Spring is here! Or if it hasn’t quite sprung where you live yet, we bet you’re still feeling that Spring Cleaning urge. Something about the snow melting and the days getting longer just makes us want to clean the house and get rid of all the gunk, junk, and clutter.
But while you’re thinking about how you can spring clean your house, have you thought about spring cleaning your life? Are you stuck in any habits that aren’t serving you any more? Using products that may be doing more harm than good?
This year, we encourage you to give Spring Cleaning a new definition. While you scrub your house, see if you can detoxify your life, too. Your body will thank you for it!
How To Detoxify Your Life
Of course, ‘detoxify your life’ can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For us, it means creating a self care routine that not only feels good, but that is good for your body, too.
And that means detoxifying certain key items that you use everyday.
Detoxify Your Makeup & Skincare
For so many of us, makeup is such a wonderful part of our self-care routine. It’s fun, it feels good while we put it on, and we feel good while we’re wearing it.
But makeup is also in direct contact with our skin, which means we absorb it into our bodies every time we put it on. That’s why we should pay attention to the products we’re putting on our bodies, and the ingredients that are used to make them.
Especially if you have sensitive skin, you know that certain makeup and other skincare products can cause contact dermatitis and allergic reactions. But even if you don’t have sensitive skin, you may still want to limit what chemicals you’re putting in your body.
For example, an overview study from the Journal of Preventative Medicine and Hygiene found that “through the use of cosmetics, most people are exposed worldwide to a variety of potentially harmful substances … Although the amounts may be small, and their effects sometimes poorly understood, continuous exposure to a mix of these chemicals over long periods could have consequences for the health and well-being of people and society. Actually, the current legislation takes these risks into account and many substances are subject to a threshold concentration, but there is a potential “cocktail effect” due to the utilization of combined products during the daytime. In addition, the same substance can be found in more than one product and can derive from different sources (“additive effect”), in this way, the safety threshold established could be overcome.” 1
Does that mean you have to throw out everything in your makeup bag? Probably not. But it does mean you might want to seek out brands that limit things like phthalates 2, or that are otherwise on the more ‘natural’ end of the spectrum.
Detoxify Your Cleaning Products
Like we’ve mentioned, this is the time of year that many of us tackle big Spring Cleaning projects. And that’s great—unless that also means busting out some heavily scented, super harsh cleaning chemicals. You definitely want to limit your use of these, since cleaning and scented products are associated with nocturnal cough and mental health comorbidities in children. 3 Frequent exposure to household cleaning products has also been associated with an increased risk of asthma.4
Thankfully, nothing does the trick like old fashioned soap, water, and vinegar, anyway! Cutting a lemon in half and using baking soda can also work wonders on stubborn spots.
Detoxify Your Pantry
You probably don’t need us to tell you that processed food is not doing you any favors. Specifically for many of our patients, being overweight or eating processed foods can contribute to conditions like overactive bladder (OAB) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Going cold turkey on sugar or other drastic diets is often unsustainable. But making small changes over time can have big impacts. Do your best to keep your fridge and pantry stocked with fresh, healthy and nourishing food, and we bet you’ll start reaching for it more and more.
Detoxify Your Mind
Have you ever paid attention—really paid attention—to how you talk to yourself? Are you kind to yourself? Or incredibly harsh?
The reality is that we are not our thoughts, and just because we think something, doesn’t make it true. Working with a mental health professional can help you become more aware of how your thought and behavior patterns are impacting your well-being.
Another trick to detoxify your mind: talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend. If a friend came to you with a problem, would you blame her for it, and pile on more criticism? Or would you listen to her kindly, remind her that no one’s perfect, and that she’s doing her best?
So while you work to detoxify your body, think about how you can detoxify your mind, too. Reconsider relationships or hobbies that don’t really serve you, get off social media once in a while, and try to add more quick self-care activities throughout your day—and just wait to see what a profound difference this can make!
And P.S.: follow us on Instagram to get regular inspiration and encouragement to take better care of yourself—we’d love to interact with you there.