How to spring clean your life
Top tips to refresh your mind, body & soul
Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home; it can be great to de-clutter your mind, body and soul as well – think of it as a bit of a life makeover. Try out these simple everyday tricks that could help give your life a refresh.
Spring clean your mind
Train your brain – you give your body a workout, but your brain could benefit from some mental training too. Simple mind games and tweaks to everyday habits can help keep our minds agile and help improve concentration, memory and visual/spatial skills. Give it a go: try using your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth, or wearing your watch upside down on the opposite wrist.
Eat dark chocolate – how do you like the sound of eating chocolate to become smarter? That’s the suggestion of a 40-year study, which found a possible link between regularly eating dark chocolate and better performance in mental tests, including memory and abstract thinking. Try Doisy & Dam Maca, Vanilla and Cacao Nibs Dark Chocolate for a tasty sweet treat.
Floss against brain fog – dental plaque doesn’t just look unsightly and cause damage to your teeth: one study suggests it could also trigger an immune response that may harm brain cells. So how do you fight it? “Use an electric toothbrush - it's like cleaning the floor with a vacuum cleaner rather than a dustpan and brush," advises top cosmetic dentist Dr Uchenna Okoye. But brushing alone doesn’t reach every part of the tooth and won’t remove all plaque, so flossing is essential – stock up on Boots Expert Sensitive Floss and don't forget to visit your dentist regularly.
Spring clean your body
Eat a big breakfast – eating a substantial breakfast that’s more like dinner (‘brinner’), a medium-sized lunch and a smaller evening meal may be one way to maintain a healthy weight. A review of studies in chrono-nutrition – which looks at whether when we eat is as important as what we eat – has suggested that reducing calories later at night could help combat obesity. “Calories count whatever time they are eaten,” says nutritionist Fiona Hunter. “But a balanced, nutrient-dense breakfast that contains protein, such as eggs and salmon, as well as wholegrains and healthy fats, such as avocado, could help prevent overeating later in the day.”
Pick foods with potassium – help to maintain normal blood pressure by ensuring you get enough potassium. A study even found that an increased potassium intake could reduce your risk of a stroke by 24 percent. Good sources include bananas, potatoes, pulses, yoghurt and milk. You should be able to get all you need from a balanced, varied diet, but if you do want to take a supplement containing potassium, stick to the recommended intake because too much could be harmful.* Consider Kwai Blood Pressure Potassium, Magnesium 400mg+ Vitamin B6 and B12 Tablets.
Spring clean your soul
Write a daily list of positives – you may already write to-do lists, but have you tried a ‘ta-dah!’ list? It celebrates your wins and things that made you smile. “Reflecting on the positives each day helps lift your mood, shifts your attitude to a can-do mindset and pivots you into getting more happiness from the every day,” says psychologist Emma Kenny. Grab a notepad and at the top of the page write down ‘Things I loved today’ before jotting down everything worth celebrating, no matter how major or miniscule.
Make a ‘rule of three’ for the weekend – avoid filling your entire weekend with dull domestic jobs and instead make time for things that make you feel good. Try the 'rule of three' this weekend and enjoy three non-essential, upbeat activities. You could paint your nails (studies show happier people associate their mood with yellow, so try Rimmel London 60 Seconds Super Shine in Daisy Days), have a coffee with a friend or go for a walk.
*Taking 3,700mg or less a day is unlikely to have harmful effects. However, older people may be more at risk, as the kidneys may become less able to remove potassium from the blood. Therefore, older people should not take potassium supplements unless advised to by a doctor.