Now is the time to get rid of what doesn’t serve you…
Ever notice how stuff tends to accumulate during the winter? Maybe you shoved those unwanted holiday gifts in the corner of the closet, which is overflowing with winter coats and boots. Or maybe you’ve let your desk accumulate bills, files, and to do lists that you will get to some other weekend in the future. Which probably means never – or maybe that’s just me.
But now I’m setting a challenge for myself – to spring clean my space and to toss those things that no longer serve me.
I came across a popular book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, written by a Japanese organizer, who advises her clients to only keep what brings you joy – and toss out everything else. In other words, if that old coat isn’t bringing you joy, why are you holding on to it?
I love this idea, and feel it’s a good way to approach my emotional closet, too. We tend to hold on to old hurts, grudges, and pain – when we could work towards cleaning out and making more room for feelings of joy, happiness, and love. But how to do this?
My experience is that nothing changes as quickly as I’d like, but with small steps towards creating more happiness in my life, I will slowly let go of old habits that don’t serve me and develop healthier ones.
Here’s how to get started if you’d like to challenge yourself – even when it comes to how you approach dating:
- Meet people face-to-face. Are you tired of Tinder dates or endless messages that lead nowhere? Instead of meeting people over an app, try attending a networking event, or strike up a conversation with the guy in front of you at Starbucks. There are plenty of ways to meet people – we just have to remind ourselves that it doesn’t have to always be from behind the safety and anonymity of a screen.
- Surround yourself with more positive people. Sometimes our negative friends are easy to be around because we have an outlet to complain. But they don’t necessarily encourage us to change. Reach out to people in your life who you admire, or who manage to see the positive in most situations. It will help lift you up, too.
- Indulge in self-care. What I mean is, take charge of your own health and happiness. Start a new exercise routine – whether it’s yoga, hiking, climbing – whatever makes you excited to get up on a weekend morning. Make yourself healthy meals more than once a week. Book a massage. Do things to take care of yourself the way you would care for someone else.
- Take your time. We are in such a hurry for everything, and we get so distracted by our phones. Instead, practice doing one activity at a time. Practice really listening to friends, dates, family members – and engaging in conversation without letting your mind wander. Treat more days like a lazy Sunday afternoon – in other words, slow down. Your heart will be fuller for it.
- Give more love. Volunteer. Buy a cup of coffee for a stranger. Hold the door open for an old lady or offer to carry her bags. When you start treating others with kindness, you can’t help but see the world as a little bit more warm, that people are better than you think.
Developing new habits takes time, but practicing these tips will help dust off those cobwebs of fear and pain that hold us back and open our hearts to love and compassion, which translates to our relationships. Out with the old, in with the new…