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Mental Spring Cleaning

-Now is the time to release what is worn out, and to give loving attention to what matters most. -

By Ashley Geist, LCP-MH SupV, LPC, NCC, M.S.Ed. 

When I think of spring cleaning when I was a child, I picture the house windows open, breeze moving the curtains, freshly cleaned carpet and a sense of newness and the anticipation of warmer weather and summer right around the corner.  I also remember that I usually wasn’t the one doing most of the cleaning.  Ah, memories!    

As an adult, this picture is far less idyllic.  Now I notice dust, OMG, the dust!?!  The holiday decorations I’ve either been too busy or tired to deal with, and the mountain of other overwhelming tasks that always seem to be waiting (lurking) for me at home.  As I’ve been thinking about spring and slowly but surely completing “to do list” of items that are a necessity of basic human life, my attention has also turned to a season of clean out and renewal of our minds and spirits as well.

Any time is a good time to reflect on our lives and to activate change, however, seasonal shifts are especially good at reminding us that life is in a constant state of change, and so are we

So, as we brave the dust bunnies and neglected corners of our homes this season, let’s give the dust bunnies and neglected corners of our minds and spirits some attention as well.

 

1.   Swap Out Negative Language and Self-Talk

Just as we pack up big sweaters and switch them out for lighter fabrics and sandals, we can do the same with negative and unhelpful self-talk and negative language.  If you think or say statements such as, “I can’t, I won’t, or I’ll never”, on repeat, then you create both an obstacle and a self-fulfilling prophecy of stagnancy. 

It is nearly impossible to grow or improve when we stand in our own ways.  Give negative self-talk the old’ heave-ho' and practice more positive language with, “I could, I’d like to, Wouldn’t it be great if?, I’m working on, I’m practicing_________“, etc. 

 

When evaluating your language, ask yourself, would I talk to a friend the same way that I talk to my inner self?  Does my speech uplift, assert and support myself and others? 

 

 

2.  Re-arrange Our Commitments & Priorities

Just as a simple rearrangement of the living room furniture or art can make a space feel fresh and invigorating, the same is true with our lives.  Do you have an activity that needs to leave your calendar or one that you are excited to add?  What seasons of work or school are changing that impact your schedule?  It’s completely OK to say no to some things to make room  for our best yes’s.

 

3. Fix or Toss What is Broken (Recruit Help if Needed)

Just like cleaning our homes, we can also identify things that need some element of repair or maintenance in our own minds as well.  It might be a habit that needs a tune-up like a better sleep routine or getting back to our movement or stress relief practices. 

 

Sometimes these things need a simple fix or tune-up, just like replacing light bulbs and getting the lawn mower ready.  Or sometimes, these things need a complete overhaul, or to even be tossed out and or, replaced. 

 

Grab a journal (a notebook is fine), and a pen and ask yourself; Are there habits, routines, or even relationships in your life that need some element of change or repair right now?  Are there some that need additional support like that of a therapist?  Are there some that need to leave altogether? 

 

4. Recruit Help

 

Just like moving large furniture or large-scale home repair, there are times when it pays off to enlist the help of friends, family, or even trained experts. Asking for positive support often saves ourselves time, money, and heartache in the long run.  Consulting a helping professional to support you in the processes of re-evaluating and improving your life can be a wise and welcome investment in your peace of mind and overall quality of life. 

 

5.  Give Your Visions and Goals a Good Scrub

As life gets busy and challenging, it’s easy to get sidetracked and to let the “dust settle” on certain things in our lives.  Just like our homes need a good scrub to shine and be peaceful, oftentimes we need to re-visit our hopes, dreams, goals and visions for the future and dust them off as well. 

 

How are you taking care of your health this year?  Is the new season a perfect time to reconnect with friends, learn a new skill, or take another small step towards a long-term goal?  Have you enjoyed a good book lately or simply enjoyed a long Saturday afternoon? 

 

Taking time to dust off our visions of what we want in our lives means that we keep making progress towards what matters most to us on our journeys through life, and that is a task worth tackling. 

 

Ready for more support with your mental and emotional goals? 

Contact The Support Circle at 605-845-2058 today, to explore our 20-minute free consultation to see which one of our trained therapists would be the best fit for you.  Now taking appointments across both South Dakota and North Dakota.  Visit www.thesupportcircle.com today, for more information. 


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