Spring is (nearly) upon us, and with it comes the exciting and terrifying task of spring cleaning. Simplifying your life is an important piece of the wellness puzzle, so it's natural to want to dive headlong into the challenge. If you're putting together your spring cleaning plan of attack, consider bumping these three often-overlooked areas to the top of the list, and you'll find the rest becomes a whole lot easier.
1. Your online presence.
Spring cleaning doesn't have to be confined to the physical realm! Cleaning out your online “space” can help you feel more organized and relaxed — particularly if you spend a lot of time online.
Unless you're an email champion, odds are your inbox looks a lot like mine: cluttered, overwhelming, and full of unnecessary correspondence. Ads, unread newsletters, and spam spread like garden weeds, and they can quickly fill and choke this once-productive space. Take the time to clear the inbox, and don't forget to unsubscribe to regular updates you no longer want. (Most newsletters and ads have a tiny “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of their message. Two seconds now will save you hundreds of emails in the long run!)
Apply the same principles to your social media. Is your Facebook news feed feeling a little crowded these days? Maybe it's time for a friends list purge! Is your Pinterest account stressing you out? Reorganize those boards and toss a couple of dormant ones. Your brain will thank you.
Tip: Take this one slowly. Commit to tackling 5-10 emails a day, or unfriending three friends by the end of each week. Conquering this area in small doses will keep you from getting frustrated.
2. Your workout regimen
Spring is the time of new beginnings, but it's also the start of the beach body panic. If your workout routine is causing you stress, consider paring back. Can you ditch the gym membership and do online workouts from your living room? Can you combine the workouts for multiple muscle groups into one move? (Hello, planking!)
Sometimes just changing up the duration and frequency of your workouts can make a difference. If 40 minutes a day feels like too much for you, try splitting your workout into two pieces. If your days feel too full, try multitasking, college-student style. Can you listen to audio books while you run, or catch up on the news while you stretch? Play with your routine. You may be surprised to find you've been making your workouts a more stressful part of the day than they need to be!
Tip: Have a chat with a trainer or do a bit of online research about your preferred workout type. Sometimes the best solutions require an outside set of eyes.
3. Your morning routine
A simple life begins with your morning routine. How you start your day can have dramatic effects on the rest of it. Try incorporating these easy changes and watch your life get a little easier:
Drink a glass of water immediately upon waking.
The benefits of proper hydration are invaluable. Get some water into your system early to keep your energy up, and jump start your digestive system.
Wake up early enough to get ready without rushing.
Give yourself an extra 15-20 minutes in the morning to slow down your routine and provide a buffer for emergencies. The extra time can prevent arriving at work already stressed out.
Do one thing that makes you happy before breakfast.
Listen to music, look at pictures of puppies online, or watch a cartoon. Do one thing that makes you smile, then go tackle your day a little happier and healthier!
Tip: Having someone in your family or circle of friends get up earlier with you can be a great accountability boon for the days when that snooze button looks tempting!