Every spring, I find myself hopping on the bandwagon of spring cleaning. I donate clothes, I scrub surfaces that desperately need it, I sweep, mop, vacuum - the whole deal. And often times, I find myself longing for a change of pace beyond a clean apartment. I get the urge to eat better, to keep my apartment cleaner, to think more positively, and to develop new, healthy habits. It's like I get my New Years Resolution motivation two months too late.

This year, I've decided I am going to make changes in my life this spring beyond cleaning my living space. I cleaned out my apartment last week and ended up having three giant trash bags full of clothes and shoes to donate that I hadn't worn in months. Right before I got rid of them, I realized how ridiculous it was for me to have more material belongings than I know what to do with. I came to the conclusion that I worry too much about what I wear and how I look than the memories I'm making and who I surround myself with in life - which is what really matters.

I grew up privileged enough to have everything that I needed, and it took me way too long to realize that I have way, way more than I need. I decided that my goal for 2019 (and for every year from here on out) is to only possess things I truly need or use on a regular basis. I am trying to learn that just because something once brought me joy doesn't mean that I need to keep it around after it's served it's purpose.

In the wise words of Marie Kondo:







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In addition to showing gratitude to these clothes I'm getting rid of that have gone unworn, I am learning to spend my money more responsibly - if I am not sure that I will wear or use something enough to make it worth the price, I am able to pass it up more easily than I used to. I've always struggled with saving money and one of my big goals for this year is to be more financially responsible.

Back to cleaning: another way to clean this spring is to eat healthier. My psychiatrist recently recommended that I try a Mediterranean diet, which is supposed to help with depression and anxiety, as well as lifting your mood in general. I've also started taking vitamins and supplements that allow me to be healthier and happier each day.

The last major way to clean up your life this spring is to be good to yourself. Mentally, emotionally, physically - there are so many little things you can do to make your day better and easier. I have started putting a lot more effort into my schoolwork and procrastinate significantly less because that was something that really increased my day-to-day anxiety, making it harder to eat and sleep. I have also started going to bed earlier and taking melatonin when I can't sleep to make sure that I am well rested for the next day. I try to get up early no matter what my plans are so that I can have a consistent routine that keeps me up and moving and productive. The best way to improve is to be patient, understanding, and forgiving with yourself.

Happy cleaning!