Spring is here, which means it’s time for spring cleaning! While you may be thinking, “wait a second Lora, spring cleaning sounds nothing like self-care to me” our surroundings deeply impact both our mental state and our sense of well-being. So yes, spring cleaning is an act of self-care, and when it is approached from a place of love, spirituality, and devotion, it can be more fulfilling than you may have ever imagined before. We take care of what we love, so as far as I’m concerned, the words cleaning and loving are interchangeable.
To keep things simple, I will be doing two brief blogs on spring cleaning;
One on cleaning/loving our surroundings, and
One on cleaning/loving ourselves.
Why are these blogs going to be brief? Because there have already been volumes written about how to clean your surroundings and how to cleanse your body and there’s nothing new that I can provide. A Google search or a trip to the library will provide you all the information you need about how to clean out or cleanse.
What I want to do is provide you with a different perspective about cleaning out, why we do it, our intention around cleaning, and the Art of Self-Care.
The Connection Between Environment and Mental Health
Everything around us provides us with sensory input. Everything we see, hear, feel, taste, smell and intuit provides us with information. Our brains, like any computer, have limited capacity. Quite simply, the more unnecessary information we fill our brains with, the less room we leave for important information.
Having stuff around us that we don’t love distracts us from what we want to accomplish by taking up needless brain space.
No, you don’t have to be a minimalist, but surrounding yourself with things that are peaceful and pleasing to you will make you happier, more serene, centered, and in touch with your own wants and needs. We all prefer different types of surroundings. We all have different preferences in sound, lighting and scent, so experiment and take the time to figure out what works best for you.
Go through each of your five senses and determine what brings you joy and makes you feel harmonious and happy. The choices are all yours.
The Five Senses
- Sight: Lighting, natural or dimmed, windows, color, white space, cozy piles of stuff, neat stacks, baskets, drawers, plants or pictures.
- Sound: Silence, ambient sound, classical music, music with a heavy beat or lyrics.
- Smell: No smell, fresh clean scent, floral, candles, incense, or food.
- Touch: Hand cream for dry skin, pens or pencils that feel good to the touch, temperature, hot, cold, fabrics, textures, and the types of chairs you prefer.
- Taste: Water, fresh mouth, mint, gum, coffee, sweet, salty, spicy or bland.
Art of Self-Care Practice of Honoring YOUR Personal Preference to Honor You!
Your personal preference is your personal preference, nothing is right or wrong. Take some time and notice what feels good to you and make changes based on that. If you feel stressed walking into a sterile room, add plants or color or pictures or something that makes you feel peaceful. If clutter stresses you out, clean out, organize or find baskets or drawers to hide away all that stresses you out.
Cleaning out doesn’t necessarily mean throwing stuff away or donating it, (although those are wonderful ideas!) but it does mean cleaning out everything in your surroundings that stresses you out and don’t bring you joy and peace.
Love it or leave it, it’s that simple!