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Seven Ways to Spring Clean Your Life

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HAPPINESS
Felice Shapiro

Spring is the traditional time when we clear out the cobwebs and start afresh. This year, why not extend the spring cleaning to the rest of your life and get rid of your lifestyle clutter.

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Clean up your relationships

Many of us cling on to friendships and relationships well past their use-by date, believing that quantity is more important than quality when it comes to the people in our lives. However, if you are holding on to relationships that no longer make you feel good, it may be time to let them go. If you think you may just be going through a rough patch then it is worth talking things through with your partner or friend; however, if they have been bringing you down for a while and there's no resolution in sight, it may be time to focus on those people who make you happy instead.

Dust off your talents

From ballet classes to music lessons, children are always rushing about from one activity to the next. Yet as we get older, many of us abandon the hobbies and interests we used to love in favour of a growing list of chores and obligations. To add some fun back in to your routine, try starting up an activity again that you used to enjoy or be good at. If you find that your passion is no longer there then move on to something else - with so many hobbies out there to try, you're sure to find something that you enjoy.

Straighten out your finances

If you want to start afresh with a clean slate and a clear mind, one of the best things you can do is to get your finances in order. While it may be scary to assess your financial situation, going on in ignorance will only cause your worries to eat away at you and may even lead to a worse situation further down the road. Bite the bullet and, if necessary, set yourself a budget for the next few months or so. Make a plan to cut down on anything that you don't need to be splurging on, such as your morning cup of coffee or that fancy store-bought lunch.

Declutter your mind

Many of us harbour negative emotions over time such as anger, jealousy and hatred; however these emotions are not only worthless, they can also be detrimental to your health and happiness. Try to realise that these feelings aren't adding anything to your life and let go of any negative emotions or grudges you have been holding. Also, find a method to deal with any anxiety and stress, such as through yoga, meditation or counselling. Remember that worrying won't change the future; it will only ruin the present.

Clear your schedule

How are you spending your time? Is it on things worth spending it on? The truth is that many of us go through our lives wasting precious hours on things that don't matter and then complaining that we can't fit in things that do. Rather than letting your time slip away unnoticed, mentally go through your week and work out how you spend your time, writing down everything you do and how long you spend on it. Once you have your week written out in front of you, you can identify how to maximise your hours, what to cut back on and how to make room for more valuable activities.

Spruce up your diet

Whether due to lack of inspiration or habit, we often end up eating the same meals over and over with little variation in our diets. However, repeatedly sticking to the same foods may mean that you are missing out on certain nutrients and it will also lessen your enjoyment of meals. To liven up your mealtimes and boost your inspiration for cooking, try experimenting with different foods you have never tasted and interesting new recipes. If you are a snackaholic this may be the perfect time to start sampling some healthy replacements for those biscuits and crisps!

Get rid of clutter

While you're dusting off the other areas of your life it's a great time to have a traditional spring clean and clear out any household clutter. Throw away or give to charity anything you don't use anymore (including clothes you've been waiting for years for the 'right occasion' to wear!), clear your kitchen cupboards of junk food and re-arrange the furniture to freshen up your home. Not only will this give you space for more useful things, but decluttering your home can also boost your mental health.

Read more:

10 ways to love your life

10 ways to break bad habits

7 ways to make better decisions

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