What is an equinox? According to a lovely little google search to confirm my thoughts (before blurting unchecked facts to you), the equinox is when our 24 hour day is split perfectly into two 12 hour durations; meaning that we have an equal amount of sunlight to night. It only occurs twice a year so, after spring (vernal equinox), it only gets brighter from here folks!

On a deeper level, spring equinox comes almost exactly a year after the announcement of lockdown due to Covid 19 (happy anniversary everyone), and I like to think that life is not only getting brighter in terms of sunlight hours, but also in terms of optimism. People are being vaccinated, dates are being confirmed, and the end is in sight (touch wood, I don’t want to jinx anything).

With the bringing in of more sunlight, the growing of daffodils, and the lighter mornings, there’s no better a time to have a spring clean, not just of our homes, but also of our minds. Keeping on top of our mental health hasn’t been the easiest this past year, and now that spring is finally here, I want to be in the most positive mindset I can be in order to brighten the journey back into ‘normality’ as well as sweep those mental winter cobwebs away.

I like to remind myself often that I have so much to be thankful for, even when times feel bumpy. This spring clean I’m going to make a list of 10 things I am grateful for in life; 10 things that, no matter the state of global affairs, can put a smile on my face. These are the things that should be cherished and polished. This can be a mental list, a physical list in a journal or notebook, or a verbal list said to those who make the cut or to the things around you. If you’re struggling to think of 10 things, make it 5 or 3, picturing your life without these things often evokes a true sense of gratitude.

I’m also making a pact with myself to work on forgiveness. I’ve always been a forgiving person (and was labelled a little bit of a doormat in school because of it) but I’m proud of my ability to not hold a grudge. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always forget, but I’ve learnt in life that letting go and setting boundaries are a great medicine. Sweep away the dust that is lingering, you don’t need it. If you have someone in your life that you are harbouring hate towards, remember this: you can’t expect people to be perfect, a sincere apology is sometimes all that we can do, and unnecessary pain and anger are doing that brain of yours no good. Forgiveness is for you as much as it’s for the other person.

With the milder weather, I’m going to be walking a lot more. Appreciating all that nature can provide and trying to take in the bigger picture. Throughout all of this weird and scary year, nature has not stopped in the way that our lives have. It has endured. The flowers still bloom, despite the circumstances, the sun still shines and we are there to appreciate them. In a world where it can be hard to see the good, a walk in the sun can do wonders to remind us that the earth is still spinning.

It’s important for your mental health that the outward portrayal of you matches your inner self. What I mean by this is that if you should always dress in a way that feels you, or follow the age old adage: dress for the job you want (or the life you want). A wardrobe clear out, despite its benefits to our overfilled drawers, can work miracles for our heads. I feel so much better when I’m organised and dressed in a way that feels like me. I realised recently that I have so many pieces of clothing that don’t fit or I simply never wear, suddenly all I could see was the abundance of unnecessary items. Fill a bag ready for when the charity shops open up, depop/ebay/use another medium of online selling to line your pockets and contribute to sustainable shopping, or find a local clothing bin that is accepting clothing. You’ll be doing a good thing whilst shedding layers of fabric that are no longer suited to the image you’re portraying to the outside world.

On the topic of doing good, use this spring clean to bring spread some love. Giving back creates a positive feeling that you can use as a disinfectant for those negative feelings. Buy a meal for a houseless person, send a book you’ve loved to a friend, ring your nana, or pay forward a coffee at your local coffee shop.

Another brilliant way to spring clean is to do a social media sweep. Unfollow people whose media makes you feel self-conscious, unhappy with your own life, or gives you a negative feeling. If unfollowing them would cause an issue, you can use the mute feature on Instagram to remove their stories and photos from your feed without them knowing. Remove all that no longer makes you feel positive.

In terms of physical spring cleaning, making your space a sanctuary is a wonderful way to boost your mood. I’m not saying that you need to be hoovering and polishing until your fingers bleed, but filling your space with things that make you happy can be so cathartic. Photos that bring about memories, trinkets from trips, colours you love; all of which need to be in your space. Or, if your thing is minimal, then make your space minimal. Your space should reflect you, it should be a place in which you feel at ease and comfortable.

I hope this has helped bring about some positivity. Please let me know if you have any other tips that you’ll be using this spring time, I can’t wait for us all to bring about a better mindset with every hour of sunshine. As usual, comment below, or check me out on Instagram @girlonpause, or on Facebook: Girl on Pause to keep in touch.

Until next time.
Beth Brown