Out with the Old, In with the New

Out with the old In with the New

After a very long and harsh winter, relief is on its way! Finally, spring is coming. The days are getting warmer and longer! Recently, I have been forced to reevaluate my health, fitness and diet. I have chosen to view this new lifestyle as a sort of spring cleaning for my body and mind!

Spring cleaning is a ritual that most of us participate in. Whether we’re getting the house cleaned up before a big holiday, a family member’s visit or a loved one’s birthday, there is nothing like a good cleaning. Prior to the advent of the vacuum cleaner, March was often the best time for dusting because it was getting warm enough to open windows and doors (but not warm enough for insects to be a problem), and the high winds could carry the dust out of the house.

Spring cleaning has its roots spread in many ancient traditions. In Iran, the celebration of the Iranian New Year is in spring. Iranians see the New Year or Now Rouz as a time of rejuvenation and replenishment of life. A similar tradition is the Scottish "New Year's cleaning" on Hogmanay (December 31), a practice now also widespread in Ireland and New Zealand. In the Far East, Chinese New Year occurs in February and in anticipation, the Chinese clean house to rid them of any bad luck they may have collected so that they can welcome good fortune into their home. Then there is the Jewish tradition of clearing out all that is “Chametz” (bread made with yeast) in preparation for Passover. Not wanting to insult God, Jews would scour their homes to ensure not even a crumb of bread remained.

Today we don’t exactly follow the ritual of cleaning in spring as much as we prepare for a revitalization of spirit, which has me thinking about health and wellness. Why wouldn’t everyone take the time to spring clean? Spring cleaning is about ridding oneself of the old and unclean in order to feel renewed, refreshed and prepared for the new.  

This year, try a new type of spring cleaning. Take stock of what’s important on an emotional and physical level. What are some of the things holding you back? What is having a negative impact on you physically or mentally? Taking the time to do an emotional and physical spring cleaning can be the first step on a path to a happier and healthier life.