Make Spring a Time of Personal Renewal

Spring — at least in places with relatively well-defined seasons — is a time of renewal. In the northern climates, crocuses and daffodils are already popping up, the trees are budding, and birds are chirping. Warm weather won’t be far behind.

As nature wakes from its winter slumber, people often start to emerge from their hibernation. That may mean socializing more, exercising outdoors or launching a new project. Whatever one’s rebirth engenders, it’s a welcome respite from the cold, gray days of winter.

“What better time than spring to regroup and reprioritize, and even reinvent ourselves and the lives we find ourselves living?” asks Abigail Brenner, M.D., in a Psychology Today article. Leading her seven suggested personal “rituals” to start a spring renewal? #Decluttering.

First, declutter your living space, sorting out any clothing that you haven’t worn in more than two years and #donating it ( can help). Follow up by getting rid of any pantry items and medications that have expired.

Next (and perhaps more importantly), clear your mental and emotional clutter. Shed the practices and habits that sap your energy. Let go of the past, commit to decisions you’ve been putting off, challenge limiting beliefs, and think positively. Progress is the goal, not perfection.

Try something new, and take advantage of the weather to do something outdoors. Try to #streamline and #renew your life to improve its overall quality. What are your priorities? Focus on what you value the most and structure your time around it.

Once your living environment and psyche are clear, you’ll be more relaxed — there’s just “less noise” in your brain, Mayo Clinic psychologist Craig Sawchuk told CNN Health. And the altruism engendered in donating goods “psychologically can have a really good impact.”

So this season, take a hint from nature: Take the initiative to renew your surroundings and your outlook. You’ll feel better and more refreshed every step of the way.

Get Your Home Ready for Outdoor Living

One critical part of #summerizing a home is to make sure all of your outdoor spaces are inviting. Wash your outdoor furniture and deep-clean the grill, says Show Me Home. Wash the windows and sweep up leaves, branches and debris. Trim bushes and set your lawnmower’s blades to three inches or higher to encourage root growth and avoid a scorched lawn. Mulch the garden beds to help them retain moisture and inhibit weeds and insects. Add a few herbs or annuals to bare spots to lend color and foliage. “And finally, park yourself a lawn chair, grab a cold beverage and call it a day.”

Try a Themed Outdoor Party

If you want to have people over but do it cheaply, The Spruce says, try a summery theme such as a luau, “glamping” or game night; outdoor games such as badminton, cornhole and horseshoes are obvious choices. Shop at party, dollar and thrifts stores (the latter of which are often supplied by generous donations to to keep decorating costs low, and ask guests to bring a dish suitable for a crowd-pleasing cookout. Then, just add a summery playlist of your favorite music — or get your musician friends to jam — for an outdoor party that rocks.

Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space

The difference between a boring backyard, deck or patio and a welcoming outdoor oasis is often as simple as a few well-placed plants or accessories. To spruce up your space fast, Love Your Landscape says, hang a mirror, grow climbing vines, or build a pergola. Potted plants can add visual interest and color, and solar lanterns or string lights will bathe the area in soft light after sunset. Sawhorses and a sheet of plywood or an old door (covered with a tablecloth) can serve as a dining table, and benches with cushions and/or folding stadium chairs will give guests a place to sit.

Al Fresco Dining Requires Definition

To create a space for dining on your backyard or deck, simply define the area in which you plan to serve guests, This Old House says. Lay mesh-backed tile over pavers to create an inexpensive, all-weather “rug” for the seating area, or create a shade canopy out of bamboo and a canvas drop cloth. Take advantage of the existing shade trees and accessorize your dining area with curtains, pillows, string lights, lanterns and more; with a little time and even less expense, you’ll have a dramatic, romantic space in which to entertain friends and family.