Thankfully, it’s time to say goodbye to the cold caress of Father Winter and run happily into the embrace of youthful spring. While wintertime can be a delightful season filled with evenings spent in front of a fire, tasty hot chocolate, and cozy sweaters, all that time indoors could give a body cabin fever, especially in a pandemic.
Springtime is a period of renewal, an opportunity to clear out the clutter from months past. This doesn’t apply just to your home but your mind, body, and lifestyle as well. This spring, extend the refresh past your closet and invite the new season into every aspect of your life. If you need some inspiration, here are some ideas for how to reset your life for spring.
Take Stock of the Year So Far
Even though the consensus in the final days of 2020 seemed to be that 2021 wasn’t a year to set resolutions for (because of the unpredictability the pandemic had injected into our lives), that didn’t preclude anyone from mapping out a vision of what they wanted their year to look like.
So maybe you set a goal to be better at managing your work/life balance, learn some new skills, or tackle a home DIY project. Now that a quarter of a year has sailed by, it’s time to revisit those goals and gauge how much progress you’ve made towards accomplishing them. If you’ve veered off track, recommit to seeing them through, using the rejuvenating springtime energy as your motivation.
Spark Some Joy
Perhaps you’ve been inspired by the forced minimalism of the quarantine lifestyle and now realize just how many unnecessary things you’ve got lying about. Employ the KonMari method to tidy up and rid yourself of the clutter within your space. By doing this, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, mentally prepare yourself to conquer the oncoming months, and practice altruism by giving to those in need. The objects we own and the spaces we inhabit have an impact on our psychological health because they reflect our identity. Therefore, it follows that clearing out the meaningless debris that tends to infiltrate our lives over time can help us to develop a clearer vision of the life we want for ourselves as we learn how to assign significance to the truly important things.
Refresh With a Short Detox
A recent survey found that there was a significant uptick in the amount of comfort food being consumed by Americans during the pandemic. Consumption of popular favorites like pizza and ice cream has gone up by 55 percent and 46 percent, respectively, with 85 percent of respondents reporting weight gain. While the need for comfort food is understandable, too much of it can be detrimental to our health, and it’s a good idea to detox from all the processed food we ingest from time to time.
You don’t have to take an extreme route like an all-juice cleanse. There are gentler and easier options to try, like a week of drinking at least one green smoothie a day, abstaining from alcohol for a month, tracking your water intake, or eliminating added sugar from your diet for a few weeks. You can start small, and work your way up to bigger challenges.
Find a New Hobby
It’s important to find a balance between work, home life, and a (currently nonexistent, thanks to COVID-19) social life, finding time to indulge in activities that we truly enjoy. Although financial anxiety is ever looming and pushes us to monetize every single thing we do—whether it be filming TikToks or creating comics for Webtoon—hobbies should be strictly for fun purposes. The point of a hobby is to bring joy and relaxation, not create yet another thing to worry about.
Take some time to figure out what kind of activity excites and fulfills you. Do you enjoy physical activity? Then maybe yoga or hiking is for you. Are you more cerebral? Try a puzzle or lose yourself in a book. Looking to flex your creative muscles? Consider cooking if you love experimenting in the kitchen, or buy yourself a paint-by-numbers kit and awaken your inner van Gogh. If you derive fulfillment from serving others, do some research to see which programs need volunteers.
Take a Look at Your Finances
Do you ever scroll through your account statement at the end of the month and gasp aloud at how much spending you lost track of? It’s not a good feeling, but the good thing is that there’s a way to prevent that from happening in the future.
Create a budget for yourself, noting how much you spend on necessities per month, and set an alert on your banking account to be notified when you go over that limit. You can set aside a little bit of what’s leftover from bills as a fun fund of sorts. Take a close look at your statements for any recurring payments that may be for subscriptions you no longer use. Fifteen dollars a month may not sound like much, but in the course of a year, it adds up to a week’s worth of groceries. And if you’re DoorDash-ing your morning coffee and bagel every day, perhaps it’s time to purchase a Keurig and a half-dozen bagels at your local grocery store instead.
Spring Clean Your Spaces
A deep spring cleaning treatment should extend past your home to include other areas of your life where you spend time. As you plan to use some elbow grease to tackle your baseboards and grout stains, keep in mind that your car’s interior needs some tidying up as well. Go through your inbox, deleting any irrelevant or outdated emails. You might not get to a zero inbox, but at least you’ll have cleared up most of the backlog. The same idea applies to your phone as far as apps, contacts, and miscellaneous files are concerned. Uninstall and delete anything you no longer have use for. Your phone could use some unburdening, same as you.
Unplug and Unwind
I can’t stress the importance of taking breaks from technology enough, especially in a time such as this. Every day, we are bombarded with updates about infection spikes, new viral strains, and casualties, and the constant bad news has taken a toll on everyone at this point. In general, being glued to devices 24/7 isn’t good for us and can affect our sleep, stress levels, eyesight, and more. We begin to form a dependency on technology, reaching for our phones as soon as we wake up in the morning, and focusing more on our screens than what’s going on around us.
Shut off your devices and put them out of arm’s reach about an hour or so before bed, so you’re not stuck doomscrolling into the wee hours of the morning instead of getting some sleep. Set timers for your apps that cut you off after a certain duration. While you’re unplugged, meditate, read a book, take a walk, or engage in any other non-technological hobby you like.
Choose a Bad Habit to Quit
What’s the one bad habit that you’ve been meaning to ditch but haven’t really put in the effort to? Not drinking enough water? Been trying to quit smoking? Constantly spending above your means? Set a deadline, figure out what steps you need to take to achieve that goal, and create a plan that moves you closer to accomplishment every day. Take a look at your device’s app store to see if any apps could help you with this process. It might take a few tries before you beat your bad habit, and your progress, if graphed, could look like a roller coaster track. The thing to focus on is that the most important steps are making the decision to quit, and showing up on day one. You’ve got this!
What aspects of your life are you going to focus on spring cleaning this year?