Spring is here! And with it comes a sense of renewal, energy, invigoration, and life. You can feel the sense of energy positively buzzing in the air and you can literally see growth all around you. This is the time of year butterflies start to hatch, the weather begins to warm up, and flowers are blooming all around. It’s nature’s way of encouraging us to bloom as well. Take this opportunity to let go of old stagnant energy and welcome in new inspiring energy and joy! The best part is, you really don’t need a lot of time to make this happen. Even small actions are a great way to welcome in the new and get you primed for possibility. Here are 10 ways to spring clean your life in 5 minutes or less!
10 Ways to Spring Clean Your Life in 5 Minutes or Less!
1. Sit outside
To get inspired by a little bit of the magic in the air this time of year, get outside. Even if it’s still cold where you live, bundle up and get outside! Whether you take your morning coffee/tea outdoors, go for a walk, or just sit outside and enjoy the fresh air and beauty around you – this is a wonderful way to spring clean your life. All it takes is 5 minutes to notice a difference in your mood.
You could also practice “grounding” which is having your body come into direct contact with the earth. Slip out of your shoes and walk or stand barefoot on the ground. You can choose water, soil, sand, or any earth surface you like. I find that this practice works best when people pick the element they find most calming. For me being on the sand at the beach or in water is what works best. For my cousin it’s soil.
The theory behind it is that the earth has a mild negative charge to it, whereas our bodies build up a positive charge with all the experiences we go through. Direct contact with the earth can bring you back to a neutral state. There are reportedly a slew of benefits that come from grounding such as lower inflammation, reducing chronic pain, increasing energy, etc. Whether this is actually true or not is a bit controversial and different experts say different things. All I know is that it makes me feel amazing and that’s enough reason to do it, as there is no harm to it.
2. Establish one new habit
A great way to spring clean your life is to makeover your habits. Rather than focusing too hard on habits you want to get rid of, pick a new habit to welcome. As you start to add more positive habits, you’ll slowly also see a decline in the negative ones. Here’s the best way to establish a new habit:
Step one: Pick a Habit
Start by picking just one new habit you want to add to your life. I know it’s tempting to get overly ambitious and try to tackle a bunch of things all at once, but limit yourself to just one. Keep it simple. Easy breezy, just like spring.
Step two: Establish a trigger
Next, establish a “trigger” or a “cue” that will prompt you to engage in your habit. For example, your phone buzzes (that’s the trigger) and you pick up your phone to see the alert (that’s the habit). You most likely don’t even think about it anymore, because that trigger so effectively signals to you that it’s time for this action.
You want to establish a trigger for the new habit you’re creating so eventually you won’t even have to think about it. The easiest ways to set up triggers are to build upon already existing triggers you have.
A few examples:
- New habit: flossing. Trigger: put the floss on top of your toothpaste
- New habit: stretching. Trigger: set an alarm a few times a day
- New habit: drinking more water. Trigger: drink a glass of water before each meal
Step three: Making it motivating
In order to expect yourself to stick to a new habit, it needs to be something you truly want. For example, why do you pick up the phone when it buzzes? It’s because you want to know why it’s buzzing. Why do you brush your teeth in the morning? It’s because you want your teeth to feel clean.
Figure out WHY you want this new habit. What is the IMMEDIATE reward it will give you? The important thing here to focus on is immediate. It’s harder to get motivated for a reward that’s delayed, so take advantage of your natural desire to want instant gratification.
Over time, your body will begin to crave this feeling. Just like how if you skip brushing your teeth one morning you’ll feel gross and icky. This takes time, so be patient with this. For the meantime, be intentional about focusing on your why. Remind yourself of why you want this each time you see the trigger. Make it as specific as possible, something general like “being healthy” is way too vague.
A few examples:
- New habit: flossing. Motivation: want clean teeth
- New habit: stretching. Motivation: want a pain free and light feeling body
- New habit: drinking more water. Motivation: want to feel energized and refreshed
Step four: Get rewarded
In order for you to keep doing something, it needs to lead to a reward. With the teeth brushing example, your trigger is stepping in the bathroom in the morning, your motivation is wanting clean teeth, and your reward is the feeling of clean teeth. Just like when we talked about motivation, eventually the natural reward will be enough for your behavior to continue.
It will take some time for you to feel naturally rewarded by the action, so in the meantime, set up rewards for yourself. Each time you engage in the habit, give yourself a little reward. This could be as simple as listening to your favorite song. Also make sure you’re paying attention to the positive effects you’re feeling from the behavior.
Each time you reach 7 straight days of engaging in the habit, give yourself a larger reward. Over time, the natural feeling you get from the behavior will be enough reward for you to keep doing it!
3. Make a passions list
We always talk about making a joy list (a list of things that bring you joy), but have you ever made a passions list?
Spend 5 minutes listing every single thing that makes you feel lit up and passionate. You’ll get a burst of joy and energy just from creating the list and thinking about what lights you up.
Not sure what you’re passionate about? Here are 13 questions to ask yourself.
If you have more time, do one thing from your passions list. If you don’t have time, keep this list on hand to refer back to anytime you’re feeling down or uninspired. Pick one thing from the passions list to do and then see how you feel. Repeat as needed.
