Spring Cleaning for your Mental Health
Once the seasons shift to allow the windows to open, we start to shed our inclinations to burrow much like a bear coming out from hibernation. As we stretch our legs into the springtime, take a moment to notice the natural energies that arise. Perhaps you recognize the pull towards the sunshine, opting to walk instead of drive, or you finally garner the energy needed to wipe down the winter’s dust from baseboards and ceiling fans that you hadn’t noticed for the last three months.
Whatever the case, the rhythms of the vernal months direct us toward a season of release. “Spring cleaning” isn’t a chance activity; our predecessors understood the inherent value of letting go of winter’s residue (and germs). Even our religious cultures lean into this notion, with the tradition of Fat Tuesday lending itself to the act of cleaning out the pantry before the fasting season of Lent. The wisdom of Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, employs a spring practice of reducing to a mono-diet that is low (or free of) salt, to help the body release the waters it has retained.
A period of taking in less and even ridding yourself of the excess in your environment will, through the mind-body connection, shift your experiences. Research has shown that reducing clutter in your physical space will change your brainspace, which is why Marie Kondo (of the life-changing magic of tidying up fame) says, “a cluttered room leads to a cluttered mind.”
This spring, consider a brief moment of evaluating your life circumstances to notice if there’s an element that needs to be released. Perhaps it’s an old thought pattern or defense mechanism that once served our bodies and minds as a form of protection; instead we can look to new patterns that allow us to grow, much like the tulip breaks free of its underground bulb to bloom. Or maybe you could look at a habit, mindlessly or even joyfully adopted, which has now become a starting place for stress.
The world is alive with a fresh energy for growth and your mind and body share that capacity for change.