11 Tips To Start Spring Cleaning For Your Mental, Emotional, And Physical Health

11 Tips To Start Spring Cleaning For Your Mental, Emotional, And Physical Health

Let's work on us this Spring!
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Tis the season for Spring Cleaning! While Spring Cleaning is usually associated with items, I encourage you to evaluate all areas of your life this year: mental, emotional, and physical. Here are some areas to get you started, as well as some awesome resources to help you out! (Because we all know a lot of these things are easier said than done.)

1. Get rid of negative thoughts.

This is much easier said than done, but even just starting your day with a positive affirmation on something you're insecure about will go a long way. Be kind to yourself first so that you can have the energy to be kind to others.

2. Get that 8 hours every night.

No more sleepless nights. Sleep allows your brain to repair itself from the wear and tear of the day. It is also the best way to cope with stress, solve problems, and get better when we're sick! 8 hours of sleep is a must, so get rid of all your distractions and give yourself time to wind down each night so that you get better rest.

3. Start a weekly exercise routine.

Exercise is healthy for your brain and body, and there's no better time to start than now while you have access to all the free classes at the Student Rec Center! If you aren't a student and don't want to buy a gym membership, download a good exercise app or search through YouTube for a variety of fun programs you can use to get fit!

4. Give your body the fuel it needs.

With so many fast food options, it can be really difficult to eat the way we should. Sheet pan meals are a great way to get started on your healthy eating journey! They take minimal prep and time, and they can be super versatile, too. Investing in some good quality tupperware is key to packing healthy lunches as well, and don't forget a nice water bottle!

5. Make time everyday to do something you enjoy.

Sure, it would be nice to have that project done, but if you have other times to work on it in small sections instead of pumping it all out at once, definitely do it. Use the spare time you have to do something you enjoy like reading, drawing, listening to music, spending time with friends or loved ones, or watching Netflix to avoid burnout.

6. No more procrastinating.

On the flip-side, don't wait until the last minute to work on a project, assignment, or to study for a test. These are all sources of avoidable stress that can really take a toll on your well-being (and your GPA). Some ways to avoid procrastination are by making planned rewards to for completing parts of a task, eliminating distractions, among others.

7. Nix Toxic Relationships.

Relationships are a two-way street. If you're giving your all to your friends, family, and love interests and aren't getting anything back in return, it's time to go.

8. Books you'll never read again.

Now onto some of the easier stuff. Studies show getting grid of clutter of all kinds can help us have a more calm and organized mind. Why not start with old books and magazines you have laying around? Better yet, donate them to a local women's shelter and give someone else the chance to learn the lessons they each have to teach!

9. Donate/sell old clothes.

It can be hard to let go of the past, but you aren't who you were yesterday, let alone who you were five years ago when you wore that purple jumpsuit. Get rid of things that do't serve your current style. This will make picking out outfits much easier and streamline your morning routine, as well as benefit you in many other surprising ways.

10. Release the possessions that don't serve you.

We all know how hard it can be to get rid of something that came from a loved one, whether we like the object or not, but it's important to start letting that guilt go so that we can use our energy and space for things that serve us right now. Keep what makes you happiest, and let go of the rest because the person that gave it to you is more than that object. They're all the memories you have of them and with them, and getting rid of this physical thing will never take the things that really matter away.

11. Lose the multiples

Do you really need four can openers and three blenders? Regift or sell the things in your living spaces that you have more than one of! It will make things easier to find when you need them, and give you a lot more space for things that you do use.

With a new sense of purpose to get your life together, let the start of Spring be the moment you re-devote yourself to YOU. When you put yourself and your own well-being first, you'll be amazed by the amount of positive energy that will trickle down to your relationships, thus making all areas of your life exponentially better. Happy Spring Cleaning!

Cover Image Credit: Emmy Rinehart

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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I Am 9,170 Miles Away But I Still Choose To Stand In Solidarity With The People Of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has its own flaws and imperfections, but what I've learned is that even on our darkest days, no one can take away faith and solidarity.

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April 21, 2019. Easter Sunday.

I was devastated to wake up on Sunday morning to a series of missed calls and texts from friends asking whether my friends and family were affected by the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka. I was shocked to read all of the news about the bombings in various churches and hotels that I'd visited on my trips to Sri Lanka. I remember wandering around the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in middle school hoping to get a glimpse of internationally famous cricket players like Lasith Malinga and Kumar Sangakkara.

Now, this hotel where I associated happy memories of staying up until 5 a.m. to watch the World Cup and running around with my brother is one of the 6 locations in Sri Lanka that was bombed on Easter.

Sri Lanka is a country that most of my peers have never heard of. It brings a smile to my face when I'm able to talk about the amazing experiences I've had on this island nation. I'm able to talk about how I almost got run over by an elephant during a safari in Yala National Park, how I took surfing lessons at Arugam Bay, and how I climbed all the way up Mount Sigiriya when I was 4 years old. All of these experiences have shown me the beauty of the people, the nature, the animals, and the culture of Sri Lanka. While there is so much to appreciate, there is also so much to acknowledge about its recent history.

In 2009, the 30-year civil war finally came to an end. I remember going to my parents' room when I was nine, and watching live streams of people in the streets celebrating that the war had finally ended. This was a war that caused the majority of my family to flee the country to avoid the violence and destruction. Now, almost ten years after the war ended, there was a coordinated attack on churches and hotels that led to the murder of over 300 innocent citizens and wounded around 500 people.

Sri Lanka isn't perfect, but it's roots and culture have made me who I am today. Even though I wasn't alive during the majority of the war, it has left a lasting impact on my family. My mom had to go by herself to Russia, without any prior Russian language experience, to avoid being in the middle of the war. She now speaks English, Russian, Tamil, and Sinhalese. I had other family members who fled to places like New Zealand, Nigeria, Canada, and Australia.

Because of the war, I have family all over the world who can speak Mandarin, Arabic, Dutch, Malay, French, Russian, and so many more languages. Being Sri Lankan has given me an international perspective on the world around me and has given me the insight to look past cultural differences. Instead of going to shopping malls with my cousins like my friends in the US do, I meander through bazaars in Singapore and Malaysia or go dune-bashing in the United Arab Emirates.

When people look at me, they never think that my last name could be Paul. Shouldn't it be something that is hard to pronounce or something much longer? My last name dates back to 1814 when missionaries from Williams College traveled all the way to villages in the Northern parts of Sri Lanka to share God's love. My great great great grandfather studied in one of the many Christian schools and his faith has been passed down from generation to generation. No matter how dark things got during the war, faith is what kept my family going.

Though Sri Lanka has faced adversity over the years, it continues to grow stronger. Through violence, hurricanes, government corruption, and internal conflicts, Sri Lanka continues to push through. Sri Lanka has its own flaws and imperfections, but what I've learned is that even on our darkest days, no one can take away faith and solidarity.

So today—9,170 miles away—I stand with the people of Sri Lanka.

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