Updated: Jul 25
After a long cold winter, spring is finally here! It happens to be my favourite season - not just because the sun comes out and nature awakens from its slumber - because spring is the season of new beginnings, growth, and transformation. As a life coach, I believe that spring is the perfect time to reflect on our personal growth, to set new goals, and take action towards creating the life we desire; and this begins with spring cleaning our lives!
There are many benefits to decluttering and spring cleaning our HOMES throughout the year, including the fact that creating order, space and freshening up our environment is great for our mental health! But given how busy and often overwhelming life has become in the 21st century, I would argue that spring cleaning our LIVES is an essential exercise in order to make room for what we want to bring into our life experience. Holding onto things we no longer want, need, are faulty and no longer serves us, is not going to inspire anything positive. In fact, it can deplete us, create stress, demotivate us and amplify other unwanted negative emotions and energies which hold us back from moving forward. But what does SPRING CLEANING YOUR LIFE actually entail? Read on to find out more...
Particle physicists tell us that everything in the universe, when broken down to its simplest form, is made of energy. This includes: unwanted, broken and obsolete items; things that harm or upset us; things that have negative associations or spark painful memories; people and influences that provoke negative thoughts, emotions or reactions etc. If we want to raise our energy and subsequently attract positive things into our lives, we cannot also hold onto the things that deplete us emotionally or energetically. We therefore need to look at the different areas in our lives which have a tendency to get cluttered, damaged and break-down, to gage what needs to stay and what goes.
Here are 5 key areas which have the most impact and some helpful tips to get started:
1. Cleaning, Decluttering, & Organising the Home
They say that our external environment is a direct reflection of our internal world and that a cluttered home equates to a cluttered mind. Therefore unless clinically depressed, any improvement in our physical environment is always going to lift our spirits. That's because cleaning, decluttering, and organising our environment can significantly improve our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It can reduce stress and anxiety due to reduced stimulation of the senses; and it allows for clearer thinking, improved sleep and improved productivity.
Dirt, clutter and chaos on the other hand have the potential to harm our health, wellbeing and affect the immune system (anyone with allergies, asthma, sensitive skin etc will attest to this); it increases the risk of accidents, it creates unnecessary stress and often causes arguments within the home. Therefore, a blitz of our living quarters at regular intervals throughout the year ensures that our environment is aligned with what we want to be experiencing - a greater sense of calm and inner peace.
Put some decent music on or have your favourite show playing in the background while you tackle cleaning, decluttering and organising each room. Or put headphones on and call friends/family for a catch up – time will fly!
Use cleaning products that smell amazing – there is nothing more satisfying than to smell the freshness of your labour!
Be ruthless with what you throw out/give away – if you don’t use it, want it, or love it, then it needs to find a new home. If it’s broken and cannot be repaired...bin it!
Re-home unwanted items – do a good deed while making room in your home, give your unwanted items to a friend/family/neighbour or to a charity.
Sell unwanted items – one man’s junk is another man’s treasure! There are lots of websites where you can sell what you no longer want or need and make some extra money (e.g. eBay, Gumtree and Facebook). You could be sitting on the deposit for a new car or holiday!
Become acquainted with your local Recycling Centre or Furniture Recycling Centre – being able to dispose of broken and tatty items and the endless accumulation of cardboard boxes and plastic coat hangers is one of the most satisfying things about decluttering your home - its cathartic! And giving away furniture which can be used by people in need is emotionally rewarding.
2. Cleaning, Decluttering & Organising the Workspace
Given how much time the average person spends working (according to the Office of National Statistics, in the UK this is between 35-40hrs a week) it is just as important to give our workspace and tools a thorough clear out and servicing if we want to enjoy the benefits for our health and wellbeing. Whether our work is manual, office-based or as a full-time carer, spending time getting our workspace and tools in order is an investment of our time which will both reduce stress and anxiety, and improve mental clarity and productivity.
