It’s Time for Spring Cleaning!
by JENNIFER GOODSON, MA, LMHC
It is closet cleaning week for me. I know, I know, ugh! I am one of those procrastinators when it comes to opening that door of the small dark hole at the end of the hallway; I do not greet it with a smile or exuberant motivation. The happy dance is not happening. But who does, right? Between you and me, I have all kinds of things in this one closet, which I dread the most. Do you have one of those?
Mine comes with a massive box of miscellaneous items I have just thrown in there over time because I wanted to avoid dealing with them.
Yes, I have let them pile on each other one at a time. Oh, and the thing is, I did not give care when I did it. I always said to myself that I would deal with it later. Do you know what I mean?
Spring cleaning has me thinking about how much our lives look like uncleaned closets. How many of us pile one thing onto another and say we will deal with it later?
How many substantial miscellaneous boxes do we have that contain so many issues we have yet to deal with because we are afraid or want to ignore them? Ever notice that soon our messy box becomes so full of undealt matters that we become overwhelmed and decide to bury that box even further into the back of the closet?
Ever notice that we shut the closet door with a quiet push to not disturb what is within? Ever see how we walk around the other side of the room to avoid the closet door – as if somehow it will vanish into thin air? Ever notice how we hide behind our schedules so that we become too busy to remind ourselves it’s time to clean?
We are not always willing to dig in our messy box and pull out things that need re-evaluation or dismissal. At times, we feel it is best left hidden. Until one day, we blow a gasket and need someone to help us. I’ve been there… about to BLOW!
Sometimes, we cannot wait until our closets become filled with messy boxes. It is better to deal with and heal when the situation is fresh; for us to move forward and become a better us. It is not always easy to deal with the matters that cause us pain, but it is best for us and those who love us. It is not a comfortable choice, but it is better than waiting until the last minute to clean up a mess.
It feels good to begin pulling those items out of the messy box. Examine the hows, whys, and why-nots. Decluttering is an act of letting go… simplifying our lives.
How Do We Spring Clean Our Body, Mind, and Spirit?
Decluttering Needs Assistance
It’s a good idea to have someone with us to help us do the walk-through of removal – removal of hidden things that have pulled us into a dark hole. Whether the walk-through is with a friend, a spouse, a minister, or a professional, when in partnership with another, we can find strength, boldness, and willingness to examine and let go.
Simplifying and Letting Go
Evaluate your circle of influence through social media and relationships, and void yourself of distractions and excuses.
Examine the Balance – Mind, Body, and Spirit
When these three do not align with one another, we are out of balance, and chaos has full rein. Meditation, prayer, mindfulness, deep breathing, healthy eating, and exercise can decrease response to stress and anxiety. Each day, set 10 – 15 minutes for self-reflection, rejuvenation, connection with gratefulness, and speaking words of affirmation.
Prepare for the Journey of Healing and Self-Discovery
Goals must be practical and realistic to achieve balance and healing. Start with small goals, then reach for the stars as you feel stronger and more confident!
Spring cleaning can be enriching for your life and those around you.
Happy cleaning! Now, back to my closets.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Goodson, MA, LMHC, is a licensed mental health counselor with offices in Winter Haven. She holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. For more information, visit www.pathwaycounselingservice.com.