Spring has finally sprung and with it comes the annual Spring Clean. Thought to originate from the Persian Empire, spring cleaning was carried out ahead of Iranian Nowruz, the Persian new year, which falls on the first day of spring. Today Iranians continue the practice of ‘khaneh tekani’ which translates to “shaking the house” and has since been adopted by many different cultures around the globe. As we move into Spring and think about spring cleaning, after the year we have all had, for some better than others, maybe we could consider spring cleaning our minds?
So how do you start to spring clean you mind?
The secret to decluttering your mind is a good old ‘brain dump’. Sit down and write down all things coming into your head – anything and everything, wants, worries, concerns tasks to do. The process of writing everything down is a way of removing things from your disorganised mind, decluttering it, which helps reduce overall stress levels. It doesn’t matter what order or how hap hazard it is, once you have written it all down you can read through what you have and believe me you will feel a mental weight being lifted. Try and get into the habit of ‘brain dumping’ each week.
- Look at what you are eating
What you eat can have a direct impact on your wellbeing and brain function, so spring clean your diet. Your body is basically a machine, so it needs the right fuel to function properly. Many of us are guilty of skipping breakfast, but after a long night sleep we need fuel to help us function at the most optimum level. We have all heard of brain foods like those containing fatty acids like Omega 3 and 6, so we should try and eat some foods containing them. Switching to decaffeinated tea and coffee has also been scientifically proven to support better brain function and mental peace.
- Step back from the media
I know this is easier said than done, TV, social media, You Tube, we all interact with the media in some form every day. However, the news by its very nature tends to be ‘bad’ and on many digital platforms there is even an element of toxicity. This constant exposure can have an impact on our overall mood, sometimes without us even realising it. Try to step away for a while but if you absolutely cannot live without a daily update consider using one of the many news apps available as these condense the day’s headlines down in a much less overwhelming format.
- Social Media
Whilst social media has been an excellent way to keep in touch with friends and family throughout lockdown it can be a breeding ground for negativity. Review who you are following and ask yourself ‘does this make me happy?’ if the answer is no, then simply unsubscribe. You will avoid the daily digital drama and in no time at all your online life can be transformed into a positive space. You will also ‘gain’ extra hours, how much time do you waste scrolling through your feed watching endless mind-numbing video’s? Taking a break and limiting your social media usage is like treating your mind to a holiday.
- Be Mindful
This can be the most challenging as many of us have a different understanding of what being mindful is or a different preference of how to do this. If it’s relaxing, it doesn’t really matter. For me, I am at my most relaxed walking. I have lived in my village for 17 years, but it’s only been during lockdown that I have really appreciated where I live and how easy it is to access the great outdoors. Before Covid was even a thing, I was a member of a gym, not a fancy treadmill filled gym, but a sled pulling, kettle bell swinging type of place, where I was put through my paces by a lovely if serious coach called Theo. Was this relaxing? Was I mindful? No, my thoughts were consumed with hate as Theo barked at me to throw the weighed medicine ball repeatedly at a target high up on the wall. Thanks to lockdown, the great outdoors has now become my sanctuary, no longer do I simply witness it through the car window whilst acting as the family taxi driver. No matter the weather or time of day, I walk. At 6.30am I welcome the morning, see the odd dog walker but generally have the local fields, meadows, and woods all to myself. In the evening I’ll stroll around the village waving to and checking in with my neighbours. I like walking in the rain the most, my grandma used to tell me that there are no such thing as bad weather just bad clothes, and she was right. With each step a little bit more slips from my mind, until my senses are all attuned to nature, the birds, or tractors in far off fields, the smell of wet trees, the array of colourful wildflowers springing up in hedgerows. The gym never made me feel like this, it costs nothing, and I don’t need fancy clothes and footwear – in fact my wellies were £4 from a local charity shop!
Spring signifies new beginnings so now it the prefect time to Spring Clean your mind.
One Small Step can support you to lose weight, get active and our Health Trainers can support you to Spring clean your mind.