Today is the first day of spring! The air is warmer, and our environment is beginning to reflect all of the life and vitality we miss so much during the winter months.
For many of us, spring brings energy and uplifts our spirits. It’s a time when we begin outdoor activities and spring cleaning. But most of us forget to reflect on ourselves, our lives and our relationships. To help you do this, here are five ways to spring clean your relationships:
1. Take stock
What’s working well for you in your relationships? What isn’t? This spring, take the time to reflect on what’s going well for you and what needs improvement.
Do you have friends who make you feel brighter? Do you have friends who drain you? Do you feel emotionally safe with your partner or do you lack trust?
Awareness of what isn’t working is the first step to creating change.
2. Fix what’s broken
Now that you’re aware of what isn’t working in your relationships, I’d like you to take a moment to think about how that happened. Is there something you’ve been putting on the back-burner because you don’t know how to share your needs? What are you not dealing with that you know you need to deal with?
As we enter this season of renewal, take the time to fix what you’ve neglected. Spend time thinking about one step you could take this week to improve a particular situation that you’ve been neglecting. Sometimes, simply doing one thing differently can help change the dynamic in your relationship.
3. De-clutter your priorities
Life gets busy, and spring is the perfect time to take a look at your to-do list and make your relationships a bigger priority. For example, is there a friend you’ve been putting off because of work or other priorities? Can you spend valuable time with your partner in the evenings, rather than zoning out in front of the TV?
Your relationships are the foundation for love and support in your life, so make sure you nurture them.
4. Create a shopping list of missing items
Think about each of your most dominant relationships and what they provide for you. Do you feel fulfilled? Do you feel like there’s something missing? Do you need more love, excitement, quality time or intimate conversations and intellectual connection?
Take note of anything that comes to you as you reflect. The act of reflection will bring clarity to any areas in your relationships where your needs aren’t being met.
5. Get help if you need it
We all need people in our life who give us emotional support and encouragement. Pick three people who bring this into your life and spend time with them this week. If you’re unsure who to speak to or you don’t feel supported in your relationships, see a therapist for support.
Remember that if you don’t shake things up and do something different in your relationships, you will usually remain in the same patterns. If you find change intimidating (most people do!) start small and build up to something bigger.
As you begin to see your relationships shift from doing small things differently, you will get all the encouragement you need to renew your relationships.