April marks the beginning of sunnier weather, budding plants, and new beginnings. Spring cleaning is a great way to reset and push forward with a positive mindset. But spring cleaning can apply to your inner well being, relationships and mental health as much as your environment. Here are some ways to conduct spring cleaning in your home, body and mind:
- De-clutter: Lighten up! After a year of online shopping and quarantines, you might have a closet full of boxes or unessential items. Go through the pile and, as Marie Kondo advises, "discard or donate everything that does not spark joy."
- Clean out your food: Go through your pantry, cabinets and fridge and throw out expired items. Be sure to clear out higher shelves and the back corners of your cabinets and refrigerator. These are the spaces you may neglect since you don’t often see them or they may be hidden by larger items.
- Gardening: Want to clean up your outside area and bring a beautiful and healthy new perspective to your life? Try gardening! There are several vegetables, fruits and herbs that grow well around the Bay Area. Some include bell peppers, tomatoes and fruit trees. But if you don’t have the space or the green thumb, try an herb garden! Herb gardens are easy to manage and can spruce up your meals with fresh ingredients.
- Take a fast food break: Let's be real. Many of us eat fast food because it's easy, delicious and relatively inexpensive. But we all know it's not healthy, and shouldn't be a regular part of our diets. Try taking a week-long break from fast food to help your body reset and lower your sodium and sugar intake. You might just feel good enough to give it up -- or at least cut back on your consumption -- for good!
- Get outside: Enjoy nature by going on picnics, hikes and other contactless activities. Not only can this boost your mood, but it can give your body the exercise it needs. Los Gatos Creek Trail and Rancho San Antonio Preserve are just a couple of places you could explore.
- Set an exercise goal: Push yourself mentally and physically by setting an exercise goal. It can be as simple as doing yoga in the morning or something more strenuous like training for a half marathon. Whatever the goal, make it attainable and focus on helping your body become healthier.
- Prioritize sleep: Getting enough quality sleep is critical for your mental health. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that adults get 7 or more hours a night. Make it a priority by changing up your nightly routine and going to bed earlier.
- Therapy: Therapy is a great way to let out stress and find comfort. And nowadays, it's as easy as downloading an app or setting up a virtual meeting. If you’re feeling stressed, lonely or depressed, reach out and talk to someone.
- Cultivate good relationships: As the new season approaches, refresh and cultivate your relationships with positivity. Send a text or make a phone call. Get to know a coworker better or reach out to a family member you haven't spoken to in a while. Find ways to build healthy relationships with the people in your life.
Spring cleaning your environment can positively impact your inner self. Likewise, resetting your mind can positively affect your surroundings and life. Find ways to 'spring clean' your home body and mind during this new season!
This article first appeared in the April 2021 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.