When we think of spring cleaning, we picture organizing drawers and closets or prepping our yards — but what about clearing our mental and emotional space? Just as it can feel cathartic to dust and declutter your home, a mental spring cleaning can provide a sense of relief as well as an emotional boost.
Since springtime is also a time of growth and renewal, this is the perfect season to clear any “mind weeds” or “stress mess” and nourish the positive thoughts and feelings that can help you grow in your recovery.
The Dangers of “Stress Mess”
According to Psychology Today, stress creates a mess by “clogging up your psyche with anxiety, worry, depression, irritability and anger” – none of which is helpful to your recovery.
“Stress mess” can sabotage your hard-won sobriety, zap your spirit and negatively impact your brain and body. Stress is a known relapse trigger. What’s more, it’s been linked to the following health hazards:
- High blood pressure
- Poor eating and sleeping habits
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Muscle aches and headaches
Mental Spring-Cleaning Checklist
Let’s take a look at a few ways you can clean up your emotional and mental space and have a happy, healthy season! Your first step: Remember that each day is a fresh start—just like spring.
- Straighten out your priorities. Ask yourself: “What’s most important to me?” “What’s most important for my recovery?” Is it self-care, support from family and friends, hobbies, relaxation? Taking time to answer these questions can help reduce decision fatigue and eliminate the mental clutter that comes with trying to decide where to place your time and energy.
- Let go of a grudge. Forgiving yourself or someone else can help clear away negative energy so you can focus on more positive aspects of your sober life. While it’s normal to feel anger and hurt from past events in your life, allowing these feelings to fill your heart can harm your emotional health and your recovery.
- Sweep away self-criticism. This can take some practice, but it is doable. Start by swapping negative self-talk with positive phrases like “I’m doing my best.” Try to remind yourself that life and recovery is about progress, not perfection.
- Focus on your physical health. A big part of sustaining your mental well-being is maintaining your physical wellness. This spring, vow to clean up your exercise and eating routine. For example, start your morning with a 20-minute walk, replace your soda habit with iced water, or swap sugary snacks for fresh fruit.
- Write it down. Journaling is a great way to sort, organize and declutter your emotions. In turn, you’ll free up some head space so you feel calmer, think more clearly and stay focused on your recovery.
- Renew your spirit. A few minutes of yoga, meditation, prayer or deep breathing is great for mental cleansing. These relaxation strategies can help you unwind, stay in the present, ignite your inner spirit and reduce the negative energy and thoughts consuming your day.
Making a Spiritual Connection at Makana Path
Makana means “gift,” and our Intensive Healing Program can help you get the gift of healing from within, allowing you to reconnect with your most authentic self this spring. For more information about how we can help your recovery all season long, call today: 866-905-4550.