Four Ways to Approach Spring Cleaning for the Self
While this spring is different from the ones we’ve experienced in the past, the rituals of cleansing can still happen from the comforts of your home. All around us, flowers are blooming and seeds are being planted. Though this time is definitely not a vacation, we all have some extra moments at home when we’d otherwise be out and about. This time can mean more rest, introspection, and spring cleaning of our spaces and spirit.
For your home:
When most of us think of spring cleaning, we might think of organizing our drawers, scrubbing the floors, drying our laundry out in the sun, maybe even rearranging the furniture and donating our clothes. With lots of time inside the house, take a look around– is there a closet with piles you’ve been ignoring for years? Is that one drawer in your kitchen still filled with junk? Now is the perfect time to slowly move through these abandoned spaces and bring new life and intention to your home.
This doesn’t have to feel like a chore! You can light a candle or some incense, add some crystals to re-energize the space, and infuse your home with more care. After all, we’re in our spaces all the time!
Creating a home where you actually want to be (down to the last drawer) can feel deeply nourishing– an organized kitchen / pantry will make it easier to cook, an organized creative space will make it easier to make art, and an ambient bedroom will make it easier to soothe yourself to sleep.
For your tech:
Got a few extra hours? Now is a great time for cleansing your email, phone, and desktop. For social media, consider what your feed looks like, and how you’re attending to your online time. Are you mindlessly scrolling? Do you use Instagram and Twitter for inspiration, or to distract you from your internal world? Spend some time noticing who brings you joy and who might bring… less joy. Don’t be afraid to press unfollow!
You might also consider responding to those emails you’ve been ignoring, or reorganizing your folders and VIPS. Do you still have an email from your great-uncle you’ve never answered? Now is the time. Do you still have an email account from 4th grade? Maybe it’s time to shut it down. Do you have hundreds of unread mails from that clothes store you never go to? Delete, unsubscribe, etc!
For your internal world:
What do your rituals and routines look like right now? How do you wake up, and how do you wind down? It’s common advice out there to have a routine for quarantine days– it can also be helpful to build in some practices that attend to your inner world within that routine.
Maybe you spend some time sitting at your altar in the morning, or reading a nourishing book, or writing in a journal with a prompt. A good one is “how do I want to feel today? What do I want to receive today? What do I want to give today?”
One good thing about being home is you can build in afternoon routines as well! Maybe you do a few push ups before dinner, or stretch for a few minutes after lunch.
For your skin
Has anyone else noticed a quarantine glow? Maybe it’s finally sleeping enough, or maybe it’s not wearing make-up, but now is the time to attend to that wonderful barrier that keeps you healthy! It can be especially drying to wash your hands so much, so make sure to moisturize with a lotion you enjoy (this Papa & Barkley favorite has jojoba oil, shea butter and mango seed oil). You can also add a facial steam or a scrub into your routine once a week. A hydrosol is especially lovely for a mid-work refresher– one great part of being home is you can do this right at your desk, whenever you want.
You might also try out some essential oils, which you can change up depending on your mood– try adding a few drops to your bath, or to a carrier oil for a great body moisturizer.
There are so many ways that spring can mean (gently) attending to our priorities, rituals, and relationship to self.
While there can be enormous pressure during this time to write the next great novel or learn a new instrument, take this time to rest and… do nothing. Routines can help us make that “nothingness” still feel nourishing. Rest doesn’t have to mean abandoning self-care or structure (although sometimes we need a day or two with a pint of ice-cream and a favorite cartoon).
As the spring rain arrives and the flowers open into full bloom, let’s look at spring cleaning differently this year… let’s cleanse the spaces we otherwise might ignore.