4. De-clutter your digital life
This is the time of year that everyone gets inspired to de-clutter and Kondo their home, but how about our tech? Most of us spend so much time with our tech that it’s like a second home. Take 5 minutes to de-clutter your tech as much as you can and embrace the light feeling it brings you!
- Un-follow people on Instagram whose feeds bring you anything negative (unhealthy levels of jealousy, anxiety…)
- If you have a million tabs open, close them!
- Delete anything off your desktop that you don’t need or file them away in folders
- Wipe down your computer and phone (these wipes are great!)
- Delete old files you don’t need anymore or file them into an “archive” folder if you’re too nervous to hit delete
- Back up your phone and computer (not technically de-cluttering, but will take a weight off you!)
5. Delete one thing from your schedule
How can you make your schedule feel lighter? How can you add a little bit of white space to your week so that you have a chance to take a breath and notice this season of invigoration going on around you?
Take a hard look at your schedule for the next week and delete one thing. Yes, I said delete. Not reschedule.
I know that’s scary. I’m with you. I’m someone who has to fight with myself constantly not to base my self worth on my productivity, so I know how hard it is. I’m also someone who thinks the world is going to fall apart if I don’t do every single thing myself. But you know what? It’s not. The world will go on. Everyone will survive and they just may be the better for it.
So open up your schedule right now. Take a hard look at it. Find one thing to delete. You can do it.
Now the trick is not to fill that time back up. This time is officially designated as white space in your schedule and it’s nonnegotiable white space. Use that time to do one of the other tips from this post, use it to go for a walk, use it to take a nap, whatever. I don’t care what you do with it as long as it’s something you truly want to do in that moment and is not something you’re marking off your to do list.
6. Smell the roses
Literally. Stop and smell the next flower you see. Even if it’s not a “smelly” flower, it’ll still have its own subtle floral scent. This is such an amazing way to intentionally S L O W D O W N and notice all the beauty there is around you. Observe how you feel after that pause and appreciation of the beauty around you.
You can also do this exercise figuratively as a way to spring clean your life in less than 5 minutes. At any given moment, just pause, take a look around, and admire all the beauty there is around you. You may be surprised how much there is that you didn’t previously notice.
7. Make yourself a nourishing and energizing meal
Feeding yourself a meal full of nourishing and colorful ingredients is a wonderful way to energize and spring clean your life. Ever since Bassam and I got married, I’ve been resistant against making a meal that’s *just for me* because it feels like a waste of time, which is so so wrong. I know that nourishing myself is extremely important and taking the time to make a meal, even if it’s just for me, is a great act of self care. It’s something I’m trying to get better at incorporating back into my life post marriage.
Most nourishing meals can’t be made in 5 minutes or less, but here are some quick ideas that don’t sacrifice taste or health:
- A smoothie chock full of superfoods (Check out these 3 delicious recipes)
- Avocado toast (Top it with a poached egg or veggies. If you need topping inspo, check out this avocado toast brunch bar I set up)
- Quick salad (to make it in 5 minutes or less, roughly chop the veggies, eat it out of the salad spinner, and use olive oil and lemon juice in place of making a time consuming dressing)
- Veggie pita: spread a whole wheat pita with hummus and stuff with all the veggies you have in the fridge
8. Get up and stretch
Stretching is a great way of clearing out stagnant energy and reenergizing your body – making it the perfect way to spring clean your life in 5 minutes or less. You can do it literally anywhere to have a renewed perspective and clear your mind.
9. Show some love
Showing love and kindness to others isn’t a totally selfless act – you get tons of benefits from it as well. Engaging in acts of kindness of charity towards others can help you feel a sense of accomplishment and pleasure.
Giving can often feel better than getting. I’ve found that most people want to volunteer or engage in charity work, but time is usually the barrier. Rather than looking at giving back as some time consuming thing that you can only do once a year, look at it like small actions that build up and pay off over time.
Here are some ideas:
- Carry snacks and beverages in your car to hand out to homeless people you encounter
- Pay for the person behind you in line
- Let someone go in front of you in line
- Buy an extra coffee when you’re getting your cup and hand it to someone who looks like they could see a friendly gesture
- Give the next person you see a genuine compliment
- Forgive someone you’ve been holding a grudge against
- Send a glowing feedback email to someone’s boss (your waiter, a teacher, your mail person…)
- Pray or think good thoughts towards someone you typically don’t extend a lot of grace towards
10. Do something new
Doing something new is a great way to shake up your routine and inject a little excitement into your life. Doing novel things helps stimulate creativity, reduce emotional fatigue, sharpen your brain, expands your interests and skills, teaches you more about yourself and so much more.
Here are some easy ways to shake up your routine:
- Consume different content than usual (a different kind of podcast, book, magazine, news station…)
- Take a different route to work
- Try a new food
- Move your furniture around
- Use your non dominant hand
- Sign up for a class on something you know nothing about
What are you going to try to spring clean your life this season? We hope whatever you choose to do, you find yourself feeling refreshed and light for this new season!
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