By Dr. Jenna Arts
Spring is one of my favourite times of the year…the warmer weather, the fresh breeze coming in through the windows of my house, and the overall increase in happiness of everyone around me.
But to top it all off, I love me a good spring clean!
It's a time for me to do a thorough and complete clean of my kitchen, closets and those cupboards, drawers and "storage spaces" that accumulate stuff that just don’t serve a purpose in my life anymore.
But this year I added an extra layer to my spring-cleaning routine.
Instead of stopping once my home was sparkly and organized, I completed a spring clean of my life too.
I started by purging all of the unnecessary things in my home that weren’t moving me towards the vision I have for my health and my life. Next, I made sure my environment was properly set up so that I was motivated and prepared to continue living my life By Design
Here are the 7 additional steps I added this year that helped me:
1. Clean out your fridge and pantry. Yes, even I have off track foods that sneak into my home! This is a great time of year to not just do a heavy-duty clean of your fridge and the inside of your cupboards, but to purge any non By Design foods too. If it's not in your kitchen, you'll be less tempted to eat it. You can either choose to throw it out, or donate it to a food bank.
2. Restock your kitchen with an abundance of By Design foods. Naturally, after tossing so many things out you may feel like your kitchen is empty. This is the time to make sure your fridge is fully stocked with fresh fruit and veggies, your freezer is full of a selection of meat and fish, and your pantry is complete with your nuts, seeds, cooking oils and fats, and spices so you don't feel deprived. I used this time of year to splurge on a few things to spice up my kitchen that made me feel like it was full of options. I bought a more expensive mustard I've been eyeing at the market, restocked our frozen grass fed beef share, bought a new veggie spiralizer and stocked up my flavoured tea collection.
3. Clean out your closet of all clothes that either don't fit anymore or that you haven't worn in a year. If you've made some recent healthy lifestyle changes it's possible that your clothing size has shifted slightly too (which is awesome!). Again, you can donate the clothes you aren't wearing anymore. Just make sure you’re properly celebrating your progress with clothes that make you feel great about yourself.
4. If you need to, restock your closet with clothes that make you feel strong, lean, fit and beautiful. This would be a great time to invest in new workout pants, shorts, shirts, sports bras or gym shoes. Nothing makes me more motivated to go to the gym than getting to wear my favourite new workout outfit! Admittedly I've had to restock my closet with more new clothes recently because of my growing baby belly, but gym clothes have topped the list. They've kept me motivated to continue exercising throughout my pregnancy and are great to double as running-around-to-do-errands clothes or lounging-around-the-house clothes.
5. Complete a serious inventory of the cleaning products in your home and use them during your spring-cleaning. You've started becoming increasingly conscious of what you put into your body, and now is a great time to substitute healthier, more natural, homemade alternatives to the cleaning products in your home. You can find my recipes for an all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner and laundry detergent here. They're more cost effective, smell much better and most importantly reduce the chemical exposure in your home.
6. Do an inventory of your weekly routines and habits. Winter can seem long, cold and unfortunately bring out the worst in people. But spring is a great time to slip and check how we've been spending our time. Set aside time with your journal and write out everything you did in the last week. If you're happy with the way you've spent it and you honestly feel it's helped you move towards a healthier life, awesome! If there's room for improvement, find out where. Should you reschedule your chiropractic appointment you cancelled a few weeks ago? Should you schedule your workouts or classes at the gym for the next week? Should you set aside time this weekend to grocery shop and complete a food prep day? Should you block off time just for you…to go for a walk, read a book, listen to your favourite podcast or catch up with an old friend? Make it a priority to make time for things this week that fill your bucket and bring joy to your life.
7. This is probably the most difficult step…do an inventory of the people you surround yourself with. Do they encourage you, challenge you, bring out the best in you and support you to live a better, healthier, more amazing life? Or are they critical of your choices, make a conscious effort to bring you down or poke fun at some of the "weird and crazy" lifestyle habits you've developed. You don't need to eliminate these people from your life completely, but be mindful of the amount of time you spend with them and the conversations you allow to happen when you're with them.
I hope you found these 7 steps helpful. I would love to hear how they went. Comment below!
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