When you hear the phrase “spring cleaning,” you probably envision the dirt and dust that has accumulated in your living space. You may even imagine a big pile of stuff that you can toss out or donate. The yearly spring cleaning practice follows the belief that if we clean up our external world, then our internal world will also fall into place. What if we were to spring clean from the inside out? What if the conscious choice to take care of our internal “dirt and dust” led to our external world being renewed, organized, and less overwhelming?
You can start by understanding your need for self-care. Establish a routine that works for you. Check in with yourself and ask for what you need – emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Unfortunately, this can be difficult if you are used to caring for others before caring for yourself. Many people believe that taking time for yourself is selfish, but it actually is just the opposite. After all, how can you fill other people’s cups if your own is empty? Take a look at the steps below on how to establish a self-care routine and try to implement a plan for yourself.
Sleep When You Are Tired
This one may seem obvious. However, in today’s fast-paced world, it can be difficult to find time to rest. I’m not saying that you need to give things up to sleep, but determine how to get the best amount of sleep for your body. Sleeping is needed to recharge physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Eat Until You Are Satisfied
Have you ever felt sluggish, sick, and just generally drained after indulging? This step challenges you to recognize the sign your body is giving you when you have reached a point of satisfaction without feeling overly full. Eating to feel satisfied can leave you feeling less like taking a nap and more like taking on the day.
Find Time for Yourself
Finding time for yourself can be just five minutes of your day. Practice your deep breathing, take a walk outside, or listen to a song that brings you joy. It can be anything, as long as it is something that is meaningful to you. Give yourself space to channel your own energy.
Allow Yourself to Feel Your Feelings
This can be challenging, but it is one of the most important parts of caring for yourself. This includes even those negative feelings that can be uncomfortable to feel. Maybe you feel like you’re being selfish for saying no to a friend’s request, or concerned about letting someone know that they made you angry, or maybe you’re just feeling defeated after a bad day. Know all emotions are acceptable and allow yourself to sit with that. Learning to recognize and express how you are truly feeling is a huge part of taking care of yourself.
We hear this a lot in today’s fast-paced world, but how many times do we truly take time to practice this? This includes unplugging from work responsibilities and electronics and just being there to experience your life. Maybe take a walk and notice the colors around you. Tune into what your loved ones are saying over the dinner table without any external distractions. However you choose to do this, being present for a moment and not thinking about the mistake you made yesterday or the project you have due tomorrow, truly connects you with your life.
Everything I’ve listed out is just a starting point. Feel free to add to this list or pick out the steps that most resonate with you. Then, begin incorporating them into your life. With all new practices, remember to start small and give yourself grace along the way. This spring, as you go through organizing your thoughts, prioritizing your needs, discarding what no longer serves you, I hope you’ll start to feel revitalized and renewed from within.
Give Amy Wine Counseling Center a call at 832-421-8714 if you have any questions about our therapeutic services or would like to schedule an appointment.