Spring Clean Your Soul

Take time for yourself in this season of tidying up.

Spring brings blossoms, sunshine-filled afternoons, and an opportunity to freshen up the house after a winter of hunkering down—packing away the bulky sweaters and heavy boots, opening the windows wide, and decorating with fresh tulips and daffodils.

But what about ourselves? Shouldn’t spring—this season of new beginnings—be an opportunity to revive our spirits and feed our souls? There are many ways to bring spring into your life. All you need is a little creativity and mindfulness.

Everyday Inspiration

While a daily routine has many benefits, variety is the spice of life. You can embrace the newness of spring and bring some creative zest to your days by finding inspiration in both small and large ways. Barbara Ann Kipfer, author of 1,001 Ways to Be Creative, has advice on how to do this.

“Creativity isn’t only about artistic skills; it is a way of seeing the world,” she writes. “Give yourself permission to spend time on these ‘frivolous’ pursuits… [It] will improve the quality of your life and relationships.”

Kipfer’s book is full of helpful reminders and thought-provoking prompts to get you motivated and revive the soul. If spring has you resolving to eat and live healthier, try Kipfer’s artful suggestion to “plate your dinner with flair using colorful food and a whimsical swizzle of sauce.”

If you’re looking for a fresh perspective, Kipfer recommends, “Take a picture out the same window every day for a month. Notice how the scene varies as the sunlight shifts, nature changes, and your neighbors’ lives move along.” Photography shows the world in a different way and is a great outlet for your creative spirit. No expensive equipment is necessary; just use your smartphone!

Transform Your Day

Once the weather changes and we all emerge from our hygge-induced hibernation, our social lives seem to instantly get busy. Before you become overcommitted, seize this season of new beginnings with a promise to look inward, strengthen your mind, and change how you experience the world. Taking time to focus on yourself can help you navigate busy schedules, difficult emotions, and important relationships.

Laurie J. Cameron, author of The Mindful Day, combines traditional mindfulness wisdom with cutting-edge science. Mindfulness, Cameron notes, “is [like] a superpower that allows you to deliberately direct the beam of your attention … to choose your mindset … and to shift how you relate to your experience, so that you have less stress and more joy.”

In her book, Cameron makes mindfulness accessible by providing entry points to your daily routine—home, work, play, love, and home again. Setting time aside for play might seem trivial, but in fact researchers are discovering the benefits of play for all ages. Playing, or just being, in nature can help clear your mind of the distractions that fill the day.

Citing the research of cognitive psychologist David Strayer, who found that the brain’s prefrontal cortex slows down when a person is outdoors, Cameron encourages us to be present in nature, disconnect from devices, and do something as simple as looking at a tree. “The act of stepping outside allows your nervous system to calm, your cognitive centers to rest, and your mood to lift,” she reminds us. And what better time of year to do that than spring, when nature is truly showing off?