Now that Spring has sprung, you might be thinking it’s time for a makeover. I’m sure you’re seeing tips for getting in shape for bathing suit season, but what about your mental shape? Are you in need of a refresh? Sometimes the dormant winter season, with its short days and less sunshine, can create a bleak outlook. Spring is the season for renewal so let’s look at some things you already know, but knowledge is not power. It’s the application and integration of knowledge that creates power. What will you apply and integrate to increase your power this spring?
- Nature: As the days get longer and the temperature gets warmer, spend some time outdoors. There is something good for the soul when you get outside, breathe some fresh air and connect with nature. Go for a hike, do some outdoor photography, go bike riding, have a picnic, go camping, do some gardening or engage in some water activities.
- Novelty: Try something new. Break out of your usual routine and do something you’ve never done before. There is a huge world out there with a myriad of things to try. Who knows? You may find something that you’ll want to add to your routine. Some examples are: learn a new language, try a new type of food, drive a different way to work, visit a new location, join a new group or club, read a new genre of book, start a new exercise routine, try a new hairstyle, take a class to learn a new skill, try a new sport or outdoor activity or try a new dating app.
- Creativity: Prioritize some time in your schedule for creative pursuits. Do you have a hobby you used to enjoy but never seem to have time for? When you take some time for creative pursuits, you will be refreshed and bring a new energy to your To Do list. Some examples include write a poem, novel, short story or screenplay; paint, draw, sculpt or create a multimedia presentation; take photographs, play or compose some music; dance or choreograph; write a play or perform in one; create a short film, music video or documentary; sew, knit, crochet, embroider or needlepoint something; perform some comedy; do some graphic design; do some interior design; cook or bake something; plan a party or event; or blog or create some YouTube videos.
- Goals: One-quarter of 2023 is now behind us. How are you doing with the goals you set in January? The start of spring is a great time to review those goals and make any adjustments you want to make. Do you have goals that are no longer important to you? Have you set some new goals based on new opportunities? Do you find you have some unrealistic time expectations you want to adjust? Do you find you have been ignoring a goal that is important to you? Don’t let another quarter go by without focusing on what’s important.
- Relationships: Few things in life are more important than our relationships and the people we surround ourselves with. Do you have strained relationships you’d like to repair? Don’t wait; do it now. Everyone always thinks there is more time, but time is promised to no one. Be the bigger person and take the first step so you don’t have to live with regret. Do you have relationships that are sucking you dry? Are you surrounded with supportive, encouraging people? Spring cleaning can be more than just housecleaning. Cleanse the toxic people in your life to make room for the encouraging ones.
- M & M: More than candy, M & M also stands for practicing mindfulness and meditation. Carve out time for quieting your mind. Prioritize moments where you consciously create a full sensory experience. What do you see, hear, smell, taste and feel in this moment? When you focus on the present moment, you realize whatever you were thinking about melts away because your focus changes from regrets from the past or worries about the future to the current moment. Meditation is about quieting your mind to get in touch with a Higher Power—your God or your higher self. The idea is that you can access the collective intelligence when you quiet your busy, non-stop stream of consciousness. Take some time to be still.
- Gratitude: For me, gratitude is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. There are always things to be grateful for. No matter how bad things are, there are also things to be grateful for. As long as there is breath in your body, there is another opportunity to get it right. Often gratitude is about your focus. Just as there are always things to be grateful for, there are always things to complain about. If feeling discouraged, depressed, angry or anxious is your jam, then don’t practice gratitude. But, if you’d prefer to be content, peaceful and happy, then shift from complaints to appreciation and gratitude.
You don’t have to try all of these at once. Start with one you think will give you the best return and see how it goes. The idea is to use this spring season to not only spring clean your house and get fit for the beach but to also spring clean your mind. Get rid of what doesn’t serve you and practice things that do. Refresh and renew.