Emotional Spring Cleaning
by Donna Scrafano
Spring is usually the season when we clean out our brick-and-mortar homes and closets for the coming year. But Spring is also a good time to clean out any toxic energy that may have infiltrated our lives. Such toxic energy may come in the forms of everyday stressors, pending health issues, unrealistic or irrational fears, and, yes, some of the people lurking in the closets of our lives.
So how exactly do we “Spring clean” our lives? Here are a few measures I have subscribed to:
- When considering everyday stressors, identify them. Decide which ones can be reduced or completely eliminated. Is there another strategy to use when dealing with a particular stressor? Or can it be eliminated all together? For example, if we have a very long commute to our employment, we can listen to relaxing music, positive affirmations, meditate before leaving, take the bus or train rather than driving, etc. Eliminating such some everyday stressors may lead to changing one’s employment. An extreme measure for sure, but sometimes necessary. I once had to do just that.
- A pending health issue can also be a big stressor. Some ways to manage, change, or eliminate this are a change in exercise or eating habits, weight loss, supplements, medication. homeopathic treatments, medical treatments, etc. I believe that being mindful of our all-around health (physical, emotional, spiritual) is at the top of the chart.
- Irrational or unrealistic fears that sometimes plague our minds don’t turn off without a purposeful off switch. My old irrational fears have been replaced with fears attached to the pandemic. After all, the pandemic is real. COVID-19 is real.
In the past, my racing irrational worries could overwhelm me. Surviving this pandemic meant that I was forced to research more avenues to find my off switch. In addition to having acupuncture, walking more frequently, talking with friends, other forms of exercise, and listening to self-help recordings, I also found reiki. I had never before educated myself about such treatment. I must say, it’s wonderful. I experience the same relief as I do with acupuncture. Only without the needles. Yeah!
Other strategies that helped with racing thoughts during the pandemic included having positive conversations with healthy friends, not watching the news or social media, and making sure I was particular in choosing my safe circle—those individuals who were taking COVID-19 as seriously as I was. Quite honestly, these strategies turned off the irrational thoughts rather quickly.
4. Toxic people sometimes enter our lives, and cleaning them out of our emotional closets can prove to be the most challenging task.
Not allowing mean spirited, abusive, disrespectful, trifling people in our lives is a no-brainer to me. But what about family members or long-time friendships that go bad? I’m referring to individuals who insist that their way is the right way, the only way. I’m good with respecting differences regarding subjects such as politics, abortion, immigration, LBGTQ, policing, etc. However, I draw the line when they take it to a different level, a level that, to my mind, is a degradation of humanity. Inhumane. Regardless of whether they are biologically related or not, they are gone or at the very least kept at arm’s length.
Let’s also not forget those individuals who are unforgiving, co-dependent, and long-time Pollyannas who wear rose-colored glasses. These are people who are seemingly sweet on the outside, but if you dare to upset their cart holding forms of skewed unreality, you’re in big trouble! They can turn into a berating monster. Just. Like. That. And with the sweetest tone. Yikes! Tell me how you really feel!
Everyone has their own perception of disrespect. I consider all of the aforementioned as such. And regardless of who you are, you will be placed in the “give-away pile” during my emotional Spring cleaning.
I’ll end this article with a quote I found on Facebook. We should all subscribe to this:
“You are magic. And not everyone can handle magic. Some people are so accustomed to mediocre, they run from magic. Let them run. Let them have their blah, their boring, their beige, their basic. You just keep standing all tall and strong and sparkly in your magic and let the ones who can’t handle you pass right on by.” Mandy Hale
Artwork: Sae-Midori (US) “Green Spring Morning” @saemidori.designs
Donna began her journey in Human Services in 1983. During the next 35 years she held various positions and formally retired in 2018. She writes on an array of social issues. Donna's relaxation time includes walking her Lab, Roxy, having fun with her seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, writing for Silver Sage, spending time with friends and family. Her last full-time position was providing care to her father. Since that has ended, Donna is taking the time to invest in her own self care and interests.