Last week, I asked if you were getting the alone time you needed to recharge and shared one way I've been making that happen at our house. This week, I'm talking about getting the alone time you need with a good SPRING CLEANING with a modern twist. Here are four spring cleaning ideas to create more time for ourselves.
Here's my list:
Social media. First, let me say that social media has literally been a lifeline for me. I know that some people really hate it, even blame it for many of the ills we are facing as a society, but for me, it is a way to connect to with family and friends, keep up with news without also subjecting my kids to it all, and of course, I use it for business. But periodically, I do go through and clean some things out. I leave groups that no longer serve my interests and unfollow pages that I haven't really engaged with in awhile. I even clean up my friends list - which I realize sounds horrifying to some, but it's part of how I make sure the time I spend on social media is positive, enriching, and reciprocal. If someone never interacts with me, or only interacts to argue, I consider that maybe that online friendship has run its course.
Electronic mail. This is one I could really work on. I need to use the tools available from my various providers to filter messages, set up auto-replies, and more. But I also need to remind myself to take the time to hit "Unsubscribe". There are so many companies that send me marketing messages that I literally never read. A lot of these are from lists I signed up for just to get a promised coupon - and I know I'm not the only one. Some of these companies send emails daily - even more than one per day - and if seeing them pop up in my inbox triggers and eyeroll? I personally choose to unsubscribe.
Personal and family schedule. This one is tricky right now! With some things opening up, and some people getting vaccinated, it seems everyone is ready to throw a party or sign up for summer classes and enrichments. But before I say yes to every invitation, I know that I personally need to pause and see how it will fit into our weekly rhythm - and if I really have the energy for the interaction. It is okay to say no to invites with love. If it is something I'd really like to do but just not right now, I'm reminding myself it is okay to say that! Friends and family who love and care about us will accept our no or not right now, even if it is disappointing.
Unrealistic expectations. This is a big one and it is the hardest one for me. To make sure I have time to recharge - I have to make sure I'm not overextending myself, and the greatest barrier to that is me. In my head, I can keep a beautiful clean home, prepare healthy from-scratch meals, homeschool creatively, create inspiring content for Hearth & Gnome, train for a marathon, plant a magnificent garden, grow flowers, learn Swedish, read insightful books, and, and, and. It never ends. Why is my personal bar so high? What happens if I lower it? It's worth investigating - and letting go of so many of those aspirations, or at least let go of them happening all at the same time. Expectations are just that - expectations. And they can become really exhausting, even paralyzing for me!
Which of these, if you did some cleaning out, would give you the most breathing room? What areas you add to this list? I'd love to hear about it.
And last but not least, I wanted to try something new - sharing family playlists! Parents often ask me about what music to listen to with their kids and I just realized (Luddite that I am) that I can create a playlist and share it and that anyone who uses the same streaming service can listen, too. I am using Amazon Prime - which I realize not everyone has and not everyone wants - but if you do have it and you'd like to hear the songs on my family's playlist this month? Here you go!