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A Spring Cleaning for the Mind
March, 2021 - Issue #197
courtesy of shutterstock
courtesy of shutterstock

Is "spring cleaning" even a thing anymore? After a year of being "safer at home" and binge watching "The Home Edit," organization is trending like never before and, in most cases, it's organized in a rainbow palette.
That's cute - but life really isn't that simple, which is why rainbows and unicorns often keep each other company.
What do you do when every drawer and cabinet in your life is a rainbow haven of organization - but you still feel like you're in the junk drawer? It's time for a mental and emotional edit. This one is a bit more uncomfortable but its benefits far outweigh any rainbow I've ever seen.
Something you may not know about me is:
I love order. I function best when everything is physically in its place. I feel safe when there is order. If I come home and there is anything on the kitchen island, it's in the garbage in minutes. My home always looks "photo" ready and that's exactly how I like it - but not for the reasons you might think.
I grew up with a lot of physical and emotional chaos. It didn't have a "label" at the time but what it should have had was a warning sign. Episodes and outbursts were the norm, mixed with some rainbow moments that somehow made it "normal."
Nothing was really addressed and we were definitely a home that swept "it" under the rug. There were a lot of tripping hazards; a healthier home may have called them red flags.
We didn't. We just kept sweeping and the space became a more complicated place to navigate, filled with uncertainty about what - or who - you were going to encounter.
As a child, I had the great benefit of growing up and being able to leave. You know the term "emotional baggage," right? It turns out that even when you leave, you take it with you!
It took most of my 20s to unpack it and well into my mid-30s for me to Marie Kondo it. "Thank you for making me the most resilient and compassionate person in the world. I wish you well - far away from me!"
It took becoming a parent to see that giving birth doesn't make you one.
When my younger son was diagnosed with autism, I welcomed the label. He actually got a few of them and I remember telling the doctor to call him whatever he needed to. I knew the label was a means for help and that help - and a whole lotta prayer - made him the miracle that he is today. I couldn't care less what was in a file folder somewhere with his name on it. He needed help - and got all that was available. We are all better for it. He's a rainbow that was well-worth the stormy years.
In my other life on Instagram, my forever-repeated "pro tip" is, "Ask for help!" I say it all the time and I am so happy when people actually do it. I practice what I preach.
I've heard the term "COVID crazy" tossed around for the last year - usually tongue in cheek - but "crazy" is a word that carries a stigma that needs to end.
Guess what? It's okay to not be okay.
That's right! Knowing where I grew up, I keep a mental and emotional health checklist to make sure I'm taking care of myself.
So many of my very favorite humans have suffered. They actively pursue wellness from the pains caused by depression, anxiety, mood swings and unrest. Because of this commitment to their own wellbeing, they have grandly shown me love and friendship in ways I didn't know were possible growing up. I'm drawn to these souls, for with them my younger self gets to relive and heal right alongside them.
Oh, I also don't have any rugs in my adult home. The floor is flat and the footing is certain, for reasons that have so much more to do with the hearts that love there over the aesthetics.

XOXO, Jeanna

Jeanna Crawford is the proud president of SC Publishing, Inc. - publisher of Inside SCV Magazine. Follow her on Instagram at @JeannaLovesChristmas.

Signs & Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of mental illness can vary, but may present like any of the following or more, per the Mayo Clinic (mayoclinic.org). Reach out to a trusted medical professional if you're concerned about the mental wellbeing of a loved one - or yourself.
• Extreme Mood Changes of Highs & Lows
• Detachment from Reality, Paranoia or Hallucinations
• Inability to Cope with Daily Problems or Stress
• Problems with Alcohol or Drug Use
• Excessive Anger, Hostility or Violence
• Feeling Sad or Down
• Confused Thinking or Reduced Ability to Concentrate
• Excessive Fears or Worries
• Suicidal Thinking
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