How to Spring Clean Your Mental Health

How to Spring Clean Your Mental Health

How to Spring Clean Your Mental Health

Spring is such an interesting time of year. It’s obviously associated with new beginnings, growth, and renewal. As a result, it can be symbolic of hope, optimism, and resilience. Therefore, the arrival of spring can bring a sense of relief and a break from the darkness and cold of winter. This can be can be particularly beneficial for those who struggle with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or other forms of depression. However, there are mental health challenges with spring as well. Let’s look at some of the benefits and challenges. Then we’ll go over some tips to spring clean your mental health.

Benefits of Spring for Mental Health

Overall, the symbolism of spring can serve as a reminder that change and growth are possible, even in the midst of difficult times. It can provide a sense of hope and optimism for the future and serve as a source of motivation for improving mental health and well-being.

Logistically, the longer days of sunshine can also be beneficial to wellbeing. The sunshine itself can promote a better mood. Moreover, it can begin to feel like you have more hours in a day. In a society that emphasizes productivity, this sense of getting more things done can feel good.

   

Symbolism of Spring in Mental Health

One of our therapists, Emma Peck, shared these thoughts with us:
One of my favorite quotes comes from Anais Nin: “And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

There comes a time when each of us opens to something new. All the way from a tiny seed, we push through the dark of the earth until we find the light, growing and growing until the bud eventually opens to a flower.

This process can be scary for many of us. We become accustomed to staying closed. We hold ourselves tightly in a bud, afraid of what might happen if we show ourselves fully. So much of therapy is about being with this fear. Getting curious about how we remain closed. The ways our closing off might be protective, as well as the ways it might be preventing us from feeling fully alive. Feeling fully ourselves.

No one can force a bud to bloom. It is an organic process that takes time. And yet one day the bud inevitably bursts open, overflowing with abundance and beauty.

How to Spring Clean Your Mental Health

Challenges for Mental Health in Spring

All that said, some people do experience specific mental health challenges in springtime. For example,
The Lafayette student newspaper quotes a counselor as saying,

“Social engagement expectations, body image concerns, academic stressors, application results, post-semester plans, and major milestone events like graduation [can] feel overwhelming and stressful.”

Spring is also generally a time of transitions. Transitions are often challenging for people. This kind of stress can cause or exacerbate mental health challenges. That’s something to be aware of during this time of year.

How to Spring Clean Your Mental Health

Spring cleaning is popular in the home at this time of year. We’re drawn to make our homes as fresh as the growing grass around us, so to speak. However, it’s not just your home that you might care for. Spring cleaning your mental health can be a great way to give yourself a fresh start and boost your overall well-being. Here are some tips to help you get started if you want to spring clean your mental health.

Take inventory of your thoughts and emotions.

Start by taking some time to reflect on your current mental state. What thoughts or emotions have been occupying your mind lately? Write them down, and take note of any recurring patterns or themes.

Identify negative patterns.

Once you have a better understanding of your thoughts and emotions, start to identify any negative patterns or behaviors that may be holding you back. These could be things like negative self-talk, excessive worry or anxiety, or unhealthy coping mechanisms like substance abuse.

Practice self-care.

Engage in activities that help you feel good and take care of your mental health. This could include exercise, meditation, spending time in nature, or simply taking some time for yourself to relax and unwind.

Try a digital detox.

Take a break from social media, emails, and other digital distractions that may be contributing to stress or anxiety. Instead, spend some time outdoors, read a book, or engage in a creative activity.

Practice gratitude.

Make a list of things you’re grateful for each day, or try writing a thank-you letter to someone who has positively impacted your life. Focusing on gratitude can help shift your mindset to a more positive and optimistic one.

Explore new hobbies or interests.

Trying new things can help break up monotony and provide a sense of fulfillment. Consider taking a cooking class, trying a new sport or fitness activity, or attending a workshop or conference related to a topic you’re interested in.

Do a mental declutter.

Just as you would declutter your physical space, take some time to declutter your mind by letting go of negative thoughts, worries, or beliefs that may be holding you back.

Create a self-care kit.

Put together a kit of items that help you feel relaxed and happy, such as essential oils, a journal, coloring books, or your favorite snacks. Use this kit whenever you need a pick-me-up or a break from stress.

Connect with others.

Social support is essential for good mental health. Make an effort to connect with friends and family, or consider joining a support group or therapy group.

Set goals.

Setting and achieving goals can give you a sense of purpose and help you feel more in control of your life. Start by setting small, achievable goals, and gradually work your way up to bigger ones.

Start or dig deeper with therapy.

It’s a great season for starting new things. Therefore, you might want to find a therapist if you don’t already have one. If you do already have a therapist, you might want to take on some new topics or dig deeper into topics that you’ve been keeping at a surface level.

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Note: ChatGPT generates some of our content for us on this website. However, all articles are edited and supplemented with original content by one of our professional writers who has a Masters degree in psychological studies.