Last weekend I intentionally went to the mall to get a spring jacket. You see, I'm still wearing the fake fur jacket I referred to in this post. But I'm slightly wary, lest my colleagues accuse me of not dressing appropriately. Like the time I wore a green shift dress in October and someone said "oh your dress is pretty but why are you wearing a summer dress" or the time I wore a bright yellow jacket in April and my boss went "You're full blown ready for summer already aren't you?. I do have a tan trench coat, but it's a size too big, plus isn't that an Autumn / Fall colour?
Being relatively new to England, I'm still getting the hang of all these seasons and requisite dress codes. But there's something about Spring that I've come to love. Like everything around you seems to have been given a new lease of life (plus it's the beginning of warmer weather!). In the spirit of Spring therefore here's 9 areas that could do with a bit of spring cleaning and freshness:
1. Health: This is probably one you didn't expect to see. But it's so important, and we need to be intentional about our health. It's a good time to cleanse our system, and some experts recommend a 7 day fruit and vegetable juicing detox to get rid of the toxins in our body. Drink more water. Exercise. More importantly we should make out time for routine health checks and important examinations like cervical and prostate screening if you're female above 25 and male above 40 respectively.
2. Home: This one you probably expected to see. While the best thing will probably be to just pack up our stuff and move into a new well furnished home, it probably can't happen yet for most of us. So we need to find other ways to inject freshness. I find buying new bed sheets and changing the throw pillows on the sofa quite a good way to do so. In the kitchen, swapping your old plates for new styles and designs is a winner as well. Even though your spouse (like mine) may not understand how changing from round to square plates makes any difference. Changing the pictures on your wall gallery or creating a wall gallery in your home with your favourite photos also works!. Now if only my landlady would agree to change that totally off green carpet in the house.
3. Hobbies and Habits: No doubt doing the same thing everyday is sure to be such a drag. Good time to try something new. The good thing about picking up a new habit is that you can just hinge it on an old existing one! So for example if you have coffee at 7 am everyday on your kitchen table, you can decide to learn a new language, listen to an online course or read an e-book - all via your phone and while having your coffee. That way the new habit sticks on longer. Sign up for the gym, listen to a new music artiste / genre of music, try a new cuisine. Anything! I'm so not a music person, but I'm considering getting Spotify and just listening to random music. I found this article on gaining new habits really useful.
4. Homies: Can you tell at this point how much I'm trying to make every thing start with a H?
Anyway in this category I'm going to include family, friendships and relationships. Look out for areas in your life where you'll like to improve or get involved in and consciously seek a new friend in that area! If you want to be a gym rat and all your friends are couch potatoes, it's time to seek a gym rat kind of friend. I for one, have sought out so many blogger folks (Thanks peeps!). If you want to improve your cooking, you know what to do. Invest in your friends as well. Not everyday WhatsApp. Sometimes call. (IJ girls I'll call you guys soon I promise!) You and Bae are simply going through the motions? Inject freshness.You can schedule time for any of the above things. Better together!. Do something new and have fun with family. Not everyday Bae, sometimes mummy, daddy, uncle, sister, brother aunty. While you're at it, try to rid yourself of any toxic friendships or relationships.
5. Hair, Nails, Clothes and all: I keep getting all these emails from drug stores on latest shampoos, conditioners and nail polish for Spring. These seemingly little things have a way of making you feel brand new. Try out a new hair style or a new nail polish. I got pastel blue on my nails last two weeks and I felt fresh. Tired of it now though, so switching it up this weekend. Maybe mint? A new wardrobe key piece is also helpful and could switch your daily looks quite easily. New jacket, new scarf, new pair of shoes or a statement jewellery add some oomph. Needless to say I'm going back to the mall to get my spring jacket. Male readers: consider changing that black pair of trousers you wear to work all the time?
6. Hustle (aka, your Work Work Work Work Work): 5 months into the year and especially if you haven't taken any time off, you might have begun feeling the pinch of this daily hustle. So how do we inject some freshness? Declutter! Your desk (including under the desk and the drawers as well!). De clutter your inbox. Your inbox might seem overwhelming but I've recently discovered the sweep feature on Hotmail. So basically I can just select LinkedIn and delete all the over 500 messages on there. Getting a table plant (which my climate change advocate sister says is a must here) and sticking up wall photos might inject some freshness to your work space. Also have your resume up-to-date so you can apply for anything fresh that comes along. If you can, book some time off, even if it's a stay-cation (stay at home and do #2 above); day-cation (a fun day out trying #3 above) or Bae-cation (a stay-cation or day-cation with Bae).
7. Feelings, Thoughts and Attitudes: Inject freshness into your thoughts and your mind. Think positive thoughts all day everyday. Think happy thoughts. I know it's really difficult when life doesn’t seem to be going your way. But if we think happy, then we probably act happy. Whether you believe in supernatural faith or simply the laws of attraction, you attract what you think. So go ahead and think of happier times, freeing your mind from envy, jealousy and all negativity! Spend some time digging out the thoughts that get you weighed down and find practical ways to deal with it.
8. Finances and Money: If only someone could give us a big hug and $5,000,000 (or maybe N45,000,000) surely that's all the freshness we need right? But chances of that happening are quite slim. So we have to inject freshness into what we have and try to make our money appear much more than it is. First off - start budgeting and track your finances. You'll be surprised at how much you spend on stuff you actually don't consider important. Create a separate account and arrange a standing order for your savings. I tend to spend less cash, just so I can go back and check every single penny. (The cab driver told me yesterday that this is the second time he's dropping me off and I never have cash on me. It's a strategy bruv!).
9. Faith: If this is an area of your life you've been trying to improve, what better time than Spring?! If you're Christian, the Youversion Bible App is such a winner. With 1266 versions available and 919 languages with thousands of daily plans on every area of life, you're sure to find something that's right for you. It might also be helpful to book a retreat and take a day or two out of the daily bustle to re-focus your mind and renew your faith.
That's all folks. You don't have to do everything at once. Pick the one(s) most useful to you.
What do you guys think . What have I missed out? What areas will you be injecting freshness into? Please comment below.
pS: I know there's no spring in some countries (i.e Nigeria), but the good thing is you can bookmark this page and try to do it all year round!
ppS: I tried to stick with the letter H for all of it, but it didn't work so I switched to F. Lool!