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Wellness > Mental Health

Spring Cleaning: Mind Edition

Updated Published
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

I’ll start this article by being completely honest in saying that I am writing this as a way to remind myself to do everything I am about to tell you. In the spirit of spring cleaning, almost everyone focuses on cleaning their physical environment. I can’t tell you how to do that because my mother would sue me for journalistic integrity. However, over the years, I have gotten better at spring-cleaning my mind. People often still feel overwhelmed after cleaning their physical spaces, if this is you, you may benefit from what I will refer to as mental declutter.

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Mindfulness is described as the practice of being fully present, acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. The most helpful tips to achieve mindfulness are to set aside time, in a quiet place, to be in a comfortable position, and to focus on your breath. The point of mindfulness is to broaden your awareness to your feelings, your sensations, and the sounds around you. Mindfulness is not only a practice, but a skill that takes time, practice, and, above all, patience with yourself. I love figuring out new ways to practice mindfulness, but if you are having trouble, following guide videos is also an excellent way to practice. 

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Free your mind from your phone

As a nineteen-year-old with a heavy TikTok addiction, I will embarrassingly admit this is the hardest thing for me to follow. Phones are a double-edged sword; they connect and disconnect at the same time. They allow you to follow the Eras Tour and binge Gilmore Girls for the 284th time. However, they also make it easier to disconnect from some of the most sacred things in life, like nature, your loved ones, and, most importantly, yourself. Since our phones have become a necessity, we can’t disconnect from them completely, so I encourage you to reconnect your phones with nature, your loved ones, and yourself. For example, you could go to the beach to watch the sunrise or sunset while taking photos and listening to music; or you could sit in a quiet spot to enjoy nature and the people that surround you (if you like reality shows, people-watching is often even more interesting). If none of these work for you, a great alternative is to read a book or take a friend and talk about whatever. I personally love to make up elaborate life stories about the people walking by with my friends, or even by myself.

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Worry Time

A couple of years ago, I implemented “worry time.” This is a space I created that can last from 10 to 15 minutes where I either write down all my fears about upcoming events or say them into my voice memos. I then read or hear them over and try to figure out what I need to prioritize and what I can leave for later. I do this once a week or so and, outside this designated time, if any issues begin to worry me I simply write them down and postpone them until my next “worry time.” This technique helps me compartmentalize anxious thoughts, preventing them from overwhelming my day. By confining worry to a specific time frame, I give these thoughts the space they demand while maintaining control of my mental landscape. I have found that the intensity of my worries has diminished since I started doing this. Overall, my anxiety levels have also reduced, and I now have a more peaceful and focused state of mind. 

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Avoid Multitasking

Avoiding multitasking, particularly for college students in a culture of constant deadlines and connectivity, requires strategies. I would suggest starting by following the previous suggestion of “worry time,” specifically prioritizing tasks based on deadlines, importance, and the time you think the tasks will take. My favorite strategy is one I learned through TikTok called the Pomodoro Technique, which is 25 minutes of focused work followed by a 5-minute break. Personally, I like to fluctuate these times depending on the task at hand, meaning that instead of a 25:5 time ratio, I sometimes do 60:15 or 45:10. The Pomodoro Technique has helped me avoid procrastination and burnout, which is all too common in college students and working professionals. Another way to avoid multitasking is by following another suggestion previously mentioned, which is the phone detox. When wanting to focus, I suggest turning off your phone completely and putting it in a separate room from where you are working or turning off all non-essential notifications. This will not only allow you to focus on the task at hand but will also enhance the quality of your work, improve retention when studying, and ultimately saves you time. 



If you are the type of person that can’t be completely alone with their thoughts because it either stresses you out or you don’t see the benefit, then I recommend taking up hobbies. This may be hard at first because our generation is severely lacking in third spaces where people can go to simply enjoy their day, but it’s not impossible. You have probably heard of reading or doing sports, both of which are amazing and I partake in regularly. However, have you ever thought about cooking? During the pandemic, I discovered the fun in cooking. I recommend you start slow and with foods you already enjoy, but the real fun begins when you start inventing and become a wizard or chemist, whatever you prefer, in the kitchen. Involve music and other people to be your guinea pigs and you could discover a love for cooking. You’d also be learning an important survival skill, especially if you don’t have an air fryer. Other hobbies I would recommend are journaling, painting/coloring, or dancing, whether it be taking classes or in your own room.

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In conclusion, the journey to spring cleaning your mind is a process that requires patience, intention, and willingness to explore different strategies. From embracing mindfulness and the art of being present to the liberating act of detaching from our digital tethers, each step offers a unique opportunity to cultivate a more peaceful inner landscape. Implementing worry time allows us to compartmentalize our anxieties, affording us greater control over our emotional well-being, while strategies to avoid multitasking can significantly enhance our focus and productivity. Lastly, engaging in hobbies not only enriches our lives with joy and creativity but also aids the stress and monotony of daily routines. As I’ve shared these insights in the hope of guiding myself and others towards a mentally decluttered state, it’s important to remember that the journey is deeply personal and ongoing. I hope this article’s exploration of mental spring cleaning inspires you to discover new ways to nurture your mind, fostering a sense of clarity and renewed energy as you navigate life.

Ariana Villanueva is a writer at the Her Campus at UPR chapter. Her content creation focuses mainly on firsthand experiences, physical activity, and experimental fashion and even food! Prior to Her Campus, she collaborated in her high school newspaper and for as long as she can remember she has been drafting short stories, pretend news reports, and even book reports, just for fun. Having the opportunity to share her writing, beyond a grade, has been a thrilling experience for her. She is currently attending the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras campus, as a political science major , and she’s eager to explore more fields of study. Ariana loves reading and spending time with friends. However, occasionally, she loves going on solo trips to the beach. Her biggest dream is to travel the world, and she’ll take her first step in accomplishing it by studying abroad very soon.