Spring is just around the corner. We have so much to look forward to and be thankful for during this time. The return of spring means we’ll begin to enjoy more hours of daylight and sunshine, watch flowers as they start the blooming process and witness leaves begin their journey back to green. We will listen to birds sing melodic harmonies and welcome all sorts of little critters returning from their long winter break. Spring is a season of life, but it is also a season of renewal and health.
Environment is what lies outside of us, either immediately or in our world at large. Yet it all, to some degree, affects what’s inside of us because what’s outside eventually comes inside through our skin, mouths, eyes, ears and nose. All of our senses — sight, smell, sound, touch and taste — can influence our mood and health. Recent research demonstrates not only the importance of maintaining a healthy larger environment (air and water quality) but also our immediate environment (light, sound, aroma and touch).
Spring is a great opportunity to create the best possible environment for yourself and those around you.
“Spring adds new life and new beauty to all that is.” – Jessica Harrelson
For starters, make your home an oasis, a “fertile” or “green” spot in contrast to the harshness of the world at large. Create a place that you, your family and guests will be blessed — a place that nurtures and restores everyone who enters.
Your home reflects who you are. It should make you feel good. It should recharge and revive all who enter. It should be a place of comfort, peace and love.
Although our environment encompasses all that is around us, work and home environments likely impact our health the most because we spend most of our time in them. So paying attention to and striving to create a healthy environment in both places gives rich rewards.
“When your environment is clean you feel happy, motivated and healthy.” – Lailah Gifty Akita
Our eyes see a wealth of information every day. This input can help promote our well-being. The smiles of friends and loved ones can bring healing and a sense of peace. We see pictures or photographs that bring back good memories of special times, gifts of love that warm our hearts, nature framed through our windows, the sun shining brightly or giving a warm glow at sunset. Even a car, dog or bird can evoke warm emotions.
We can bring some of the natural world into our homes and reap benefits from plants, flowers and fountains. When we look through our windows or go into our yards, our bodies, minds and souls are nurtured by nature.
“Everyone can identify with a fragrant garden, with the beauty of sunset, with the quiet of nature, with a warm and cozy cottage.” – Thomas Kinkade
ORGANIZATION AND CLUTTER
Other things in our environment can either be a help or a challenge. Organization, cleanliness and order all promote peace and health. Clutter, messes and a lack of organization in our home can serve as stressors or may even be a symptom of stress.
Clutter costs. For example, surveys indicate that people with cluttered desks and offices are less likely to get promoted. Clutter also promotes disorder and stress in our minds, resulting in less time and energy for other tasks.
“For every minute spent on organizing, an hour is earned.” – Benjamin Franklin
If you think about it, just five minutes a day having to deal with clutter adds up to over 30 hours a year of wasted time. Clutter can also result in safety hazards, such as tripping over items on the ground. It can create mold growth in damp, moist areas and lead to dust build-up in other places. It can be hazardous to children who may get a hold of something in the clutter that is dangerous.
Sometimes clutter can even hurt relationships or cause hard feelings among those who resent dealing with the messes others make. Clutter can impact our social lives, too, which is very important to our well-being. It is easy to feel that the house is not clean enough to have company over and then miss out on the enrichment that socializing with those we love brings.
Clutter can contribute to depression, disorganization and drained energy. Take a moment to notice how you feel next time you walk into a room that is disorganized and messy, and then notice how you feel when you walk into a room that is neat, clean and inviting. You may be surprised at what a difference it makes. Spring is a great opportunity to create your own personal oasis and experience the sense of inner peace that comes along with it.