Spring Cleaning

This year in Ontario has felt like one long winter! From cold temperatures to bouts of heavy snow, I’m sure we’re all ready for spring to arrive! 

You’ve likely heard of the concept of ‘spring cleaning’, whereby we’re supposedly to organize, clean, and refresh our lives in preparation for spring. The concept is actually helpful if you think about the tasks you can get done: getting the garden ready for planting flowers, putting away winter clothes and embracing, lighter ones, etc. 

If you think more deeply about the concept of spring cleaning, however, you may find that there is actually a lot more that you can do to embrace the new season. Spring cleaning doesn’t only have to be about ‘seasonal changes’; it can also be about personal life changes. What are some goals that you want to make as the weather gets nicer? Perhaps you would benefit from taking a daily walk outside to clear your mind? What about your closet? Are there clothes that you no longer use and can donate to a good cause?

Take a look at your phone and the apps on it. Are there apps there that you never use and could benefit from getting rid of? Or, are there apps that do not contribute positively to your mental and physical health, and now is finally the time to delete them? Take some time to reflect on your personal habits. How is your sleep? Is there something that you can do to make your sleep more refreshing? What about your daily routine? Are you getting enough exercise, proper, nutrition, and a reasonable balance between work and play?

Of course, realistically, this is a lot easier said than done. It takes time to reflect on these aspects of our lives, to make the goals, to outline changes, and then to actually do them. You need not wait for spring or a new season to engage in this practice, but perhaps the idea of a new season will be motivation to get you working on it. To get started, it’s usually easiest to pick one or two goals to work on. Although you might have many changes or things you want to ‘clean up’ for spring, this can get overwhelming, and will likely lead to ‘decision-paralysis’ if you focus on too much at once. 

Pick one or two things that are really important to you, outline the steps that you need to do to make these changes or achieve the goals, and get working on them. Set a target or a deadline. Maybe this weekend will be the weekend that you actually begin to meal m-prep. Perhaps by June, you’ll have established a walking routine every day. Maybe next week will be the week that you start to limit your social media use to one hour a day. Perhaps you’ll decide that you want to start attending church weekly, meet with your friends every other weekend, start and maintain a journal, finally learn an instrument, volunteer at the local school or library, read a new book, etc. 

Regardless of what changes you make or decide on, it is important to take the time to reflect on your progress, what you have been able to achieve, as well as any barriers or challenges that you’ve met along the way. If your goal is not being achieved, think about what you can do to meditate any challenges or barriers. Never be afraid to admit that you need help, and seek out resources that can help you achieve your goals. Remember that the original goal itself might not be realistic; revisit the goal and reflect on whether it is doable, relevant, and important to you. 

I enjoy the seasonal transition because it truly signals new life. The cold and snow is leaving as we get warmer weather, more sunshine, and longer days. As spring begins to enter into our lives, let’s all take the time to set one or two changes that we also want to embrace this season. Take a step back and reflect on who you are, your habits and practices, and where you want to go. You will never regret trying to make a change…but you will always regret never trying! 

Happy spring, everyone! Let’s all ‘spring’ into making one change that will improve and optimize our overall lives and those around us...

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