Spring can inspire you to clean out your closet. It can also be a good time to clean up relationships that may be keeping you from feeling your best. Below are six steps that may help:
1. Assess how you are feeling
Determining if you are happy can be the first step in cleaning up relationships. Happiness varies from person to person, but feeling stressed out, losing sleep, or experiencing mood swings can be indicators that things in your life could be better. It is important to notice if the people in your life (either in person or on social media) tend to make you feel worse or better when you are around them.
2. Communicate clearly
Spring cleaning does not always involve throwing things away. Sometimes it is just about straightening things up. Communicating your needs to friends and family may be one way to straighten out any tensions or misunderstandings that may have been brewing over the winter.
3. Don’t feel guilty about taking a break
The strongest of relationships can benefit from time apart. Time away from friends, family, and co-workers can allow you to step back and appreciate the good parts of the relationships. Taking a break from social media every once in a while can also be extremely healthy.
4. Clean up your act
If there is trouble or tension in a relationship, it may be a good idea to look inward. Determining if any of your behaviors may be making things worse should be part of cleaning up any relationship.
5. Change your routines
Sometimes the same routines can create the same problems. For example, if you always go out to eat at the same place with your friends and you always pick up the check, it may be time for a potluck-style get together. Families can also get stuck in the same dynamic. For example, if you are the youngest and do not feel like others in your family see you as a grown-up, it may be time to host everyone at your place instead of at your parents’ house.
6. It may be tough, but in some cases, let go
Just like letting go of perfectly good clothes that do not fit anymore, sometimes relationships do not fit in your life anymore. No guilt is needed, especially when letting go of a relationship means self-survival. Life is short and mysterious. Just like we do not need an explanation of why two people come together, an explanation is not always necessary when people move apart.
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Tracy Davenport, Ph.D., is a freelance health writer and the C.E.O. of Tracy’s Smoothie Place. She serves as the expert on a weekly radio show about health and wellness and is the author of Making Life Better for a Baby with Acid Reflux and multiple articles about the cost of caregiving. Learn more about Tracy and what healthy living services and products she can offer on her website. She can also be found on Twitter and Instagram @drinksmoothies.