Use anti-bacterial wipes on keyboards, phones and other tools regularly especially when sharing equipment. Screen-wipes are needed for electronic devices to avoid smudges.
Organise all paperwork, archive what is no longer needed, or shred it where appropriate.
Go through electronic folders, create subfolders for easy identification of documents, and create archive boxes for documents which no longer need to be accessed.
Clear out email inboxes and organise what you need to keep into sub-folders.
Throw away any tools that don’t work or prioritise getting them serviced/repaired.
Unsubscribe from junk mail in your personal and work email accounts and delete any apps/ programmes you never use to free up space on your devices.
Delete items in your recycled folders to free up room on your devices which will run more efficiently, including computers, laptops and phones.
Have at least 1 personal item in your workspace that provokes joy e.g. a plant or a photo.
Ensure any vehicles used for work are up to date with MOT and servicing, clear out trash once a week to prevent build up, and wash the vehicle at least every couple of months to keep it looking and smelling fresh - or at least invest in a car air freshener.
3. Cleaning Your Diet & Servicing Your Body
At the start of year, many people try out new diets, sign up to the gym, they attempt detoxing or at least cutting out the naughty stuff like alcohol and junk food. After all, we are what we eat! When we fuel our bodies with garbage, it will eventually reflect in our overall health, energy, appearance, and emotional wellbeing because the mind and gut are interconnected. So taking stock of our eating habits and making small changes to clean up our bodies from the inside out, is key to improving our health and essentially our life experience. For some detoxing inspiration see link: Full Body Detox: 9 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Body (healthline.com)
Ensuring our bodies get their relevant servicing/ check-ups is also key in preventing health issues developing in future, especially if we have pre-existing conditions or require medication. Our bodies are always communicating with us; if we fail to ignore the messages, physical symptoms will only persist and worsen till we have no choice but to stop, sit up and pay attention. So being proactive in getting the essentials checked up can help ensure a healthy mind and body, and prevent health issues, pain, infection, disease. In some cases it can even save our life.
Go through the fridge, freezer, cupboards (or wherever else food may be hiding) and remove what you want to eliminate from your diet. Most supermarkets have a food bank donation area so no food needs go to waste.
Plan your healthier eating menu for the week in advance, shop only what you need and swap naughty treats for low-fat low-sugar alternatives.
Where possible consume organic products which will reduce the levels of pesticides and other nasty chemicals that fresh ingredients are often grown in - Foods That Are Actually Worth Buying Organic - Forkly
Book the dentist, opticians, smear test, breast screening or prostate exam and GO!
Consult with your GP if you are experiencing any chronic pain or discomfort or contact the National Health Service Helpline on 111 or online NHS 111 online.
Take a free online vitamin deficiency test to see what your body may be lacking, to see what may be recommended and what foods you may want to introduce into your diet - Vitamin deficiency test (freevitamindeficiencytest.com).
4. Clearing, Decluttering & Organising Your Social Media
Our diet is not just what we eat. The average person spends between 2 and 7 hours a day online and on overage 22hrs a week watching television (NOT including streaming services). We are therefore bombarded with and absorbing masses of information through traditional media (e.g. television, radio, newspapers, magazines etc) and social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tock, YouTube etc) all of which we need to process whether consciously or unconsciously.
It can be argued that this type of information overload is partially responsible for the high levels of mental health problems that people in the 21st century are experiencing. Because even though we can only give our conscious attention to around 7 bits of information at any given time, subconsciously we take in millions of bits of information every second, both whilst awake and asleep, all of which can affect how we think, feel and behave, all of which can have a profound impact on our life experience. So being selective about what we give our time and attention to is crucial for maintaining our emotional resilience and wellbeing.
Look through phones and tablets and delete any apps that you no longer use or enjoy.
Ask yourself how each app you access enriches your life – if accessing it creates feelings of stress and anxiety on a regular basis, consider deleting or temporarily disabling it.
Look through each social media account and notice what comes up in your newsfeed. If you are accessing content that does not serve you or uplift you, consider hiding posts or unfollowing.
