Creating Space: Spring Cleaning Your Soul Part 2

If you’ve tried a few of the 7 Ways to Renew You — Part 1 of Spring Cleaning Your Soul — I hope you’ve felt a little lift and a sense of rejuvenation. 

Now, we’re not yet done with spring cleaning. There’s a bit more to do. 

We’ve done some renewal; we’ve scrubbed the bathroom grout and it is bright white again. 

Now we’ll focus on creating space in our souls. Like cleaning out bathroom cabinets, we’re going to unearth what’s been hiding there for the last year… abandoned hair products, dried out beauty supplies, expired vitamins, even dust bunnies. Let’s get rid of stuff that no longer serves you. 

What Does It Mean to Create Space in Your Soul?

When I talk about creating space in your soul, I mean clearing out anything that’s preventing you from being fully present in your life. Because when you’re not present you miss out on things, like moments of true connection with loved ones. 

Creating that space may take some time and elbow grease, depending on what’s been hiding in there. 

4 Ways to Create Space Inside of You

Here’s how to free up some space inside of you to make room for the good stuff, like connection, laughter, joy, pleasure, wandering thoughts, or no thoughts at all. 

#1 Banish Negativity

It’s normal to have negative thoughts from time to time. But if yours are more frequent, it’s important to get a handle on them. We know that poorly managed negative emotions can be detrimental to your health, not to mention your relationships. 

Start being mindful about what precedes feelings of negativity or negative thought patterns. You might want to ask yourself questions like:

  • Do I surround myself with positive people? 
  • Do I listen to or take part in gossip?
  • Do I have a habit of complaining?
  • Do I balance my consumption of news with stories of hope and inspiration?  
  • What would my self-talk sound like to someone who cares about me? 

If you realize you’ve been absorbing the negativity around you, you may want to limit time with certain people or the time you spend watching and reading the news. When you catch yourself in a complaint, try counteracting it with something you’re grateful for. Make a habit, instead, of practicing gratitude. And finally, if you find you’re being unkind to you, make an effort to start treating yourself like you treat your best friend. 

#2 Forgive Someone

Forgiving someone who has hurt you can be one of the hardest things to do, but boy, can it free up some valuable real estate in your soul. And you don’t have to write or speak the words “I forgive you” to practice forgiveness. Instead, you can work on releasing the sadness or anger you hold towards the person who wronged you. Vent, then reflect in your journal about the situation. Put into words what you can appreciate about the relationship or the experience as a whole. This exercise may provide the release your soul needs. 

Perhaps you don’t need to extend forgiveness. Maybe you need to ask someone for forgiveness or you need to extend it to yourself. Forgiving or being forgiven will release a burden you’re dragging along from your past. It will create space for something that brings joy and happiness and opportunities to live in the moment instead. 

Forgiving or being forgiven will release a burden you’re dragging along from your past. It will create space for something that brings joy and happiness and opportunities to live in the moment instead. Click To Tweet

#3 Remove Stresses

Even when you’re in your home, you know, the place that should be a respite, you may feel stressed. Whether it’s reminders of unfinished tasks or technology and its constant nudges, you feel pressure to be productive or on-call all the time. All that stress isn’t good for your soul. Luckily, there’s some stress you can eliminate.

We know that things like piles of papers pepper our brains with constant stimuli, cluttering our minds, and preventing us from focusing on the task at hand. Studies show it creates stress, particularly among women. And we know that prolonged stress can affect our well-being and lead to overwhelm. Try using that as motivation to do a little physical decluttering, and rid your space of things that no longer serve you — or never did in the first place. 

Declutter your mind of additional distractions by taking a true break from the stresses of work or other obligations. Start by disabling notifications on your cell phone, computer and tablet or turn off these devices altogether after working hours, if possible. Taking these steps will transform your home into the respite you desire and create space in your soul for good things.  

#4 Let Go of Guilt

Guilt is a heavy, unnecessary burden that we put upon our souls. And women in particular carry a lot of it. We’re caregivers by nature, and our desire to help or please others can make it difficult to say no to requests for our time and attention. Some of us overextend ourselves, chasing a superwoman status that we know is impossible to achieve, let alone maintain. 

