How To Spring Clean Your Life

Spring is time for more than cleaning - it's time to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul.

Spring is fully coming to life this month. In the rainy Pacific Northwest, we have a later bloom and a sopping wet April with bursts of watery sunshine in between gentle rain showers. It's pretty magical, honestly. Well, if you're into that sort of thing.

As the coldness of winter disappears and spring comes for fully alive, there is an undeniable urge to shed the layers. Layers of stuff, layers of clothes, layers of coziness that kept us feeling warm and connected during the darker days and colder months.

In many ancient traditions, this is the time to clean and reinvigorate your environment, body, and senses. I'm not immune to that, and chances are you aren't either.

In the tradition of Ayurveda, spring is the perfect time to begin cultivating new ideas and growth that have been a little dormant during the winter. (Spoiler alert: It's also the time when most folks do a cleanse, but I don't encourage that if you have any sort of history with ED, OCD, or self-harm. And I definitely don't recommend doing it without the direct supervision of a licensed health care provider.) Here are a few ways to celebrate Spring and harness the latent power of her newness.

1. De-clutter

Here is what I love about getting rid of things: They no longer belong to me. That tennis racket that I used once nine years ago that has been taking up literal and emotional real estate in my space? Yeah, that's gone. Same with those skinny jeans that looked amazing but felt like a punishment when I sat down, or the drawer of expired cold medicine and supplements that I have kept "just in case" for the last five years. Sell, trade, donate, or trash. Those are your options. Use them wisely.

2. Clean

Those baseboards that have mud on them, or the closet that is so packed you don't even know what's in there (but is almost certainly harboring a cozy nest of teeny tiny baby spiders), or that sink cabinet that gets filthy even though you barely open it? Yeah, those are the spaces to clean out. While you're at it, move your furniture and vacuum under it. Just for good chi and jollies.

3. Exfoliate

Your body is ready for some invigoration. Try a homemade salt or sugar scrub, dry brushing (my fave), or a new loofah in your morning routine to shed the winter cells and encourage healthy lymphatic drainage and increased blood circulation.

4. Journal

A new season calls for a new journal to hold all of those thoughts you've been ruminating over during the long days of winter. Bring them to life and clarity by writing them down, even if they are incomplete. The seeds are there, they just need some nurturing.

5. Cultivate

Speaking of seeds, plant something. Even if it's a potted plant from home depot or the local plant nursery. Water it, give it a little food, speak kind and connected words to it. If you've been hesitant to make the leap into vegetable gardening, buy a tomato plant and plant it in a pot. Give it plenty of light and water, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. And maybe next year, you'll feel brave enough to fill a small plot with food you'll enjoy.

6. Let It Go

Yeah, go ahead and sing that song to yourself. I can't help it, and neither can anyone who has even seen a trailer for that cartoon. And then really, let it go. Whatever emotionally sticky things you've been processing, looping, feeling — begin the sweet release. Take a long walk, pick up stones, name your feelings and throw them. Take a swim and let the water take your feelings and transform them. Light a fire in your backyard fire pit, write it all down, and send the feelings off in a flame to the stars. And if you're not ready to release it just yet, that's okay. You can begin the process of learning to love the practice of letting go.

Revel in this new season, friends. 

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