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Seven tips for spring cleaning inside and out

Spring remains a time of transition, rebirth and renewal. The shift in seasons is ideal for taking care of overlooked essentials and establishing new, long-term patterns.

Read our top seven tips for a fresh start inside and out.

1. Have a breast examination

Breast screenings for Australian women over 50 are routine, but it’s important that women of all ages monitor their breasts. Visit your local women’s health clinic or family GP to learn how to check your breasts at home and know what kind of changes to look for. Before making your appointment, check your records to find out when you last had a pap smear, and make an appointment for one if overdue. Cervical screening should occur every two years. Early intervention is one of the safest ways to detect and avoid disease, so don’t let either of these health checks fall off your to-do list.

2. Clean out your closet

If you’re not among the millions swearing by the KonMari Method, your closet might be overdue for an intervention. Cleaning out your wardrobe gives a feel-good boost. Be ruthless: do away with clothes that you don’t feel confident or comfortable wearing. This includes clothes you were given or have simply grown out of physically and emotionally. Afterwards, donate those pre-loved clothes in good condition to charity. Spend an afternoon creating new outfit combinations, and use money you would have previously spent on new garments on underwear or bras, replacing those that have seen better days.

3. Start taking probiotics

Live bacteria and yeasts have gotten a good rap lately for good reason. Incorporating probiotics into your diet is important for healthy guts, and are also reported to have a positive effect on urinary tract health. Consult your GP for advice on which daily oral probiotic would be best for you to take and to find out where to purchase it.

4. Check your sleep hygiene

Ah, sleep. The first thing many of us start neglecting when we’re stressed. Switching up your sleeping habits should help to reduce any anxiety before bed and ensure you get the right amount of rest. Establish a bedtime ritual by going to bed at the same time every night. Try meditating or deep, focused breathing ten minutes prior to nodding off to calm your mind and body. Most importantly, invest in an old-school alarm clock and leave your mobile phone out of the bedroom. This will help you resist the temptation to scroll through your feeds “once last time,” and minimise your exposure to electromagnetic radiation while sleeping.

5. Cancel subscriptions

Looked at your bank account recently? When reconciling your accounts, make a list of the services you automatically pay for each month. In a separate column, tally up how much you actually use these services. Music and television streaming services, magazine subscriptions and gym memberships require extra coin but are often under utilised. Be brutal in cancelling any you are not actually using, and put the money towards new activities that bring you more joy.

6. Start a new exercise routine

Instead of giving yourself grief about cancelling that unused gym membership, consider what kind of exercise you might actually like doing. If you want to feel strong and energised, kickboxing offers a high-energy cardio workout that can be more engaging than working solo on machines. For something more aerobic, try your hand at aerial silks or circus. Each routine works on a mixture of strengths that may well become your new hidden talent.

7. Do away with one unwanted self-belief

Many of us hold onto damaging ideas about ourselves, which we reaffirm again and again with our internal monologue. A tidy home has a positive impact on your state of mind, but cleaning out mental clutter brings great comfort. Make a cup of tea and set aside time to think critically about what negative self-talk you repeat throughout the day. Choose one sentence to work on, reframing it into a positive statement. This might seem like a small change but consistency is key. Each time you catch yourself slipping into negative self-talk, remember your positive reframing. It’s surprising how much you can be achieve by committing to small changes each day.

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