5 Ways to Implement Mental Spring Cleaning into Your Life

March 29 - Taylor Marshall

It’s officially spring, and the energy in the air is feeling as fresh as newly green leaves and just-ripened fruit.

Life is cyclical, and allowing ourselves to flow along with the seasons is a really good way to invite ease into our lives, as well as the comfort of feeling like you are right where you are supposed to be.

Another thing to note is that the transitions between seasons are almost just as significant as the seasons themselves; just pure beauty and pure magic to be found in the way the earth decides to evolve into the next version of itself.

That being said, just coming out of winter—a time of hibernation—a lot of stored up energy is ready to burst out of us: new ideas, heightened creativity, a feeling of renewal, spiked motivation, and more. But in order to embrace the abundance that spring has to offer, it’s necessary to honor the dead and emptiness of winter, first. The best way to do that? Mental spring cleaning.

The whole idea behind spring cleaning your house is to create space for the new and fresh energy that comes in with spring: less dust, less clutter, less mess, more open shelves, more organized closets, more clean tabletops.

This same activity can be applied to our minds and hearts, too. And the results of that spring cleaning feel even more productive than a squeaky-clean house.

I want to offer a few task ideas to consider adding to your spring cleaning to-do list this season. Houses, apartments, rooms, cities– these are all temporary. Your heart and your mind, though? These are your forever home.

  1. Acknowledging patterns or occurrences that haven’t been serving you

One of my very favorite quotes, which I’ve had framed in my room since high school, says, “Run, my dear, from anything that does not strengthen your precious, budding wings.”

You may think, “Well, are my wings supposed to be done growing by now?” But the truth is that we are always growing. We are always trying to find ways to progress, whether big or small, obvious or less obvious, minimal or elaborate. Identifying anything that may be hindering that process of growth is vital. It’s the most sincere act of love that we can do for ourselves.

These blockages could be anything from bad habits, relationships that are stale, situations you’re stuck in, 0r patterns that are trapping you. To identify these things, and be honest with yourself when doing so, is a gift that your heart and mind will thank you for.

2. Examining Daily Routine + Habits

Another one of my favorite pieces of advice is, “The secret to success can be found in your daily routine.” It’s something I’ve lived by for years now. The little things you do habitually are the little things that can inch you closer to the person you want to be more than anything else, since naturally, you repeat them day after day.

Look at your daily routine and see where you can make some room for positive things, like a walk in the fresh air, a healthy meal, a phone call with someone you love, or a few moments of peaceful stillness.

There are a number of things that can sneak into your daily routine without you even realizing they have, and the sweeping away of them can bring refreshment and space.

Crafting your day is a privilege, and your structure is something that can serve you more than anything else. Within clean structure, your ideas and creativity can flourish.

3. Looking at Relationships

At risk of sounding harsh, it’s easy to not notice ourselves putting energy into relationships that aren’t returning that energy to us. Every relationship has its ups and downs, but if the no-return-on-energy has become normal, it’s time to examine.

Look at the people in your life and ask you which ones push you to be your happiest and best self. Ask yourself which relationships are “black holes,” meaning that everything you put into them never comes back to you.

The reality is that some people aren’t meant for us, and prolonged stagnancy in a relationship can be a sign of that. Clearing out relationships that aren’t working may seem selfish, but all it does it create space for both you and the other person that can allow those who may be a better connection to come into your life.

4. Applying forgiveness to areas you need to release

We all have things that have hurt us. We all have a few scars. We all have things we wish would have never happened, words we wish we could take back, and things we wish we could handle differently.

This is all part of our past, but even though it’s behind us, if we don’t acknowledge these things for what they were, they can still wreak havoc over our minds. To help with this, think about how any pain, grudges, stress, or mistakes that you're holding onto has helped you grow. Then, think about how you can seal in that growth by looking at them in a positive way rather than in a bitter way.

To give past transgressions space to be felt, to apply love and acceptance, and forgive—that is how you release. And release is how you level up.

5. Checking out your thought process

The pattern of thoughts that run through our brain is something that we don’t always realize. It’s easy to let our minds go on and on, thinking that our train of thought isn’t really something that we decide—but this is not the case.

We decide which way to steer our thought process, and if you feel like you’ve lost control, the best suggestion I have is mind mapping.

Sit down with a journal and write down each category in your life that you want to give energy to. Within each category, state what you’re proud of yourself for, as well as a goal that you want to work toward.

The process of sorting out what truly matters to you will serve as a roadmap for your subconscious, helping to keep your train of thought on the highest and brightest track.

At the end of the day, we can dream and plan and work all we want, but we aren’t going to be able to bring anything new into our lives or hearts unless there is space available.

This time of the year is full of new, fresh energy, which we can use to rearrange our mental space, leaving room for growth to occur.

Next time you’re outside, look at the bare trees and wide open fields, and imagine the barren spaces being filled with the bright and vibrant blooms that spring will soon place there. The same thing can happen for your mind and heart.

We can’t even begin to imagine the beauty of what can grow in our minds and our lives with intentional effort; all we need to do is prepare the space for it.

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