By: Leah Hovey
April is the best time to start spring cleaning! Decluttering your home while opening the windows to let that fresh air in can fundamentally help how you feel! While I encourage everyone to start this process, there is another aspect of spring cleaning I’d like to discuss: Spring cleaning for your mind!
How do we do this? After the winter months, we often feel groggy, unmotivated and mentally cluttered. There are various steps one can take in order to clear out your mind, and make room for positive attitudes to help your mental health. At conscious counselling, we advocate for self-care and this can be a great way to get started in the spring!
Practice Realistic Affirmations:
Dr. Marcia Sirota is a psychiatrist who has offered many great tips for engaging in self-care. In a recent article that was published, she spoke about the process of using affirmations. Saying good things to yourself or about yourself can boost self-confidence exponentially! Dr. Sirota suggests to make sure the affirmations you tell yourself are realistic (CBC). Telling yourself you are perfect the way you are may not work as well as telling yourself, “I'm on my way to becoming the best I can be.” The second statement is much more believable and with these realistic affirmations we can encourage ourselves to strive for better!
Take 20 minutes every morning to practice self-care:
This is a tip I found online that has really improved how I start my day! Wake up 20 minutes earlier every day and spend that time doing something you enjoy, or something that de-stresses you. Whether it be sitting outside and enjoying a morning coffee, reading a chapter of a good book, doing yoga, painting, or whatever your favourite thing is; take that time every morning. This will really help you wake up, calm down before your day and help you have a positive outlook on the rest of your day! If you are a busy bee, it can be very hard to have 20 minutes all to yourself. This is why in the morning this can be achieved with little to no distractions!
Try something new:
Spring is for change and new beginnings. What better way to start your spring than by trying something new for your mental health? This could be anything from finally taking that step to seek counselling or even by joining a new group! Group counselling can have various themes that can focus on what you specifically need. For example, we have a mindfulness group starting this month on April 23rd at Conscious Counselling! This could be a great way to boost yourself up, practice great mental health exercises and to meet new people! For information about the mindfulness groups call or email us!
Cut down on Social Media:
During the long winter months, we all have to admit we binged a Netflix series, spent our time on Instagram and Facebook all while staying indoors. Social media can be linked to complicated self-esteem problems as we are constantly comparing what our lives are like and what our acquaintances are doing. This can have a severe impact on self-esteem (Burrow & Rainone, 2017). Now that spring is here, we need to take a break from the distraction of social media to go out and enjoy ourselves! The weather is nicer, there are more things for us to do and we don’t have to hide indoors from the cold. Take advantage of the nice weather, put your phones down and do something fun!
In a previous post, I outlined why having a gratitude journal can impact individuals in a positive manner. By using a gratitude journal, we can keep in mind many things in our lives that we should be grateful for and it can help us put things into perspective. To read more about what a gratitude journal is, take a peek at my past article.
By working on all of these tactics, you will find that you will be much more relaxed, clear headed and ready to take on spring! These simple tricks can significantly impact how you feel mentally and improve your life for the better. Give these tips a try and see just how well mental spring cleaning can be.
BLOG | Individual & Couple Counselling | Vaughan | Conscious Counselling. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.consciouscounselling.co/blog/on-gratitude-how-it-can-change-your-life
Burrow, A. L., & Rainone, N. (2017). How many likes did I get?: Purpose moderates links between positive social media feedback and self-esteem. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 69, 232-236.
Spring clean your psyche: How to clear out mental clutter with simple daily habits | CBC Life. (2019, March 26). Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/life/thegoods/spring-clean-your-psyche-how-to-clear-out-mental-clutter-with-simple-daily-habits-1.4585084