Dating Advice

Spring Clean Your Relationship / Mental Health: How to & Tips

Spring is a great time for fresh starts and new beginnings.   We can easily get caught up in the moment when life takes over, from Winter through to Autumn, those dark and cold months.   As we prepare for Spring, it’s important to begin to think about where you want to go in the future, whether you’re single or in a relationship.

Spring cleaning your relationship is important for your mental health. It is taking that personal time for self-care, time for yourself to declutter and reassess what’s working for you and what’s no longer fitting your lifestyle. This way it can help you to find “the one” or “maintain a healthy relationship”.

Before meeting Dom, I found that having those moments of reflection and understanding what I was after really helped to reassess my take on dating.    

From my 20s to 30s, looking back now I feel I have changed so much, from late nights out to eating habits.   Naturally, this impacted me in terms of finding partners of similar interests and personalities.

Why Spring Clean Your Relationship?

The idea of “Spring Cleaning” yourself is a perfect time to look after yourself, giving you better mental health, wellbeing and dating clarity.   

In the UK, according to “relationships are under increasing pressure – in a study found by Relationships Foundation, breakdowns cost the economy £46 billion each year.”  

Whether you like to hear it or not, we’re not perfect. As we get older we accumulate “baggage”.    Mental and emotional baggage can be seen as a problem that can impact your dating decisions.

Spring cleaning isn’t just aimed at singletons, but also those in relationships. According to a post from Susan Edelman, M.D2., a psychiatrist in Palo Alto, California, explains

that over time we can begin to lose sight of some of the simple things that we paid attention to in the earlier stages of the relationship that seem to lose their relevance as time goes by.

These thoughts and gestures, however, shouldn’t disappear, as they show the value you place on your partner.

Spring cleaning can be seen in two ways from a mental and physical well-being perspective, below we discuss what these elements are.

How to Mentally Spring Clean Your Well Being?

Mental well-being is about your thoughts and feelings, how you approach everyday life from the positive to the negative.

To mentally spring clean, it’s not just about clearing yourself of negative thoughts and feelings to pave waves for new relationships.   It would be great to have no negative feelings when dating, inevitably though at times you will feel upset, sad and even lonely.    However, it’s about being able to manage those feelings of insecurity such as:

  • Stop comparing yourself to others: Just because all your friends at a certain age are married, have a house, it doesn’t mean you have to.   There is no need to compare yourself to others.
  • Talking about it: Find family, friends, or close relatives to share your thoughts and feelings.  Having someone to even talk to will help alleviate a lot of the anxiety or sadness you may be feeling.
  • Practice mindfulness:  Try this type of meditation. The aim is to help you be aware of your feelings at that moment.    The practice of this form of meditation will help you to relax the body, mind and help reduce your stress.
  • Keeping track of your mental well-being: Try to keep a diary and understand what triggers you when you have those moments that tip you over the edge.  Understanding yourself better could help you better manage those low moments.
  • Your dating profile:  Lastly, as I said before, I changed a lot in my 20s and 30s. If you had to imagine your dating profile, what would it look like?   Would you date YOU?

How to Physically Spring Clean Your Well Being?

Physical well-being is about removing the material assets in your life.   How have these objects that have accrued throughout your life impacted you from a positive to a negative?

To physically spring clean, is really about clearing the material things you have accrued that still remind you of any negative or sad emotions.  Through naturally growing up and being in relationships, we might have things that remind us of a time we would rather forget, and sometimes just removing them (use your noggin!), maybe the easiest solution, such as:

  • Mobile phone contacts:  Obvious ones would be any people who have caused you hurt or sadness and you no longer wish to speak to them.   Go through your mobile contact numbers, and for anyone that you feel isn’t worth your time just remove them.  
  • Physical products:   Items that you no longer need or use.   If you haven’t used that item for 12 – 24 months, it’s a safe bet you don’t need it.
  • Emergency Contacts:  Did you ever have one of your ex’s as an emergency contact?   Go through your contacts with work or on your mobile phone so that they’re updated.
  • Places that you both went to:  Do you still go to that favourite coffee shop or restaurant that you used to go to together on weekends?  Going to these places will bring flashbacks about the old times and is not healthy in moving on.
  • Pick up a new hobby:  What better way to move on and open your mind than trying a new hobby from arts and crafts to finally putting that monthly gym membership to use!
  • Your dating profile:  Do you still look like the same person in the dating profile?  Do you look ten times as beautiful now?   Definitely worth an update! 

Checklist for Spring Cleaning for Singles / In a Relationship

Most importantly to make this Spring Clean a reality.   Making it happen is the most important.   Here is a 7 point checklist for spring cleaning:

  • Confirm a date for Spring Cleaning within the next 14 days
  • Find a quiet place where you can be alone or just with your partner
  • Switch off all mobile devices to avoid distractions
  • Find something to write on e.g pen and paper
  • What is your future plan?   3 Goals:
  • Short Term Goals (within the month)
  • Medium Term Goals (within the next 3 months)
  • Long Term Goals (within the next 6-9 months)
  • SMART Goals
  • Write yourself / your partner a love letter
    • I love you because…
    • I loved it when we…
    • I love to do this with you because… 

Why are those points important above?

  • Action: Confirm a date for Spring Cleaning within the next 14 days
  • Why?  You’re more likely to commit to something given a specific timeframe
  • Action: Find a quiet place where you can be alone or just with your partner
  • Why?  Avoid crowded or noisy places, this will naturally cause you distractions.
  • Action: Switch off all mobile devices to avoid distractions
  • Why?  The same point as above, less distraction can lead to better productivity.
  • Action: Something to write on 
  • Why? Jotting things down can give you better clarity to visualise what you would like to achieve.
  • Action: What is your future plan?   3 Goals:
    • Short Term Goals (within the month)
    • Medium Term Goals (within the next 3 months)
    • Long Term Goals (within the next 6-9 months)
  • Why?   Setting long term goals can be hard, it’s important to have those short and medium term goals to help you laser focus on what you want to achieve in the immediate future.
  • Action: SMART Goals for your Spring Clean
  • Why? SMART3 is an acronym to help people to achieve goals. By setting SMART goals means you can clarify your ideas, focus your efforts on being:
    • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
    • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
    • Achievable (agreed, attainable).
    • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
    • Time-bound (time-based, time-limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
  • Action: Write yourself / your partner a love letter
    • I love you because… 
    • I loved it when we…
    • I love to do this with you because… 
  • Why? On each of the bullet points above, write one paragraph on each subject.   The idea is a way of reflection helping you to be more creative, reduce anxiety and improve your confidence.

Spring cleaning for your well-being is definitely not easy, you have to face the truth about yourself, it’s a journey of self-discovery and takes time to develop.

What are your thoughts?  What would you add to this post? 

Thanks a lot for reading! 

….and one last GIF for the road!


About Author

Hi there, my name's Paco. My hobbies include (besides spending time with Dom), cooking, I enjoy experimenting with foods in the kitchen, travelling and experiencing different cultures around the world.I am a big fan of life hacks, and generally anything that makes people go "wow" or "why did I never think of that".