a refresh, and even reduce anxiety and depression.

If the thought of an empty page is intimidating, start with writing down what’s on your mind every morning while you eat breakfast. Getting your thoughts out in no particular order gets all the noise out of your head and onto paper, where it’s easier to see your next steps.

Clear Out the Negativity

Once you’ve taken stock of your habits and started to write out your feelings, you should have more of an idea of which things in your life feel good and which things bring you down. Now it’s time to clean out those closets, so to speak.

Set fresh new boundaries to protect yourself from the negative people in your life. Have the conversations you need to have to move forward. Make gratitude a more significant part of your life. Maybe even actually spring clean your house so that everything feels positive and fresh. Do whatever helps you let go of the negativity and move in a more positive direction.

It’s true that it’s been a long year and challenging winter, but by taking as much time to freshen up your thinking as you do to freshen up your home you’ll be ready to bask in the bright days ahead.


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