Spring has always been a sort of rejuvenating experience for me. The sun shines longer, and the temperature slowly, but surely warms up, which is just what my body needs in order to crawl out of the winter slump I’ve been luxuriating in. However, my favorite part of this awakening season is, you guessed it, spring cleaning.
I’m a big fan of organization and cleaning to begin with. It’s one of the quick and easy remedies I find helpful when my anxiety acts up, AND it’s productive. Precisely what I need after spending the past few months curled up in front of a computer screen binge watching Scandal.
Lately I’ve been feeling uninspired, and I’m in the worst writing slump I’ve ever been in, so I started to reflect on ways I could “spring clean” my mind and soul. Cleaning isn’t everyone’s idea of relaxing, but these tips can help alleviate stress and grogginess from spending the past few months indoors. While these aren’t major life changes or guaranteed to work for everyone, I wanted to share with you a list of changes/goals that I’m hoping to integrate into my life in order to give myself a clear and cleansed mind.
1. Go outside. This one probably isn’t a huge deal to most people, but there are times where I’m only leaving the house to go to class. Now that the weather is warmer, I can no longer justify staying indoors “because it’s cold outside.” Even if only for a short while, being outside and breathing fresh air is enough to rid myself of the stir-craziness that I’m feeling from being cooped up in my apartment doing homework. I like to sit on my front porch and read on my Kindle for an hour or sometimes I’ll take a quick drive to Starbucks and treat myself to an iced tea. Sidenote: do not forget your allergy medicine or your outdoor rendezvous will surely suck.
2. Unplug. I’ve been trying to integrate this concept into my life for such a long time, and it’s always the hardest one to accomplish. I’ve been trying to limit my time on social media, but sometimes that can be hard if you’re a blogger (or anything that involves promotion via social media). I’ve deleted certain apps from my phone to help decrease the amount of time I use them, as well as turning off notifications from most applications. I did this about two weeks ago, and I’ve already noticed that I reach for my phone less. While I love social media for bringing with mutual interests together, I sometimes use it to ignore the other tasks that should have my attention. In addition to the two bits of advice mentioned above, I’ve also scheduled my phone’s do not disturb mode for 10pm every night, that way I can ease my mind into sleep mood. While all these tips are useful, the key component to unplugging is having the self-control to stay unplugged, and once you achieve this, the feeling is liberating.
3. Exercise. This doesn’t need to be anything extreme, guys. I can assure you that it won’t be for me. When given the choice between watching that next episode, reading one more chapter, organizing my planner (yup, you read that right), or engaging in physical activity that will make me sweat and hurt, nine times out of ten that last task is never chosen. BUT it’s important to maintain a moderately healthy lifestyle (cut me some slack, I’m in college), so making yourself do some sort of exercise will only benefit you, even when you tell yourself the pain your legs feel is doing you more harm than good. Go to the gym once or twice a week. Sometimes, and by that I mean one time, I went to my school’s gym and decided that sweating/slowly dying on the bicycle in front of other people was not exactly my cup of tea, so I’ve started to go on walks to a nearby park. I’ll also look up basic yoga videos on YouTube if I want to stay indoors. Anything to get ya moving.
4. Read more. While I’m usually up to my ears in reading assignments and papers, I still like to make time for reading books for pleasure. The major way I’ve made more time for reading is by exploring different mediums. If I’m somewhere where I can’t physically hold a book (walking, driving, waiting at an appointment), I’ll listen to something on my Audible app. I try to make sure I have my Kindle with me at all times, so if I have a few minutes between classes I can steal a few minutes and read. I’ve been borrowing ebooks from my local library and LOVE it so much. I would definitely recommend looking into your library’s online database and browsing their ebook collection. Even if you don’t have a kindle, you can always download the app and read from your preferred device.
5. Reflect. You can do this in any way that you want, but the idea here is to give yourself time to reflect on your day and yourself. I’m tailoring this a bit to my lack of writing/creativity, so I’m going to try and write more on paper. While I’ll always prefer typing, I’m more likely to become distracted if I’m writing on my computer as opposed to actual paper. I might not get the same amount written like I would if I were typing, but I’m definitely more focused and centered in regards to my thoughts when I take the time to write them down in a notebook. I’m hoping to integrate this into my routine, so I can eventually get into a habit of writing each day, even if just a small amount.
What tips/changes are you adding to your life this Spring season? Leave a comment below, as I am always looking for positive additions to my daily routine.
All the best,