Dr. Michelle Robin shares ideas for how to declutter your environment, body and mind.
Story by Dr. Michelle Robin
Spring is the time of year when everything is new again. You open the windows, put away bulky blankets and feel ready for a refresh. In nature, you prune bushes so that they can grow back more fully; you deadhead some flowers so they’ll continue to bloom. You need to do the same for yourself. Pare back and release what no longer serves you so that you can be open to abundant health and well-being.
I believe we need to do this type of spring cleaning, or decluttering, in three different spaces: environment, body and mind.
The first space is your physical environment. That may include your home, office, car or locker at the gym. It is every nook and cranny, drawer and closet, room, hallway, porch, etc. Spring cleaning your environment isn’t just about getting rid of the dust bunnies and storing winter clothes: If you want to truly refresh your environment and affect your well-being, you need to evaluate your stuff and declutter.
Do you really need all that you own? Do you use it? Do you even like it? How does it feel? When I say “feel,” I mean the energy you feel, the emotions it conjures. It is time to free your space of anything that you don’t need or want, that brings up sad or painful memories, or is in excess. Free your space of stuff and make room for what brings you joy and meets your needs.
Refresh the air and light. Open the windows on nice days, and use natural products so the air isn’t polluted with toxins. Burn candles that are soy based and use essential oils instead of chemical perfumes. Change out lightbulbs to those that mimic natural light, or embrace natural light by opening curtains and blinds.
Clutter shows up as toxins, stuck emotions and free radicals in the body. While there are winter vegetables and we’re fortunate enough to have access to nearly any food year-round, spring is the perfect time to clean up your diet. Toss out processed foods, and eat more fresh, whole foods. Take advantage of the farmers’ markets scattered throughout the metro. Change out your cold weather need for hot coffee and boost your intake of filtered water. Fresh foods and hydration will help the body detox and revitalize cellular health.
Spring is a great time of year to do a detox. There are many to choose from and you should always consult a healthcare provider if you have concerns or are on medication. Personally, I like detox plans that include consuming green juices because they’re high in clean nutrition that supports cellular health.
As great as it is to detox, you should also shift away from consuming more toxins. Drop processed and fast food. Consider going gluten free, or at least limiting consumption of bread products. Look at the ingredients of the products you use for skincare, in the shower, and in your makeup. Change out chemical-laden products for those with more natural ingredients. The Environmental Working Group is a great resource for understanding toxins in foods and products and alternatives.
Clutter in your mind shows up in the form of stress, feelings of unworthiness and negative self-talk. If you have followed me for a while you have heard me talk about The Committee. The Committee is all the chatter in your head that tells you that you’re not good enough, that you can’t do it, that you’re not (fill in the blank), or that you are (fill in the blank with something mean). The Committee never speaks the truth, but we take it at its word and allow those words to impact our mental and emotional wellbeing.
Refresh your mind with awareness and positivity. First, notice when The Committee is putting you down and holding you back. Reverse its impact by stating the opposite. “I am good enough. I can do that. They will think I’m smart, competent and good at my job. I am doing the best I can and it is enough.”
There are many exercises and practices you can do to declutter the mind and silence The Committee. Here are two simple ones:
- Meditate. Start small, just two minutes if you’ve never meditated before. Simply breathe deeply, in and out, and focus on your breath. It can be helpful to have a mantra or word to focus on, like grace and ease. If other stuff pops in your mind, quickly acknowledge it and get back to focusing on the breath or mantra.
- Author Louise Hay has a lovely exercise. Look in the mirror, in your eyes, every day for 30 days and say out loud, “I accept myself unconditionally, right now.” You may feel silly at first, but over time you’ll feel wonderful and more wholly accepting and loving towards yourself.
Decluttering your environment, body and mind makes room for more growth, love, self-acceptance and abundance. If you’d like to learn more and have specific lessons and actions to guide you, consider my 21 Days to Free Your Space email course.
Dr. Michelle Robin is an author, international speaker, and Founder and CWO of Your Wellness Connection, P.A. She is the author of “The E Factor: Engage, Energize, Enrich – Three Steps to Vibrant Health, Wellness on a Shoestring: Seven Habits for a Healthy Life,” and co-author of the No. 1 bestseller “Succeeding In Spite of Everything.” Dr. Robin can be reached at [email protected], www.drmichellerobin.com, and as Dr. Michelle Robin on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.