Once it becomes a little brighter out, we tend to want to tidy up our surroundings and make things a little neater. We organize our homes, maybe clean out our cars, or give our plants a long overdue watering. You may also check off the annual “spring cleaning” tasks that are on your list but it takes more than just vacuuming your living room, or deep cleaning your bathroom to refresh your life. It goes a lot deeper--something that you’ve been meaning to do because you know it will make you happy, but maybe you’ve been avoiding it, or you just haven’t gotten around to it. Well, there’s no time like the present! To help our readers pick up their well-being, follow these tips on how to spring clean your life and welcome in a new season with a fresh perspective!
Refresh Your Closet
We all know the great feeling we get when we buy new clothes. There’s an excitement to get home and hang up our new purchases. It feels so good to see our closet updated and organized. After adding our new pieces to our wardrobe our closet can become cluttered with the outdated looks. Going through your wardrobe to get rid of the things that haven’t seen sunlight in years can benefit not only yourself, but also others. We suggest taking the time to go through your closet and pick out what you no longer wear, and probably won’t wear in the future, and then donate or sell them. With the cleared out closet space, it’s time to fill it up with new blouses and dresses for the warmer weather to come. Here are some great places to donate or sell, because one woman's trash is another woman's treasure.
Clean Up Your Diet
When it’s cold out it’s so much easier to indulge. Though there’s nothing wrong with eating whatever you want, it feels good to be good to your body. We suggest taking an inventory of what you’re eating on a regular basis and really thinking about what you're putting into your body, and what you could be doing better. Healthy eating doesn’t just affect how we look on the outside, it affects how we feel on the inside.
- Measure your calorie intake: Eat the right amount of calories for your level of activity.
- Ditch the starchy carbs; choose whole grain instead.
- Add some color to your diet: It’s recommended that we eat 5 portions of fruits and veggies each day.
- Eat oily fish like fresh tuna, which is rich in omega-3 fats at least 2 times a week.
- Cut down on saturated fat (hard cheese, butter, cake, cream) which can lower your risk of developing heart disease. Instead, choose unsaturated fats like avocados, vegetable oils, and oily fish.
- Cut down on sugar which can lead to tooth decay and obesity. Yes, this means sugary drinks.
- Eat less salt which can raise your blood pressure and cause heart disease and strokes. When cooking, use black pepper, fresh herbs and spices instead.
- Become more active, which can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It’s recommended that if we’re trying to lose weight, we take 10,000 steps a day (which can be tracked on your iPhone in the iHealth app or by using a Fitbit). This may seem impossible if you’re stuck in the office all day, but set goals for yourself like adding 1,000 steps a day by going for a walk at lunch.
- Stay hydrated, as in drink more water. It’s recommended that we drink 6-8 glasses a day.
- Eat small. In order to keep your energy levels up, and especially to lose weight, it’s recommended that we eat 6 small meals throughout the day.
- Find a fitness buddy. If the gym isn’t your thing, take an exercise class like pilates or yoga, or go for a hike with a friend.
- Ditch the processed foods and instead opt for fresh fruit and vegetables, and cook at home.
- Get the right amount of high quality protein. They’re essential in building, maintaining and repairing tissues, organs, and cells. Eating too much or too little can have a negative effect on our bodies. Some protein rich foods are chicken and turkey--(remove the skin); dairy--skim milk, cheese, and yogurt; nuts and seeds; tofu and soy based products; fish; and beans.
- Eat more fiber (grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and beans), which can lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and strokes.
- Get more calcium. Every cell in your body needs it but we often don’t get enough of it. Calcium can be found in dairy products like low-fat cheese, yogurt, and milk. If dairy isn’t your thing, you can still get your daily dose of calcium by consuming tofu, soy milk, sardines, salmon, kale, and broccoli.
Reevaluate Your Job
When working full time, your job is a huge part of your life. Spending every day there, using your unique skills, and the stress that comes with it, can take a toll on your emotional health more than you realize. Because of how much it impacts your life, it's important to make sure it's a career or job you're happy with. It's easy to let the stress get to us but if you find yourself bringing it home or dread going into the office everyday then it could be time to start thinking about what steps can be taken to meet your personal happiness. A new job or maybe even a different career choice could be in order. If that’s the case, it’s time to revamp your resume.
Rethink Some Friendships
As we change and grow as individuals, we sometimes notice our relationships are beginning to change due to the constant new adjustments in our daily lives. Like romantic relationships, friendships can be difficult. It is completely possible to go from feeling extremely close to a person, to feeling like you don't really know them anymore. It can be hard to accept the truth that a friend might not be the type of person you no longer want in your life. It's completely okay to walk away from that person or put some distance between you. Once you begin feeling that change in a friendship, take the time to evaluate what this person means to you, and what they bring to your life. It doesn't always mean you need to end the friendship, but it could be healthier to focus less on them, and more on yourself. Another thing to ask yourself is if you have any toxic friendships? Having “frenemies” can impact your life (and your health) very negativity. They can contribute to added stress, depression, anxiety, and the list goes on. Surround yourself with healthy relationships that contribute to a positive impact on your life.
Disconnect More Often
It's hard to remember a time when we didn't carry our phones around with us. Even during much needed alone time, we end up scrolling through our Instagram feeds, or updating our Snapchat stories. To refresh things in your life this spring, try making the commitment to do more things without your phone by your side. Even if that's turning it off while you read so you don't get distracted, or putting it in your purse when you’re out to lunch with your significant other. Taking time to unplug from social media is a great way of not letting our minds get preoccupied and it allows us to get back to knowing our true selves.