By April Schultz and Christina Yates, Women in Leadership Community
Spring is a time of renewal and often a time when we declutter our homes. It’s just as important that we take the time to detox our minds.
Mental spring cleaning gives you a chance to do a mental check-in, purge what is no longer relevant, decrease stress, make room for what is next, and take time for self-reflection or evaluation. Use this time to nourish your body, mind, and soul; re-focus on what is most important; eliminate distractions; and improve your mental health.
Digital detox is all about cleaning out your digital space by removing anything that causes distractions, unnecessary noise, and frustration. According to a worldwide survey conducted by the IDC and sponsored by Adobe in June 2012, “Information workers waste a significant amount of time each week dealing with a variety of challenges related to working with documents. This wasted time costs the organization $19,732 per information worker per year and amounts to a loss of 21.3% in the organization’s total productivity.” (Webster, 2012)
Sorting and filing both paper and electronic documents can lead to higher productivity and decreased stress.
Below are some ideas to help you complete a digital detox:
- Clean out your inbox and sort emails into folders
- Unsubscribe from unwanted email marketing
- Organize your desktop icons and purge unnecessary shortcuts
- Organize and purge apps on your mobile phone
Physical decluttering can have a massive impact on stress levels and general feelings of well-being. We spend most of our time in our physical home, work, and transportation spaces. The feeling of accomplishment when decluttering these spaces is so great, that the flush of endorphins can fuel your day! If you don’t have time to completely tackle one of these areas, a quick,15-minute pick-up of the following rooms will ease the overwhelming feeling when it’s time to do a deep clean:
- Living room
Self-care has many ways to replenish your mental and physical energy. One important way is to limit time on social media platforms and digital entertainment and spend more time in the present, out in the real world either with others, pets, or simply just yourself! According to an article in Harvard Magazine, a study called the COVID States Project states that while “multiple studies point to links between social-media use and anxiety and depression among children and adolescents…a new study reveals similar associations between depression and social-media use for their parents and grandparents too.” (O’Donnell, 2022)
Below are some great options for increasing your self-care routine:
- Eliminate or restrict social media time
- Unfollow social media pages or groups that don’t inspire you
- Spend more time outside
- Do some exercise/yoga/meditation
- Journal or create a gratitude list (be specific)
- Enjoy a spa day or some special pampering
- Learn a new skill
- Set or review goals
- Establish a sleep routine
- Focus on nutrition/cooking/meal prep
- Plan a vacation and take your paid time off
Now that you know why and how to conduct a mental spring cleaning, we challenge you to get started! Pick two items from each of the three lists above that you aren’t already doing in your everyday life and put them into action. With time, these will become routine. When that happens, come back to this article, and add two more from each list.