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Happy Friday and welcome to the second post in our Spring Cleaning From The Inside Out series, where we apply the concept of “spring cleaning” to different areas of our lives each week with intention, gentleness and curiosity. With this perspective we can assess what is, keep what we want, let go of what we don’t and change where possible. If you’re new here, you may want to start by checking out last week’s kick-off post where we discussed spring cleaning as it relates to emotions. 

And now, we dive into week two’s spring cleaning focus: physical. And to be perfectly clear – this does not refer to changing your body or appearance. The physical aspect we’ll focus on is evaluating your surroundings and any changes you can make to the things you see/touch/smell/taste on a daily basis that help to spark joy and bring you more aligned with your values. 

A popular physical-based spring cleaning activity is the closet cleanout. As we pack away our winter sweaters and opt for lighter wear it usually prompts us to do a deeper dive into getting rid of the clothes that no longer serve us to make space for the season ahead! And this can be useful, but also difficult for many struggling with body image or a history of eating disorders. If this is the case, I want to acknowledge the validity of that struggle. You may wish to check out one of our previous blog posts – Clearing Out Your Closet (& Diet Culture) – for helpful affirmations and reminders as you go through the process. 

If the closet cleanout isn’t for you, don’t worry there are many more practical ways to “refresh” your space this season! Perhaps one of the below ideas will inspire you: 

  • Clean out that one junk drawer in the kitchen
  • Organize your desk
  • Declutter your garage or basement (that big looming to-do task)
  • Sort the items in your pantry
  • Get a new morning coffee mug that sparks joy
  • Rearrange the furniture in your living space 
  • Pull recipes from a cookbook that you want to make this month 
  • Light that candle you’ve been saving

It doesn’t have to be big, expensive or profound. As the above list emphasizes, a lot of times the little things make a big difference when it comes to the space around us. Interested in reflecting further on what spring cleaning in the physical sense looks like for you this season? Try the below journal prompts:

  1. Is there any physical space in my life that feels messy or is causing me anxiety? What are some manageable next steps I can take to approach it?
  2. Is there a to-do list item I’ve been putting off for a while? Why might that be? 
  3. Listen to this short five-minute meditation on Spring from our wonderful mindfulness expert Ashton. Focus on your breathing and body in this present moment. Where am I feeling the change of seasons in my body? Is there anything my body is trying to tell me right now? 

Whatever steps you decide to take (or don’t), spring cleaning doesn’t have to fit any single mold and should be unique to you and your needs. I hope these practices and prompts are helpful in your personal springtime transition and check back next week as we’ll explore spring cleaning when it comes to our relationships! 

By: Maddy Weingast, Assistant for Therapy for Eating Disorders and Body Image