Unburdening ourselves of guilt starts with learning how to say no without explanation. If we allow our priorities to frame our choices instead, saying no becomes much easier. For example, say one of your priorities is to finish work every day before your children get home from school. You want to be fully present once they walk in the door. But because you work from home, people assume you have flexibility so you get a lot of requests for your time. And the more you say yes, the less present you end up being for your children. 

From that perspective, saying no is really saying yes to yourself and your priorities. There’s no room for guilt when you frame it like that, right? 

The Release Experienced from Clearing Space in My Soul

Sometimes you don’t realize the magnitude of what you’ve been carrying on your soul until it’s finally released. 

I felt an incredible release just a few weeks ago when I finally finished a nagging project that I was reminded of every time I walked into my bedroom.

Every day for over a year I felt guilty and defeated because I couldn’t find a way to “take care of it.” 

But that’s what happens when work and life get in the way, right?

When I was finally able to tackle the remaining mess from my master bath remodel, filling and organizing my new cabinets with the things from boxes that had been sitting on my bedroom floor for all of that time — well, the release I felt is hard to describe. But, I’ll try.

I felt like I could breathe. I felt like I could tackle anything. I felt lighter. And I felt that sense of peace again when I walked into the sanctuary of my bedroom. 

Now, I’m talking about a literal cleaning project here, but I reclaimed space in my soul and regained a sense of calm and happiness that I’d been yearning for. 

That’s what I want you to experience when you do a little spring cleaning that creates space in your soul. 

How Will You Create Space in Your Soul? 

I hope you’re inspired to release any negativity, stress, and guilt that’s crowding your soul and keeping you from experiencing as much joy, happiness, and laughter in your life as possible. Click here now to claim your 25 Ingredients that Bring Wellness and Bliss to Your Life checklist in order to maintain your emotional well-being and the space in your soul between deep cleans.   

And be the first to know when there’s a new article, free gift, program, and other helpful tips that will empower you to address the areas that need attention in your life. If you aren’t already part of my online community, click here to join us.

Until next time, 

Whitney

Spring Clean Your Soul: 7 Ways To Renew You

When you hear the words, “spring cleaning,” you’re probably thinking about that once-a-year deep clean you’re supposed to give your home. Though I love the look and smell of a tidy space as much as anyone, I am talking about a different kind of annual ritual: spring cleaning your soul.

Before you start thinking this sounds like a sneaky way to work in a new year’s resolution reboot, I’m not referring to kicking a bad habit or incorporating an aggressive workout regimen. To spring clean your soul means to take stock of how you’re spending your time and how well you’re attending to your own needs. It’s about recognizing where a shift or tweak is needed in how you go about the business of life. 

Spring is a time for renewal. It’s when nature comes to life again. The birds begin to sing, buds burst from the branches of trees, and sweet little crocus push their way through the soil. All are signs of rebirth and what’s to come.

Let’s start associating these glorious, long-awaited changes with your own renewal each year. It will be your reminder that it’s time for a different kind of spring cleaning. 

What Does It Mean to Spring Clean Your Soul?

Spring cleaning for your soul is giving that same time, care, and attention you give to, say, your bathroom grout once a year, to you. 

It’s taking a tiny little scrub brush to those hard-to-reach places inside of you. 

It means evaluating your stress levels and the measures you’ve taken to manage or reduce them. 

It’s taking stock of who and what you’ve devoted your precious time to and whether or not it’s served you and the people you care most about. 

It’s “checking in” with your inner being and finding out if she’s been treasured and taken care of. 

It may sound complicated, but, really, it isn’t. As with most things, the hard part is just getting started.

Spring cleaning your soul is “checking in” with your inner being and finding out if she’s been treasured and taken care of. Click To Tweet

7 Ways to Renew Your Soul

Here are 7 ways to renew and rejuvenate your soul.  

#1 Reflect

Our modern lifestyles make it feel like we never have the opportunity to slow down. Life is busy, and there are people and responsibilities that demand our time and attention. Now more than ever, it is important to take time to just breathe

Use that time for reflection. Grab your journal — it’s okay if you have to dust it off — and think about what needs attention inside of you.

If you’re not into journaling, try a simple deep breathing exercise or check out the yoga classes on Netflix. Explore meditation if you’ve been curious about the benefits.

However you practice reflection, studies show that practicing meditation and mindfulness promotes health and well-being. And less stress in your life is better for the soul. 

