Spring has long been recognized as the season of fresh starts and new beginnings, symbolized by growth and new life. A time when we organize our homes, tidy up our yards, and re-seed planters. It’s also a great time to do a little “spring cleaning” of some of the mental dirt we accumulate in our hearts and minds. Decluttering negativity and drama from our lives, helps us start off the season refreshed, and ready to better ourselves.
You can get a jump start on your mental health housekeeping first by taking stock of your current mental state. We all struggle at times with navigating how hectic our lives can get and forget to take care of ourselves in the process. This is when we must slow down (breathe deeply) and listen to our mind and bodies to understand that taking time for yourself is not a luxury or an act of selfishness, but rather an important element for self-growth and fulfillment. Research has shown that reflecting and being aware of our thoughts and feelings allows us to be better prepared to handle any life stresses and be more in-tuned with ourselves.
Spending time outdoors, tending to the animals, walking nature trails, or weeding a garden bed are some of the ways the residents at Rose Hill are working on quieting their minds and energizing their bodies. We have often heard both residents and staff say that there is “something about the quiet calm of the surrounding nature at Rose Hill that fills our minds with a sense of peace and serenity.”
Another method of de-cluttering is practicing mindfulness. People who practice mindfulness activities say they feel less stress, think clearer, and that their brains are more “settled”. Studies say that eight in 10 Americans experience stress in their daily lives and have a hard time relaxing their bodies and calming their minds, which puts them at high risk of heart disease, stroke, and other illnesses.* It is because of this, that many programs and activities are included at Rose Hill (outdoor exercise, yoga, and mindfulness meditation) are aimed at improving the over-all quality of life for people living with mental illnesses.
If YOU would like to start off the spring season feeling refreshed and ready to better yourself, we have some suggestions of items to add to your very own mental health spring cleaning list below. Happy housekeeping!
- Toxic relationships and drama
- Bad habits
- Negative talk and thoughts
- Your physical space
- Your physical health
- Creative projects
- Positive friendships