When we think of renewal we often think of rebirth; something old dies and something new is born. This year, winter seems to be hanging on, unwilling to give way to spring and the promise of new life. Although we have a little way to go to really enjoy the warmth and light that spring brings, we can still begin to think about what we can do to renew ourselves and to make new the life we live in.
I love writing about this topic because it’s so hopeful. By allowing our lives to mimic the cycles of nature we are reminded that no matter what happens to us there are always opportunities to shift a situation, to optimize our chances, and/or to start all over. Spring is a wonderful time of the year to consider who we are and how we want to be. It’s a great time to consider making changes and to set the course for the year moving forward.
Here are 5 ways to help you regroup, reprioritize, renew, and perhaps, re-invent yourself. Many of these are actual things you can do, while others are ways to “re-think” who you are and what you want to be.
1. Streamline Your Life.
Although not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination, it’s a concept that has been recently re-energized and re-imagined in the popular movement of “decluttering” your life. There are two big areas to consider.
De-clutter Your Living Space. Do you use everything you have? If not, get rid of anything you no longer need. “Someone’s junk is someone else’s treasure.” Donate clothing and household items that are in reasonably good condition to an organization or charity, and books to your local library or hospital. Learn to do with less. In fact, some people make a conscious decision to limit all purchases for a period of time. More drastically, some people elect to downsize their living space, economizing on a smaller home or apartment.
Clear out mental and emotional clutter. Why not use this season of renewal as a reminder to get rid of things that are weighing you down and consuming your time and energy? What do you value most in your life? How much quality time do you spend with the people and the things you care about most? What is the best way to use your time to create the life you want to have?
- Reorganize your highest priorities and re-evaluate your commitments.
- Allow yourself to let go of the past to make room for new things to enter your life.
- Commit to making decisions you’ve been putting off.
- Challenge limiting beliefs about yourself and about how things should be.
- Reframe your attitude about what happens to you. Think positively even if you’re having a hard time. Pair a negative feeling with a positive one.
2. Begin something new.
- Explore your creativity. Go back to school. Learn a new language. Learn how to play an instrument. Be the stand-up comic or diva you always dreamed of being.
- Take better care of yourself. Create an inventory of your health including diet, exercise, genetics, and stress level. Begin slowly, one small change at a time. This is not about making a resolution every year to do better but rather a practical, soulful look at yourself and your health so that the years ahead can be lived to your fullest capacity.
- Become a volunteer and/or mentor. Someone or some project can always benefit from your help and expertise.
– By Abigail Brenner M.D.
Image source – Flickr.com