So, after your spring cleaning’s done, it’s time to spring clean yourself.
As we grow up, we pick up habits and adopt them as we see them. We take ourselves for granted and we tend to go on life autopilot. Meanwhile, the notion of being mindful about our surroundings and knowing ourselves better can make a huge difference for us.
Let’s hit the refresh button.
First Step: Notice your healthy habits (or lack thereof)
Move it, move it
Everybody will advise you to hit the gym, but it is not for everyone — this doesn’t give you an excuse to get comfortable with this statement, though. Rather, find the right workout for you – maybe it’s running in the morning, taking a walk in the afternoon, pilates, yoga, tai chi, or even dedicating 15 minutes of your day to the treadmill. Whatever it is that makes you comfortable, do it, as long you move it.
You are how you eat
How many times do you eat take out? How much money do you waste on ruining your health? Are you a stress eater? Are you a snacker? What kind of food do you most consume? And how much of it?
When it comes to diets, it’s different for everyone because each of us has our own eating habits. First, keep an eye on how you eat in order to be able to tweak, balance or improve your diet.
Sleep it off
I’m one of those people who used to believe that sleep is a waste of time, until I got to that point in my 20s where I was so exhausted, physically and mentally, that fatigue and memory loss was my default setting. I wasn’t able to have a good night sleep anymore, even if I wanted to, and things went downhill from there. I believe my lack of sleep had something to do with it.
Rest your body whenever it calls for some. Like anything, sleep is your body’s way of recharging.
Understand what you’re ruining
Learn how your body works; take some time to read more about general biology. Understand the sophistication of our natural processes and how we’re not only not appreciating/respecting them but also taking our health for granted.
Second Step: Befriend yourself
Get to know yourself
Most of the time, we think we know ourselves, but in fact we tend to sugarcoat everything, even our own traits. We lie to ourselves because we are so obsessed with perfection that we can’t handle our defects. This, BTW, happens more frequently than you all think.
Notice your actions, your reactions, you weaknesses – before your talents. Learning to be OK with your flaws is the key to discovering yourself.
Find the time for yourself
We get so caught up in doing what we have to do that we forget about ourselves. Do something you enjoy every day, even if it only takes five minutes. Dare yourself to try new things, or learn new languages.
Don’t take your old definitions for granted – where are they coming from? Are they really yours? Do you really believe in them or are you just conforming – or not conforming for the sake of it? Have some honest one-on-one conversation with yourself and question, ponder, reflect everything – it’s healthy.
Third step: Build bridges
Notice how you connect with people
Listen more if you’re all about talking. Talk more if you’re into listening. Learn to see the other side if you tend to see the world as revolving around yourself. Try different approaches, see if that makes any difference.
Write it down
Be it your goals, your worries, your random lists. You don’t have to be a writer to hold a pen and start pouring yourself out on paper. Writing down words helps to ease the stress, relieves the racing thoughts and sometimes makes you discover new things about yourself.
It’s also fun (or shocking) to document the progress of your personality change – it sometimes feels like having an out-of-body experience.
Fourth step: Lose to gain
Kill the attachment
Involuntarily, we build attachments to material things, things we could lose at any moment. Try to abstain from something every once in a while, it helps your well being. It makes you stronger, it makes you feel like you are in charge of your life, like you own things, and not vice versa.
No, not to connect with people. But to connect with yourself, with your own thoughts. Try asking yourself twice, “Why am I sharing this on Facebook/Twitter?”. Social networking is cool, but not when it invades our own private sanctuary. Keep a close watch on how it might get dangerous at any point.
WE SAID THIS: Liked this? Don’t miss “A Letter To My 20-Year-Old Self“.