Look through your friends/contacts lists and ask yourself whether you are happy for these people to have access to your personal information. If the answer is no, then unfriend, unfollow, delete or block
Delete unwanted ads that keep popping up, that way the bots on the web can start showing you more content of what you may actually be interested in.
Book in and enjoy a digital detox and the benefits which go along with it even if just for a day - www.wikihow.com/Do-a-Digital-Detox
Have access to at least one account that brings you joy – being able to open an app which makes you smile, laugh, inspire or uplifts you is an invaluable tool to have access to when promoting emotional wellbeing. Pinterest and YouTube can be great for this.
5. Clearing Out & Detoxing Your Social Circle
Ooohhh...this is a sensitive one! As social creatures our very survival depends on the relationships we have with other people, whether friends, family, work colleagues, neighbours, the community or any social groups we may associated with. If we are fortunate, most of our relationships will bring us love, care, support, friendship, a sense of connection, as well as practical benefits which promote our lifestyle, health, wellbeing, and personal growth. There are however, also relationships we may invest in, which do not serve us in positive ways and sometimes can be toxic and damaging to us mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually (we all know at least one energetic vampire). These are the relationships that need to be reconsidered, if we are to free ourselves of their negative influence.
As a Life Coach, I would always advocate that where relationships can be nurtured and rifts healed, that this be the priority before considering cutting off contact, as social disconnect can often have far reaching consequences and affect other people and relationships. At the same time, we are all responsible for our own wellbeing and happiness. When we choose to maintain harmful relationship, we are essentially making a CHOICE to continue harming ourselves and are therefore responsible for the impact these negative relationships have on us.
Being the empathic creatures we are, we will often adapt to the people around us in order to ‘fit in’' and be accepted and ultimately avoid judgment, criticism, shame and rejection. But if we surround ourselves with people whose mindset is mostly negative, whose morals are questionable, whose dreams and visions are limited, who are stunted by fear and pessimism; people who judge, criticise and shame us for being ourselves...then it’s only a matter of time before their limited and often toxic mindset will rub off on us. And we cannot expect positive experiences to come from negative thinking. So, clearing out our social circle is often a difficult yet necessary step required for more positive experiences and relationships to flow into our lives.
Set clear boundaries – people will always treat you the way you allow them to, so be clear on what behaviour is and is not acceptable to you; and have the courage to withdraw socially from them if they continue to violate your boundaries.
Ask yourself if there are any toxic individuals in your life and why they are there? If you cannot justify them playing a role in your life, you may need to respectfully let them go and continue to send them love from a distance; or at least keep levels of contact to a minimum.
Be selective about when and where you engage with certain people and how long for. Certain negative or energy draining people cannot be avoided, so keeping interaction contained and time limited will always help in protecting your energy and limiting the level of damage they can inflict. Imagine yourself surrounded by a protective bubble of light while you are interacting with them and grounding afterwards (e.g., step outside into nature or bathe/shower). Meditation can also help promote relaxation and minimise the negative energy these people inflict.
Invest more time and energy into relationships that are supportive, which lift and inspire you and allow you to be yourself without apology.
And there you have it! If you are finding yourself feeling stuck or overwhelmed, chances are you need to spring clean certain areas of your life, so why not try out some of these recommendations. If you would like to access Transformational Life Coaching to help with some of the trickier areas in your life which may require clearing and decluttering (i.e. giving up naughty dietary habits, reassessing and letting go of toxic relationships) check out my website www.themindfullifecoachuk.com and request a FREE 1hr consultation.
My Name is Nichola Pyrkos, I am a Transformational Life Coach & Mindfulness Facilitator, a Psychology and Social Work graduate, and my mission is to empower people to consciously create a life they can love, whilst developing the resilience needed to weather any storm. Follow me on Instagram @mindfullifecoachuk and head on over to my website to find out about the range of services I offer, including bespoke Life Coaching programmes tailor-made for individual clients to fast-track their learning, healing and personal growth.
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