Reading time: 4 minutes
Words by Kelly West Bevan, freelance writer
Many see springtime as a time to renew, refresh, and reorganize — declutter spaces, deep clean those long-neglected corners of your home, create new systems to organize your life… But it is just as important to “spring clean” your brain. Giving your mind a “refresh” can lead to better creativity, less stress, more efficiency with your work and everyday tasks, and a happier you.
Here Are 4 Activities To Help Spring Clean Your Brain
- Develop a simple morning mindfulness routine
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, an entrepreneur working from home or your commute into the office each day, as working women, many of us wake up with our to-do list already building in our brains. Taking a minute (or two or three or four) first thing in the morning to breathe, clear your head, and begin the day fresh can be a game-changer.
Your routine doesn’t have to be long. Who has time for that? It can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths, making your bed and grabbing that cup of coffee before the chaos begins. It could be a brief five- or 10-minute morning meditation (there are so many great apps for that, Headspace and Insight Timer to name a few). Whatever it is that works for you, taking a few short minutes each day just for you and focusing on the present moment will help you tackle the day with a clear mind.
- Try a social media detox
Have you ever given up social media for a day? A week? A month? No?
Statista.com reported that in 2019 and 2020 people averaged 145 minutes a day on social media. That’s more than two hours scrolling through memes, friend’s photos of their “perfect family,” getting lost in videos and TikToks. Two hours of lost productivity, not to mention the effects it can have on one’s mental health. Research has shown that social media can lead to feelings of inadequacy, stress, and detachment from the world around you.
I recently took the month of January off from social media and realized that in that time I walked more, was more present with my family, and way less distracted during the day. There was a peacefulness that I haven’t felt in a long time since in my previous business I was a slave to social media. I didn’t realize until I took a break, how much that affected my mental health and relationships.
Taking a break from social media is like a mental reset and definitely forces you to be more present in your life.
Note: If you work in social media maybe try taking a break from just your personal social media.
- Talk a Walk
Prevention Magazine states that walking thirty minutes a day can improve your mood, increase creativity, and result in a number of other health benefits that will help you live longer. Daily walks can also help you connect more with friends, nature, and your own self.
Even a brief 10-minute walk can help clear your mind and change your mindset for the day. Want to reap the full benefits of a 30-minute walk but don’t have 30 consecutive minutes to spare? Break it up. Walk briskly for five minutes around the house while you pick up the toys, five more while you grocery shop, find five minutes during your lunch break, or walk around the soccer field during your child’s game, etc. If you look hard enough you can find a few unused minutes to get some steps in. Still can’t find any? Try the social media detox. BAM, two hours a week found.
Want a walking partner or a team to cheer you on. Check out the 99 Walks App, a community of supportive women striving for health goals just like you.
- Practice gratitude
Focusing on what you have as opposed to what you has been associated with improved mood, better relationships and overall happiness. Taking a few minutes a day (maybe during your morning routine) to write down one or two things that you are grateful for will help kick off your day on a positive note and clear any negative “mind clutter” holding you back. Read more here.
One of my favorite apps has become the 5 Minute Journal. It’s right on your phone and makes documenting gratitude easy. Even better, when you need a midday boost of positivity, you’ve got it there right at your fingertips to remind you of all you have to be grateful for.
Kelly West Bevan lives in The Berkshires of Massachusetts and is a freelance writer, mom of 3 and will soon be blogging about her empty nest adventures with her husband, Mark on her blog Our Empty Nest Life. You can follow her on Instagram at @kellywestbevan