Days 26-2 [April]: Mental & Physical Spring Cleaning

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My spring cleaning mini-lution is different from the normal spring cleaning you are thinking of.  Although I did want to begin the new month with a clean house and clean laundry, my spring cleaning is a bit more symbolic and faith-based than the normal scrub down. Mine was solely mental and physical. What does that actually mean? It’s like a detox from bad energy, an erasing of negativity and bad habits, a new start to a brand new month. Still sound kind of vague? Well, I’ve explained day by day exactly how I “spring cleaned” my life.

Days 26-28: Embark on a 3 day  ‘junk ‘ detox. I wanted to kick off my spring cleaning with an old-fashioned detox from junk food and alcohol. Let me preface this by saying I eat quite healthfully and am, BY NO MEANS, an alcoholic, But I’ve been feeling really tired, sluggish, bloated and overall unhealthy lately so I found no better way to begin a rejuvenation than to kick the bottle and the bag [of chips]. The first day was easier than expected, thanks to my ambitious and excited mindset. I ate fresh salads with an array of vegetables and fruits, whole wheat toasts and cereals and nothing artificial. I also gave up my glass of wine with dinner and replaced it with some good quality H2O. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted ice cream and wine, but I wanted to feel better more. The second and third day were a little tougher, the cake in the office for the March birthdays and the constant supply of candy near my desk were a constant temptation. So to avoid bingeing on laffy taffy’s and double chocolate cake I brought mini cheese wheels and celery sticks to curb my hunger. They didn’t taste as good, but they filled me up, which is more than I can say about those empty calories!

Days 29-31: Forgive myself. Like every other person on the planet, I’m not perfect and my life is a direct representation of that. I’m not saying I don’t like my life, I’m just saying there are holes and tears in it that show the highs and lows. I’ve made mistakes, some a lot worse than others, I’ve hurt people I love, many who I no longer have, and I’ve hurt myself [figuratively and emotionally] more times than I can count. And with me, these pieces of past have been following me around for ever. I’m 24 years old and I have the emotional baggage of someone twenty years older. It’s hard carrying around your mistakes and your broken heart, the weight gets almost too heavy to bear. So on days 29-31, I did some serious soul-searching and realized that  I need to make peace with my past and forgive myself for all of the wrongs I’ve done.

This was the most emotionally trying few days I’ve had in a long time. It’s hard enough to think back on the low points in your life, but add in forgiving yourself for some of these lows, it’s a recipe for some serious breakdowns.  Forgiving myself for hurting people I loved and for making mistakes in college were, by far, the hardest pieces of this puzzle. I walk around with so much guilt hanging over me. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think, even if just for a second, about how much I miss certain people or how I wish I’d handle things differently. In order to truly forgive myself, I had to let that go and make peace. It was hard. There were a lot of tears shed. But I managed to let myself be forgiven and I managed to let these pieces and memories go, no matter how painful that process was. Going forward, I need to learn that I’m not perfect, and that’s okay. I have to forgive myself and my past if I ever want to have a chance at a full and happy future.

Day 1: Replace I can’t with I can.  After those really hard few days, I needed something that would lift my spirits. The best way to boost my mood is to eradicate all of the negative thoughts and ideas that frequent my mind and replace them with positive thoughts and messages. It seems really after school special and a bit self-help, but trust me, as cheesy as it is, it really puts you in a better mood and makes all of your goals more attainable. For example, I remember thinking I couldn’t actually hand make any of the gifts for our wedding gift bags. So instead of thinking I couldn’t and looking at places to buy these, I sat down and planned out how I could and a compromise with that. I’m not a great baker so i probably won’t make the cookies, but I can certainly make the little gift boxes with some help. A task that I was sure I wouldn’t be able to do became something that would be fun to do with the help of friends. You’ll be surprised at how much more exciting life becomes when you start realizing your own potential.

Day 2: De-clutter my mind. This picture sums it up so elegantly. I sometimes feel like I have so much going on in my mind that I need a professional cleaning crew [or wrecking crew] to hop in there and throw out unnecessary thoughts and desires. My mind is in a constant race against time and sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with all I have to do and the timeframe to do it all that I just get burnt out and get to feeling pretty defeated. De-cluttering my mind was not as easy as, say, de-cluttering my living room, but it was just as necessary. There’s no way I was going to accomplish any of my goals or get anything done with everything that was plaguing my mind. So I sat down and transferred all of the clutter from my head onto my computer. Once most of my dreams/ambitions were right in front of me, it was almost obvious which ones had to stay in the here and now and which ones needed to be put on hold. My mind still races and I still feel overwhelmed at times, but having a place to put all of these misguided thoughts frees up some space in my mind and keeps me sane [somewhat].

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