“She turned to the sunlight and shook her yellow head, and whispered to her neighbor: ‘Winter is dead’.” – A.A. Milne
Ahhh, the sweet, sweet smell of spring is in the air. The light is staying longer, the days are getting slightly warmer, and I am getting happier. The SAD is wearing off and I just feel like I’m in a much better place. I’m already anticipating the feel of warm lake water on my toes, the smell of the barbecue, the warmth of the sun on my skin, the taste of a fresh strawberry, the sound of the ice cream truck coming down my street, and so on. There are a multitude of good things to look forward to as the summer approaches!
With each change of season I like to get my house in order (literally and figuratively). When spring approaches, I find myself wanting to purge and refresh vs. collect and store like I do in winter. That purging and refreshing is done in three distinct areas of my life: cleaning and reorganizing my house; cleaning and reorganizing my mind; and cleaning and reorganizing my relationships. Each serves its own purpose and contributes to managing my anxiety.
I have a need for control in all aspects of my life. When my house is mess, so am I. In anticipation of spring, I began to work on purging everything that I felt I wasn’t using or that I was wasting money on. I’ve been reading various articles on the benefits of living a simple, uncluttered life and the one I found most interesting was this – 25 Things to Do to Simplify Your Life. I’m doing most of these now, but some are a work in progress. I’ve cleaned out my closets, cancelled every magazine subscription I had (I can find most of what I was getting out of the magazines on-line), cancelled my cable (I had only turned on my television once in the last year), unsubscribed to at least 50 automatic emails that I was never reading, cleared clutter and recycled a ton of stuff that was no longer useful. I put a fresh coat of paint on my main floor walls, tidied a little more and voila! I felt some weight lift from my shoulders. I no longer had to manage those subscriptions, I freed up some money and I gave my clothing to someone who will get enjoyment out of them. It felt good! And my living room now looks fresh AF!
Next up, cleaning and reorganizing my mind. Many people set goals and intentions at the beginning of the year while the world is still hibernating. I think spring is the natural time to reflect and re-establish what you hoped to achieve as it signifies a time of growth and renewal. I looked back on my first post of 2018 and I had set 5 intentions for this year: travel often, practice self-care, continue personal growth, love unconditionally, accept the things I cannot change and release control. And then I laughed, hard, at the fact that I just wrote about my need for control in all aspects of my life, and how I managed that by purging my shit. What an asshole I am lol! Anyhow, that kind of control made me feel pretty good so I’m going with it.
Finally, I reflect on the relationships in my life. How are they benefiting me? How am I benefiting them? Are they raising or lowering my blood pressure? Am I putting in more effort to maintain the relationship? Is it worth that effort to keep it alive? If my answers are no, no, raising, yes and no, then I move on. I keep the people I love close to me, and I put my efforts into nurturing those relationships. Unfortunately, some relationships have an expiry date on them and are not meant to last. Similar to the content purging in the house, I find that quality over quantity is most important.
And with that, I must run. Mr. Clean is calling me.
Tip #7 – Get in on this – www.howdoifeellessfuckinganxious.com (refresh your browser to get a different tip each time). It offers simple ideas to alleviate anxiety in a humorous and fun way.