Spring is in the air. With the new season upon us, there’s a natural impulse to clean the house, open up the windows and let the fresh air in. Following the rhythms of nature, this is a great time of year to clear out the old and make space for new growth in our lives.
For myself, I had a baby in January and even though we’ve tried to limit the baby things we have to the most essential, there’s now a lot more stuff in our house. The tipping point came this week. We were getting ready for a trip and I’ve been making extra batches of homemade formula (that’s a a post for another day!) and freezing them for our trip. The problem was the freezer was full to the brim! I started digging deep into the bottom of the freezer to see how I could make some room, and I found the top of our wedding cake from 4 years ago sitting dutifully on the bottom of the freezer. Well, I looked at it and asked myself, what am I saving it for? Nostalgia? I’m glad to say we’re still happily married, and after having been gluten free for 2 1/2 years, this week I started eating a bit of gluten. Holding on to the cake was just preventing us from moving forward, I had a baby to feed! It was time to let it go. I took the cake out and let it defrost for a few hours. After dinner, we dug forks in and my husband and I shared a piece. Amazingly, it still tasted pretty good! (Thanks Nicole, our baker!) Nicole Krasinski recipe
Get a 3 boxes or shopping bags: one for landfill or garbage, one for donations and one storage. Go around your house and sort stuff that doesn’t have a place into one of the 3 bags. If you haven’t used it in a year, it’s time to pass it on to someone else. If you are having trouble, ask yourself why are you holding on to it? The big lesson often is to trust that you don’t need it anymore or that if you need it in the future, you’ll be able to get it again.
If it feels too daunting to declutter your whole house, start with something that feels more manageable. What about cleaning out the fridge or a desk drawer or a corner of a room? The funny thing about change is that we aren’t living in a vacuum. When you change one thing in your life, something else inevitably changes in your life as well. Like when you throw a stone into a pond, you make one change and its effects ripple out.
If you need help with decluttering, invite a friend over to help you get over the hump. There are also professional home organizers who do just that and are amazing. I won an afternoon with a professional organizer once. It really was amazing! Afterwards, I felt clearer and lighter.
This is where we get to talk about poop! Many people have a sluggish gut and aren’t having regular bowel movements. This fundamental form of elimination is our body decluttering on a daily basis. Regular bowel movements help us eliminate waste products of our digestion including environmental toxins and harmful bacteria.
If you’re not having a daily bowel movement, ideally first thing in the morning, try one of these tips:
Eat more vegetables. Most Americans eat far below the recommended 5 servings a day. Vegetables are loaded with fiber that acts like a scrub brush for our insides and helps promote good digestion.
Check out this super simple formula to calculate how much water you should be drinking in a day. Drink half your body weight in oz i.e. if you weigh 150 lbs, aim for 75 oz of water per day. that’s just over 2 liters/ day. If you exercise, live somewhere dry, or at altitude or drink alcohol, you’ll need to drink even more water to avoid dehydration.
Still sluggish, drink a cup of warm water first thing in the morning. It’s a great way to warm up your intestines and help get things going early in the day. You can add also add a teaspoon of chia seeds to your warm water. Chia seeds are loaded with fiber and omega 3’s when they get wet, they swell up and become like a jelly. All this is great for your intestines.
Exercise more. Most of us aren’t getting 150 minutes of exercise a week. Think about what you can do to be a little more physically active. Studies confirm common sense, people who have a dog, walk more than people who don’t. Having a dog motivates us just enough to get off the couch. I can say the same thing about having a newborn baby. Nothing calms him down like a walk. In fact, we’ll often go on a walk several times a day. He likes the fresh air, he sleeps better and I get some exercise. It’s win win.
What are you holding onto that it’s time to let go of?
This content is for informational purposes and does not substitute for medical advice from your physician.