When you hear the words, “spring cleaning,” you’re probably thinking about that once-a-year deep clean you’re supposed to give your home. Though I love the look and smell of a tidy space as much as anyone, I am talking about a different kind of annual ritual: spring cleaning your soul.
Before you start thinking this sounds like a sneaky way to work in a new year’s resolution reboot, I’m not referring to kicking a bad habit or incorporating an aggressive workout regimen. To spring clean your soul means to take stock of how you’re spending your time and how well you’re attending to your own needs. It’s about recognizing where a shift or tweak is needed in how you go about the business of life.
Spring is a time for renewal. It’s when nature comes to life again. The birds begin to sing, buds burst from the branches of trees, and sweet little crocus push their way through the soil. All are signs of rebirth and what’s to come.
Let’s start associating these glorious, long-awaited changes with your own renewal each year. It will be your reminder that it’s time for a different kind of spring cleaning.
What Does It Mean to Spring Clean Your Soul?
Spring cleaning for your soul is giving that same time, care, and attention you give to, say, your bathroom grout once a year, to you.
It’s taking a tiny little scrub brush to those hard-to-reach places inside of you.
It means evaluating your stress levels and the measures you’ve taken to manage or reduce them.
It’s taking stock of who and what you’ve devoted your precious time to and whether or not it’s served you and the people you care most about.
It’s “checking in” with your inner being and finding out if she’s been treasured and taken care of.
It may sound complicated, but, really, it isn’t. As with most things, the hard part is just getting started.
7 Ways to Renew Your Soul
Here are 7 ways to renew and rejuvenate your soul.
Our modern lifestyles make it feel like we never have the opportunity to slow down. Life is busy, and there are people and responsibilities that demand our time and attention. Now more than ever, it is important to take time to just breathe.
Use that time for reflection. Grab your journal — it’s okay if you have to dust it off — and think about what needs attention inside of you.
If you’re not into journaling, try a simple deep breathing exercise or check out the yoga classes on Netflix. Explore meditation if you’ve been curious about the benefits.
However you practice reflection, studies show that practicing meditation and mindfulness promotes health and well-being. And less stress in your life is better for the soul.
Opening your mind to something new or cultivating a lifestyle of learning is a great way to renew the soul. And research has shown that continuous learning keeps us healthy. That doesn’t mean we need to head back to school; learning can come in any form.
Think about what subjects spark your curiosity. Feed those interests by reading a new book, listening to Ted talks, or exploring podcasts. Check out free and low-cost online courses — offerings have absolutely exploded since the onset of the pandemic. Find one that interests you and enjoy expanding your world.
As much as I love comfort food and lazy weekend afternoons snuggled with a good book by the fire, spring offers a much needed renewal for my body and soul.
Welcoming spring delights like strawberries, asparagus, artichokes, and spring greens back into my diet and trying new recipes rejuvenates me and rewards my senses. So does getting back into nature. Try bringing a little “green” into your life whether it’s by eating more fresh whole foods or working a short walk into your daily routine. Take a stroll around your yard or nearby gardens and appreciate the changes taking place — inhale the fragrance of a lilac bush, notice the buds that are about to burst on your crabapple tree. Open your windows. Let the fresh air and the fragrance of new life wash over you. It will renew your soul.
A lot of women still feel selfish about practicing self-care despite knowing how important it is to our health and well-being. We know we should do it, but we can’t seem to make it a priority.
Yet if we put self-care first, we won’t need to figure out how to make it a priority, right? Not only does self-care nourish our souls but it ensures that we have something left to give of ourselves to those we care about.
If you haven’t practiced self-care, start out by doing small things that give you joy or a feeling of renewal. Purchase a small orchid for your desk. Get your toes done in a spring pink. Plan a monthly evening out with a friend who makes you laugh, whose company makes you feel lighter.
Feeding our passions is as important as feeding our bodies. Do you have an interest or hobby that you absolutely love? Something that you’re compelled to do, that contributes to the well-being of your soul?
Is there something you loved to do that you stopped doing? Maybe you sketched portraits before life got busy with careers and childrearing. Perhaps you used to cultivate and grow your own heirloom tomatoes? Maybe you played the violin once upon a time? Whatever your passion is and whether you gave it up or you’ve struggled to find the time, try to nurture that passion again. Passions fuel life, interest, and energy. They can enrich friendships or create new ones. All these things are good for the soul.
Most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep every night to feel refreshed. But 35 percent of women are getting less than seven. That is not enough sleep, ladies.
It is so important to make getting enough rest a priority. Rest is the best way to recharge and renew the body and soul.
But I totally understand. Sometimes there’s just not enough hours in the day. If you can’t find the time to get the recommended amount of sleep, see if you can improve the quality of sleep you are getting. One way to do that is by turning off electronic devices 2-3 hours before bedtime. We know that blue light impacts our ability to fall asleep by blocking melatonin. Taking that time to wind down allows our bodies to adhere to its natural sleep cycle.
Have you ever wondered why playtime seems to be reserved for kids? It shouldn’t be. Couldn’t everyone benefit from engaging in activities that allow you to lose track of time, that serve no real purpose except for fun and free-flowing laughter?
Play is good for the soul, so work it into your day or week however you can. Maybe it’s a 3-minute afternoon break dancing to your favorite song full blast. Perhaps it’s taking your lunch to the park and playing fetch with your dog. Maybe it’s scooting out of work an hour early and walking around the art museum. Whatever play means to you, make it a priority for the good of your soul.
Renew Your Soul With a Little Lift
Is your soul in need of a little spring cleaning? To determine whether it needs a light wipe-down or a deep, get-at-the-grout-type cleaning, click here now to claim your Good Self-Care Assessment.
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Up Next: Spring Clean Your Soul, Part 2
Stay tuned for my next article which will look at other ways to spring clean your soul. We’ll focus on dealing with the clutter that isn’t serving you, you know, the figurative kind, like negativity, stress, and guilt. That way you can create space in your soul for things that bring you joy instead. Click here to sign up for my articles and you’ll receive them in your inbox.
Until then, take care of you — and your soul.