#2 Learn

Opening your mind to something new or cultivating a lifestyle of learning is a great way to renew the soul. And research has shown that continuous learning keeps us healthy. That doesn’t mean we need to head back to school; learning can come in any form.  

Think about what subjects spark your curiosity. Feed those interests by reading a new book, listening to Ted talks, or exploring podcasts. Check out free and low-cost online courses — offerings have absolutely exploded since the onset of the pandemic. Find one that interests you and enjoy expanding your world. 

#3 Reward 

As much as I love comfort food and lazy weekend afternoons snuggled with a good book by the fire, spring offers a much needed renewal for my body and soul. 

Welcoming spring delights like strawberries, asparagus, artichokes, and spring greens back into my diet and trying new recipes rejuvenates me and rewards my senses. So does getting back into nature. Try bringing a little “green” into your life whether it’s by eating more fresh whole foods or working a short walk into your daily routine. Take a stroll around your yard or nearby gardens and appreciate the changes taking place — inhale the fragrance of a lilac bush, notice the buds that are about to burst on your crabapple tree. Open your windows. Let the fresh air and the fragrance of new life wash over you. It will renew your soul. 

#4 Self-Care

A lot of women still feel selfish about practicing self-care despite knowing how important it is to our health and well-being. We know we should do it, but we can’t seem to make it a priority. 

Yet if we put self-care first, we won’t need to figure out how to make it a priority, right? Not only does self-care nourish our souls but it ensures that we have something left to give of ourselves to those we care about.

If you haven’t practiced self-care, start out by doing small things that give you joy or a feeling of renewal. Purchase a small orchid for your desk. Get your toes done in a spring pink. Plan a monthly evening out with a friend who makes you laugh, whose company makes you feel lighter. 

#5 Nurture

Feeding our passions is as important as feeding our bodies. Do you have an interest or hobby that you absolutely love? Something that you’re compelled to do, that contributes to the well-being of your soul?

Is there something you loved to do that you stopped doing? Maybe you sketched portraits before life got busy with careers and childrearing. Perhaps you used to cultivate and grow your own heirloom tomatoes? Maybe you played the violin once upon a time? Whatever your passion is and whether you gave it up or you’ve struggled to find the time, try to nurture that passion again. Passions fuel life, interest, and energy. They can enrich friendships or create new ones. All these things are good for the soul.

#6 Rest

Most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep every night to feel refreshed. But 35 percent of women are getting less than seven. That is not enough sleep, ladies.  

It is so important to make getting enough rest a priority. Rest is the best way to recharge and renew the body and soul. 

But I totally understand. Sometimes there’s just not enough hours in the day. If you can’t find the time to get the recommended amount of sleep, see if you can improve the quality of sleep you are getting. One way to do that is by turning off electronic devices 2-3 hours before bedtime. We know that blue light impacts our ability to fall asleep by blocking melatonin. Taking that time to wind down allows our bodies to adhere to its natural sleep cycle.  

#7 Play

Have you ever wondered why playtime seems to be reserved for kids? It shouldn’t be. Couldn’t everyone benefit from engaging in activities that allow you to lose track of time, that serve no real purpose except for fun and free-flowing laughter?  

Play is good for the soul, so work it into your day or week however you can. Maybe it’s a 3-minute afternoon break dancing to your favorite song full blast. Perhaps it’s taking your lunch to the park and playing fetch with your dog. Maybe it’s scooting out of work an hour early and walking around the art museum. Whatever play means to you, make it a priority for the good of your soul.

Renew Your Soul With a Little Lift

Is your soul in need of a little spring cleaning? To determine whether it needs a light wipe-down or a deep, get-at-the-grout-type cleaning, click here now to claim your Good Self-Care Assessment

And be the first to know when there’s a new article, free gift, program, and other helpful tips that will empower you to address the areas that need attention in your life. If you aren’t already part of my online community, click here to join us.

Up Next: Spring Clean Your Soul, Part 2

Stay tuned for my next article which will look at other ways to spring clean your soul. We’ll focus on dealing with the clutter that isn’t serving you, you know, the figurative kind, like negativity, stress, and guilt. That way you can create space in your soul for things that bring you joy instead. Click here to sign up for my articles and you’ll receive them in your inbox.  

Until then, take care of you — and your soul. 

Whitney

 

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