Now that the dark and dreary days of winter are mostly behind us for 2021, you might be feeling motivated to recharge and declutter. Spring cleaning is a common practice for many people—but it doesn’t just have to mean clearing out your closet!

Emotional spring cleaning can help to rid your mind of negative self-talk and past thoughts that might be holding you back, leaving you with a mental health reset of sorts. 

Woman relaxing on couch | mental health benefits | mental health therapist in columbus | Blue Boat Counseling | March 2021

Like clearing out a closet, emotional spring cleaning takes a little planning and organization. You have to commit to shift the way you think about yourself and your experiences. 

So, decide which emotions you want to “keep” and which ones you want to get rid of. It might seem overwhelming at first, especially after dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic over the last year, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. 

Know What Has to Go to Take Care of Your Mental Health

When you’re cleaning out a drawer in your house, think about what you might find. Maybe you’ll pick out some expired grocery coupons, some loose change, old mail, etc. You probably won’t have a problem tossing away the things you’d consider to be clutter.

Now, think about doing the same thing in your mind. If you were to open up an emotional drawer and saw the clutter of the past still affecting your emotions today, you’d want to get rid of it.

Those old thoughts that might be telling you that you’re not good enough or that you’re a failure don’t belong in a usable drawer in your mind. Instead, they belong in the junk drawer—or better yet, the garbage!

When you decide to put those thoughts somewhere else, you’re less likely to let them become a factor in the way you think. 

Woman’s hand on her chest | find anxiety therapy columbus at Blue Boat Counseling | columbus counseling | 2021

Clear Your Schedule to Clear Your Mind

When it comes to getting rid of clutter in your life, you might want to take a look at your calendar. It’s been a tough year dealing with the pandemic, and busy schedules were halted. But now as we look to the future and life after Covid-19 with vaccines and things opening up again, busy schedules are starting to return. Many people will go right back to working longer hours, shuttling kids around, and running endless errands.

Being busy isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially after feeling trapped at home through most of 2020. But, if you don’t stop and give yourself a break sometimes, it can be harmful to your physical and mental health. 

Take a look at your schedule and try to find ways to selectively reintroduce things back onto your calendar or look for how to cut back if you’ve already started life’s busyness. This is about managing your stress levels for long term benefits, so resist jumping back in to everything. Ask for help from a spouse, partner, or another family member if needed. Most loved ones are happy to pick up some of the slack if your schedule is packed. If you’re not able to remove anything, then work in some time for yourself. 

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Even taking ten minutes every morning to check in with your mental health or practice deep breathing exercises or some type of self-care activity can help to make you feel rejuvenated and more mindful to reset your mental health. 

Sometimes Leave the Mental Clutter Where It Is

You can make a choice not to let the junk in your life take control of your emotions and thoughts. That doesn’t mean you should avoid something that’s been bothering you. But, it does mean you don’t have to give it so much power. 

Walking away from a pile of laundry or a dirty floor might not be the best action to take when you’re cleaning your house. But, when you have clutter in your brain telling you that you’re a failure or bad memories that won’t leave you, you can choose not to dwell on them anymore. 

For some people, that’s easier said than done. If you want to put any of these tips into practice but you’re struggling, a mental health therapist can help.

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You don’t have to go through the “emotional cleaning” process on your own. If you feel like you could use some professional help, please reach out for support. You’re not alone. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our Columbus therapists. We can help you work on different ways to clear the clutter and feel brand new this season—and beyond!