Ah, spring time. Beautiful buds appear on trees, flowers pop up with enthusiasm from the ground, and the temperatures begin to show hints of summer to come. In nature, spring is a time of fresh starts, renewal, and growth. The same should be true in ourselves. Winter was a time of rest, going inward, and restoration. Spring shows the fruits of that winter time, if everything is in rhythm.
The idea of spring cleaning is having an intentional way to declutter, get rid of what no longer serves us, and have a clean slate. This usually pertains to cleaning the home, but spring can be an important time to consider cleansing other parts of your life in order to feel renewed and fresh.
Spring Cleaning for the Home
- Consider getting Marie Kondo’s book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. This book is a remarkable resource for tackling Spring cleaning in your home as well as letting go of “clutter” that is weighing you down. Get a glimpse of one busy mother’s experience using Kondo’s methods.
- Even if the rest of the house gets only shined up a bit, I encourage you to tackle that project you’ve been avoiding. Clearing out the storage room? Deep cleaning the kitchen? Whatever project has been a drain on your brain, do it, and revel in the weight lifted off your shoulders!
- Get your hands dirty! Whether you have a yard, or just a few plants in your apartment, tend to them. Plant something new and vibrant, give some extra love to the plants you already have, or just tidy up your outdoor space. Nature is always healing.
Spring Cleaning for the Body
The winter time is one of rebuilding, and often involves eating heavier, dense foods. The Spring is the time to lighten up with your cooking methods and food selections. It’s also an idea time to support your liver in detoxifying the body.
- Embark on some version of a cleanse. If you are very depleted from a winter of being ill, or overly run down, go with a nourishing cleanse like Whole30. Alternatively, your cleanse could even be as simple as avoiding added sugars, dairy products and adding leafy greens to all your meals.
- For those who need a little more structure and support, consider the Standard Process cleanse we offer at Thompson Family Acupuncture. (Bonus: If you sign up by 3/16/18, you get 20% off.) This cleanse includes high quality supplements and recipes to help your body detox.
Spring Cleaning for the Mind
- Alternate nostril breathing. This practice has a marked effect on calming the mind. The whole body is also nourished by the extra supply of oxygen, and carbon dioxide is eliminated more efficiently (aka stagnant air is removed from the lungs). It is said this exercise can balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
- Find a comfortable place to sit. Take a few full, slow breaths to come into the moment.
- Place your index & middle fingers between your eyebrows, so that your thumb falls to one side and the ring finger to the other side of the nostrils.
- Close the right nostril with the thumb. Slowly exhale and inhale through the left nostril. After the inhale, close your left nostril with your ring finger and breath out through your right. Inhale through only your right nostril, closing it with the thumb as you exhale through your left. That’s 1 round.
- Repeat for between 6 and 9 rounds or set a time on your phone for 5 minutes and simply do the practice without counting rounds.
- Meditation. You already know there’s plenty of science to back it up. You know you need more of it. What better time than now to start a practice that will serve you far past Spring cleaning. There are several apps out there to help you get started; we like Headspace, or Insight Timer Meditation. Buddhify is also another popular one.
Happy Spring cleaning everyone! Simply bringing awareness to the intention of wanting to “clean out” different areas of your life can spark inspiration. You may discover many more ideas and methods that work perfect for you.