It’s spring again. A great time of year to declutter, reorganize, and refocus. With the season of renewal now in full swing, we turned to four experts to give us tips on spring cleaning four important areas of our lives—our diet, our fitness regimen, our mind, and of course our home. Are you ready to start cleaning? Let’s go!
If you’re trying to spring clean your diet, go for the gut first. People are feeling sluggish and bloated because their digestion is messed up. The best thing to do is detox by using food—specifically by eating more fiber, which helps you to be regular. Fiber rich foods like leafy greens, fruit, brown rice, grains, legumes, and even mushrooms provide healthy bacteria that help your digestion and immune system. Also, I suggest cleaning out your fridge and pantry. If you have unhealthy, processed foods in your house, then you’re more likely to eat it. Give it away, compost it.
Replace it with foods that are healthy and wholesome. And don’t think that you have to give up snacking. Just swap the junk food for raw nuts and seeds, fruit, hummus with raw vegetables, and whole grain crackers. Replace soda and juice with unsweetened tea and water—which you can add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (ACV) to an 8-ounce glass once a day. ACV is good for digestion; helps keep your blood sugar under control, and can help you lose weight.
– Jenné Claiborne, Health Coach, Vegan Chef, Blogger, Author of the upcoming book, “Sweet Potato Soul,” www.sweetpotatosoul.com.
This time of year is perfect because it gives us more opportunities to engage in outdoor workout routines. Exercising outside not only gives you a change in scenery, but it also allows you to enjoy the fresh air and great weather. You can go for a long bike ride, enjoy a jog through the park, or take a nice walk around your neighborhood. It’s good to change up your exercise routines and think of new ways to spice things up because if exercising feels like a chore, you’re not going to want to do it.
Try to make it fun. Add a dance class for more cardio or beef up your weight training by adding a timed circuit routine. I also encourage people to set a list of preliminary goals that lead to one final fitness goal. For example, if want to lose 50 pounds, then create a realistic timeline, and work toward achieving that goal. Tracking your progress via journal or video blog is another way to help you stay motivated, recognize your accomplishments, and identify areas where you’ve remained stagnant or plateaued.
– Ciji Carr-McManus, Creator and Founder of Charged Up Dance Fitness, www.thechargeduptour.com
To declutter our minds and relieve stress and anxiety, we need to do more self- care and find time to center and calm ourselves. We are busy doing things for other people but we don’t prioritize ourselves first. Self-care can be anything from having a regular exercise routine, getting enough sleep, and meditating, which allows us to focus on the present moment and not worry about what possibly could happen in the future. We should also try to unplug and step away from our electronic devices. Being plugged into all the information that we have at our fingertips all the time can lead to stress.
I also recommend journaling to spring clean your mind. It’s a great way to catch any negative thoughts you’re having. When you notice that you’re having a shift in mood, that’s a good time to check in and focus on what you’re telling yourself in that moment. I challenge people to write down those thoughts and investigate them. Don’t take them at face value. And if you want to deconstruct some of that negative thinking, a licensed therapist can help you do that. Sometimes there’s a lot of stigma in the black community about seeking help. But it’s a healthy way to cope with how you’re feeling and find new solutions to some of the challenge you’re having.
– Monica T. Campbell, Ph.D., Licensed psychologist, http://www.drmonicacampbell.com
Once the days become warmer and longer, it motivates us to take care of what we may have neglected during our winter hibernation. Depending on the size of your place, if you can devote an entire week to spring cleaning and organizing, that’s great. But if don’t have that kind of time, devoting a few weekends or portions of the weekend is fine. Part of spring-cleaning is dusting and scrubbing the areas that you normally don’t get to, like the bottoms of closets, under your bed, in between couch cushions, and the tops of furniture.
It’s also about purging and sorting through items you might not get to on a regular basis. Hit the three main areas first, your kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom, and then move on to the other areas of your home. Clutter and mess weighs us down and can be stressful and overwhelming. So once you’ve completed your spring-cleaning, you’re going to have a sense of accomplishment, a feeling of being more in control of your space and more at peace. It will definitely enhance your mood make you feel lighter and brighter.
–Jodie Watson, Founder and President of Supreme Organization, Author of “Purge With Passion,” www.supremeorganization.com