Spring Cleaning for Mental Health

Many of us think about our health around the first of the year when we make resolutions: lose 10 pounds, start working out, quit smoking.  But by April, many of us have not only given up our New Year’s resolutions, but have also stopped thinking about our health altogether.  Instead of focusing your spring cleaning solely on your home, why not do some spring cleaning in the area of mental health too?  Some areas that might need tidying:

Money. Money can be a significant source of stress this time of year.  Taxes are due and summer vacation balances need to be paid.  Take an honest look at your budget.  Are you spending within your means?  Is your money being spent on things that are important to you?

Time. I like to think of time as a commodity just like money.  If your first priority is your family, does your “time budget” reflect that?  If not, you may be experiencing strain and stress.  Find yourself not being able to enjoy relationships, work, and hobbies because of lack of time?  It might be time to re-think your schedule.

Friends. Healthy relationships are essential to mental health.  I encourage folks to be mindful of who they are spending their precious time with, and how those folks affect their mood.  Feel drained after spending time with the neighbor down the street?  Might be time to re-think the friendship.

Work. Many of us spend a huge percentage of our waking hours at work.  It then becomes critical to our mental health that we do everything we can to make those hours positive.  How is work going?  Are you still happy in your position?  Even if you can’t (or don’t want to) change jobs, there are plenty of things you can do to feel more fulfilled in your current position.  Set new priorities and goals, alter how you interact with your co-workers and boss, set a “no work-talk” zone at home as a way to separate work and home life.

Good luck tidying up your mental health this spring.  With just a little extra attention and effort this might be your most psychologically healthy spring and summer yet.

This article also appears in this month’s Golden Holistic Medicine News.

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