Emotional Spring Cleanup: 5 Ways to refresh joy, balance and wellness in your life.
You know when we do a spring cleaning, and we find all kinds of things we haven’t seen for awhile? That feeling of being torn between, should I keep this or toss it…. The wrestling with, maybe I’ll use it this year…. Inevitably some long-forgotten appliance, candle holder or utensil will make its way back into the fold. For whatever reason, spring cleaning leaves us with a sense of accomplishment and even feeling refreshed. As I was working on reasons why a tarnished serving spoon should be resurrected, it occurred to me that our emotional cleanup can leave us feeling exactly the same way. By being intentional with ourselves emotionally, we can find a renewed sense of joy, freedom and peace. I have found these 5 simple acts have radically improved my sense of joy and leave me feeling more at peace in my life.
Show Gratitude – Gratitude is an attitude and an action. It gets you outside of yourself and allows you to focus on what you have, rather than the deficits in life. An act of gratitude actually calls for you to say more than ‘thank you’… in fact, it requires you say ‘thank you for _________. “ And then includes an expression of why it mattered. For example, “thank you for being such a great teacher. Your enthusiasm and patience have created an exciting and safe learning environment for me and I am taking so much away from this class.” This simple change in your life can essentially transform how you see things. If you are on the lookout for things to be grateful for, you’ll find you notice less the things that aren’t so great. What we focus on, we will see.
Decide on Forgiveness – When we carry unforgiveness towards someone we essentially hand them power over our emotions. Forgiving does not mean we accept or agree with what has been done to us, it simply means we are not a prisoner to their behaviour. The saying, “unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die,” is so true. We cannot live healthy, fulfilling lives while we carry around resentment, hatred or unforgiveness. Setting ourselves free from that allows us to move forward in our lives.
Act with Truth and Courage – Courage requires vulnerability. Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” In so many ways, this is about being yourself. Living your life in a way that is in line with your values, your truth and what matters to you. This is not an easy task in a world that wants us to fit into a mold and look and be a certain way. Acting with truth and courage means that you take a stand against the push and pull of the culture we live in, and we do what is right for us.
Be Intentional with Self Care – This includes exercise, sleep, boundaries and balance. This seems like such an obvious one, but if you take a moment to review your life, can you honestly say that you’re eating well, sleeping well, moving enough, etc? Most of us are not. The idea of boundaries and balance means that we can say ‘no’ to things that take us away from what we want and need in life. When all of this comes together, the result is an overall feeling of wellness and ease.
Engage in Healthy relationships with Healthy People – I often say that we can generally gauge how healthy we are based on the health of those we spend our time with. If the people closest to you are emotionally and/or mentally unwell, then the chances are good that you are too. It’s much easier to pull someone down, than it is to pull them up. Some of the hallmarks of Emotional Unwellness are: negativity, cynicism, poor boundaries for themselves and in relationships, combative &/ disrespectful attitudes or behaviours, illegal activities, grudge holding, blaming, and little control over ones emotions. Emotionally healthy people tend to have good boundaries, show respect, own their own emotions and behaviours, engage in prosocial, healthy activities, and allow others to be their own people.
We would love to hear from you; your own ideas of emotional spring cleaning. So please leave us a comment or your feedback. And wishing you a refreshing and joyfilled spring season.