By Marilyn Halpern, MSW, LSW ~
As new shoots appear out of the soil, the first buds on the trees burst into color and tiny leaves unfurl, our hearts fill with hope. Spring is an integral part of the reawakening life cycle. It provides an opportunity for us to reflect on our vision and purpose. The season can bring inspiration and energy for healing, growth, and change.
Spring cleaning your emotional health is an opportunity to consider your priorities. Just as clearing out clutter in our home can make us feel inspired and happier, organizing our thoughts and sorting out our feelings can have the same positive effect.
The BrainForest Center in Fisher, Indiana provides five suggestions for positive emotional spring cleaning:
- Center Yourself. Spring cleaning your emotions begins with the right mindset. You can begin by journaling or practicing meditation. The goal here is to quiet your mind and turn your thoughts inward for more reflection. This provides the space to ask yourself what emotions you are feeling and why. Don’t judge your answers, but rather be an observer of your feelings. If possible, write down your thoughts about troubling feelings, habits or relationships that may surface.
- Reflect. Once you’ve written out your thoughts, take the next few days to reflect on your list. You can also add to these initial observations as new ones arise. Make sure you note what’s triggering you and when you feel negative thoughts or emotions. In the moment, pay attention to what pushes your buttons, as this will allow you to either shift your thinking or control your overwhelming feelings in similar situations in the future.
- Learn to Grow. Once you have compiled a list of challenging thoughts or habits, it’s time to learn to grow from them. After you reach this step, write down a list of ways you want to change and how it could lead a more empowered life. Getting rid of negative and limiting beliefs is a key part of spring cleaning your emotions. Look for the positives and shift your thinking to be more optimistic.
- Create Goals. Identifying your limiting beliefs and thoughts is just half of this process. Now, it’s time to write down your goals for how you’ll shift your mindset. It’s best to limit your goals to three or four issues or habits to address. This makes your goals attainable and realistic, which hopefully prevents you from getting overwhelmed. Think of issues or habits you’d like to address in three or six-month increments. You might consider: what would I like to accomplish this summer?
- Highlight Your Wins. Whenever you reach a goal or respond to a tough situation with optimism or your new mindset, jot it down. Everyone loves a victory! The more wins you experience and celebrate, the more gains you’ll start to notice. Spring is a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can be.
The “Here Mental Wellbeing Platform” offers a wonderful free Spring Healing Activity Pack, mediation, and other resources: https://hereforyouforthem.com/spring-healing-mindfulness-activities
Lailah Gifty Akita reminds us, “Spring is a season of the soul to regain its strength.” I hope the light, warmth and growth of spring brings vitality and healing to your days.
Marilyn Halpern is the founder and executive director of Aspen Care Services. This locally owned business provides medical power of attorney, care management and professional guardianship services in the Denver Metro area. For more information visit – www.aspencareservices.com. Photo credit: Roland Halpern