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Spring is often a time when we go through our houses and do deep cleaning. We clean things that only get cleaned a couple of times a year. Isn’t it crazy how dirty those places can get without regular attention? Did you know the same things can happen to us when we ignore our own needs and habitually procrastinate implementing a needed change? That is what we are going to talk about today. Spring cleaning for ourself is necessary. Ready to dive in and decide what area of your life could use a good scrub?

Why Do I Need to Care for Myself?

Caring for ourselves is necessary. Just like most all things, if we don’t partake in maintenance for ourselves, we can slow down, develop problems in working correctly or even break. We all have complex needs to support our whole self emotionally, mentally and physically. When we ignore one or more areas of need, it will only be a matter of time before we see symptoms of neglect. Are you familiar with what those symptoms look like? We will take a look below at some things can occur as a symptom of not caring for yourself as often as needed.

  • Emotional symptoms. You may feel confused about how you feel or unable to put to words what you are feeling. You can feel numb to your emotions or push them down refusing to “feel” them. You lack compassion for yourself and are often critical. You are self-dependent and feel like you can’t ask for help. You shut down or walk away from conflict instead of resolving it. You remain in unhealthy relationships where boundaries are practically non-existent. Your emotions are close to the surface, you may tear up at mention of change or challenge.
  • Mental health symptoms. You suffer with anxious thoughts or worry. You mostly feel unhappy or depressed. You may have issues sleeping deeply. You have become withdrawn and prefer not to join social activities. You have lost interest in performing well. You have thoughts of guilt or worthlessness about yourself.
  • Physical symptoms. Your body has less ability to perform physical activity. Your strength and stamina has changed. You tire more easily. You have muscle pain and stiffness with even little activities. You find you are stationary with less movement. You may find breathing more strained during activity.

These are some of the symptoms that you could experience if you have put yourself on the back burner. But that doesn’t have to remain the picture you see. Today we are going talk about ways to spring clean yourself and add something new to your day that can help.

How Can I Spring Clean Myself Emotionally?

Self-awareness is key in helping yourself build emotional resilience. We are all complex and have a multitude of emotions, and that is ok. We simply are not made to be capable to plowing through each day without being moved or bothered by anything. That isn’t possible. Below are suggestions to spring clean your thoughts and beliefs in believing you can.

  • Allow yourself to feel the emotions you are experiencing.
  • Try to understand why you feel the way you do.
  • What triggered the feeling you are having?
  • Cultivate or practice positive thoughts such as “This is not what I expected, but in time, I will come up with a solution that can work.”.
  • Talk to someone you trust about your feelings.
  • Practice deep breathing in your nose and out of your mouth to give space and time in between your thoughts and words.

Mental Spring Cleaning, How?

Mental health is important and can be tough to maintain and improve, but it can be done, and it is worth the work. Having a constant level of impacted mental health can be harmful for you and impact your relationships. Below are some suggestions that could help you spring clean your metal health.

  • I know we have all heard the importance of exercise. Exercise is literally like scrubbing the inside of your body from the stresses of the day.
  • Unplug from social media. It is full of peoples highlights and comparisons. This can wear on us especially when our family is going through something hard.
  • Journal your thoughts. Get them out. Holding stuff in just stores all the negative energy inside your body. Over time this can affect our health.
  • Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep. While we sleep our bodies recover, restore and replenish. Without sleep we begin the next day with yesterday’s stresses still present.
  • Stay connected with people who are fun. Meet with people you trust and talk.

Help, I Need Physical Spring Cleaning.

Each day our bodies need to respond to our needs and activities we have. Keeping up with our demands can be hard if we are not regularly working our bodies physically to strengthen ourselves. The key to physical activity is finding what you love and doing it. We don’t all like the same things, and that is ok.

  • Move. It benefits more than just your physical health.
  • Choose food and snacks that are fuel to your body. Enjoy sweats and treats with moderation.
  • Drink plenty of water and less soda and sugar drinks.
  • Drink a cup of hot herbal tea each day. It’s a relaxing drink that can also have positive health benefits.
  • Get out in the sun. Natural vitamin D is so good for us and helps maintain our body systems.
  • Park in distant parking places to get more steps in.

Whether you are in need in one of these areas or all, choosing the first thing you want to change is the first step. Remember, we don’t change our habits overnight. With consistent persistent effort in adding one of these to our day, we will see change over time. Before you know it, next year’s self-spring clean may not be as long.

Remember that change takes time. We can’t continue the way we are and expect change to come. Be gentle on yourself. You are worth the work. Upstate Restorative Counseling is here if you need help with the next step. You are not alone. If you have tried self-help and still struggle with anxiety or depression, reach out, we are here to help.