The student's guide to spring-cleaning your mind and your life

September 10, 2015
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It’s that time of year again: winter’s finally out and warmer weather’s in sight. So why not roll with the punches and the consequential feel-good hormones that only the warmth can bring, and clean out your mind and your life? It’ll leave you armed and ready for whatever the next few months throw at you, albeit without all the unnecessary baggage. Here’s Hijacked’s guide to the ultimate spring-clean.

Chuck stuff out – pronto

Clichés are clichés for a reason, and there’s no time like the present to give your wardrobe/drawers/entire house a spring-clean.

It’s not rocket science to work out that the more clutter, junk and crap that we accumulate both mentally and physically will end up leaving us more confused, overwhelmed and stressed. It’s nice to think we can live with few material possessions and wear the same shirt every day, but we’re not all Steve Jobs: it’s more likely you’re hoarding a bunch of stuff you can get rid of.

Do you really need that old Nintendo player that you haven’t even touched for three years? That old VCR player? The faded flannelette pajamas with the holes? Try it: declutter, give your stuff to Vinnie’s, and see how therapeutic it can be.

Ditch the toxic people from your life

Ever heard the Buddha quote, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”? Never has a line been truer.

We all have friends or acquaintances who continue to bring nothing to the table, but end up taking a few things away when they leave, leaving us feeling unmotivated and negative. Perhaps they were once your friend, but as the memory of that European holiday five years ago begins to fade, so too does your friendship. People change.

We should surround ourselves with mates who make us a better version of ourselves and who make us feel good. It’s not an easy task reflecting on your relationships, but upon closer inspection, you’ll probably notice a few who bring you down.

Start saying “no”

We can often fall victim to the trap of saying “yes” too frequently, mainly due to obligation, peer pressure, work and social commitments.

Though we may think energy is a renewable resource, after a while, constantly saying “yes” will leave you feeling as deflated as a popped balloon. Stop saying “yes” to every coffee date, extra shift or night out. It might seem selfish, but it’s totally OK to be so every now and then. Make this your new corny motivational quote: 'Give it a go; start saying “no”'.

Get on the mindfulness bandwagon

This isn’t just reserved for yogis who read self-help books and munch on kale: the practice of fully living in the present is an awesome life skill, and it’ll equip you with the ability to better get through times of immense sadness and stress.

For beginners, yoga classes can be found almost everywhere, and they’re a great way to stay present. Keeping a gratitude journal is another helpful practice, and will keep your eyes open and your perspective in check.  And if you’re up for it, start meditating. With its numerous benefits, it’s sure to give your mind a much-needed clean.

Avril Treasure

Avril studies Journalism at Notre Dame in Sydney. In her spare time she enjoys playing cards with her grandfather, drinking one too many margaritas and pondering hypothetical questions.

Image: Reginald Pentinio, Flickr Creative Commons license