Written for and published by Kitchener Today

Spring has become synonymous with words like detox and clean. We burst open the windows, on the first mild day, scrubbing away the layers of darkness, isolation and contagious illnesses. Annihilating cobwebs, and celebrating the longer days ahead, we plant seeds that become new blooms. Yet, often we overlook the importance of weeding, and feeding, the garden of life.

The season of rebirth and renewal, spring, presents an opportunity to take a look at our relationships and personal habits and reassess their relevance to our wellbeing.

Local Life Coach and Nutritionist, Kate Kahvo says, “self-care is one of the first things to go in our lives and one of the most important, essential things we need.” Kahvo is an online coach working to help clients “rediscover themselves, build confidence and find a simpler more joyful life. We do this by addressing mindset, finding clarity on our values and priorities, and minimizing stress, overwhelm and guilt.”

So, you’re convinced it’s time for a life detox, but where do you start?

  • Social media: recreating a positive digital imprint can be time-consuming, but worth it. Here’s a unique opportunity to reinvent yourself. Start by going through your friends list. You can categorize friends as acquaintances, meaning you will see less of them, and remove those you no longer wish to follow. Unlike pages you have lost interest in and remove permissions for games and apps you don’t use. You may also want to consider removing tags, photos and posts that aren’t part of your new, improved, image.
  • Health: a great place to start is the medicine cabinet, take a few minutes to look for expired medication. You can learn more about safe disposal, in Canada, here. Health trends are a dime a dozen but if you’re looking for something unique (and impossible to fail at) try Shinrin-yoku, otherwise known as ‘forest therapy’ or ‘forest bathing.’ Shinrin-yoku derives from the Japanese culture, whose traditions include cohabitating harmoniously with nature. To enhance physiological and psychological wellbeing, all you have to do is visit a forest, and soak in the sights, smells, and sounds.
  • Friends/Family:  belonging to a community is proven to improve cognitive function, but it might be a good time to reconsider the old mantra; ‘friends close, enemies closer.’ For family, blood may be thicker than water, but sometimes it ok to dilute the source of undue agony. Toxic relationships are bad for our health, leading to higher stress levels and unhealthy habits. Breaking up with a frenemy won’t be easy, prepare yourself by focusing on the friends and activities that will help you move on, and give yourself time to grieve.

“The action, motivation and courage it takes to get there can be the challenge. Trust in yourself, be kind, show compassion and take that step forward. These are really some of the most impactful ways to start feeling more calm, confident and clear headed about your future.”

 Kahvo suggests following five steps to “clean your mindset:”

1. Become aware of the negative default thoughts you are having

2. Replace them with more positive language

3. Slow down and take time out to find clarity on what is currently happening

4. Move out of habitual living and into doing things with intention

5. Have courage

“When we take a step back and sit quietly, it allows us to gain clarity on what is currently going well and what isn’t.” Kahvo offers 1:1 coaching as well as a supportive and informative online community called True You. Her March challenge focuses on spring cleaning for our mindset.

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