Spring cleaning is a practice the world over. Trees and plants are budding. The days are lengthening. Like every other creature in Nature, we feel a sense of renewal, and, with it, a desire to make our surroundings fresh so they can further enhance our better moods.
So why don’t we make the most of this instinct by paying particular attention this Spring to our bodies, minds and spirit? It might be that you’re stuck in a rut that saps your energy. Maybe you feel like you’ve let your social life hibernate a bit after the December round of holidays. Whatever might have you in the doldrums, a deep cleaning of mind, body and spirit might be just what you need to enhance and rediscover your true self.
Here are a few ways to dust yourself off and let the sun shine in again:
Physical Health: Try some new exercise or physical venture. It’s not always about a gym. As the weather gets nicer, there are numbers of ways to get active and get your body moving. Try going on a hike down a historic trail, attend a yoga class or dance the dust away in a Zumba class. Engage your body and your mind, and you’ll be surprised by what you’ll find.
Emotional Health: It’s time for an emotional reset. Get past your cabin fever. Consider forming a new habit that will help you ride out the stresses in your life with greater equanimity. Meditation can be a great way to be mindful of these feelings, and to help you resolve them.
Intellectual Health: Been hungry to know more about something? Have you gotten through any of those books you got for Christmas? Take some time to explore a few of your favorite subjects or dive into a new discipline that you’ve been curious about. Take a cue from a growing number of adults out there: Join a book club to spur you on to more reading and into healthy discussion of opinions and ideas.
Social Health: Get out of your office. Circulate. Set yourself a goal to eat with colleagues more and alone at your desk less. Learning more about your coworkers can enhance cooperation, learning and the fun you’re having at the job.
Vocational Health: Open yourself up to the ideas of others. Engage your colleagues, friends and network with an article on a burning topic you feel strongly about and initiate a dialogue. Encourage them to share their thoughts and take action with you.
Spiritual Health: All of us can benefit from reevaluation of our priorities, our values, our commitments. Feeling burnt out or overscheduled? Work on your gratitude muscle. As Nature unfurls her great beauty this Spring, take some moments to appreciate the splendor, and, especially after the long, cold Winter we’ve just had, the warmer temperatures.
The always eloquent John Gardner wrote a wonderful book called “Self Renewal” and continued to revisit the topic throughout his life. He wrote, “Self-Renewal is possible if we don’t lose our capacity to learn and grow. . . [It] depends in some measure on motivation, commitment, conviction, the values [we] live by, the things that give meaning to our lives.”
So, what’s important to you? Sure, it’s time to get the house and garden spruced up. And you’ll probably want to get the deck ready for that first barbeque. Amid the new round of chores, take some time to tend to your inner rejuvenation.