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More things get messy in life than closets and junk drawers.


If you’re not careful, relationships can gather dust, lose their sharpness, and turn into chaos.


This being April, turn your “spring cleaning” lens to relationships – with your significant other, family members, colleagues, and friends. The theme of springtime is rejuvenation and rebirth, and sometimes those things take effort.


Healthier relationships mean a healthier you, in mind, spirit and even body. We all know how stressful it is to be unsatisfied within any relationship. As you read through my tips below, consider relationships that you might need to let go, establish boundaries, or reaffirm through words and action.


  • Air It Out: Are you harboring a resentment? Is there something left unspoken that causes discomfort between you and the other person? Schedule a time and place to clear the air, and then do so respectfully and calmly.
  • Dust It Off: What did you used to enjoy doing with this person? Consider a renewal to reconnect on common interests. Or make a plan for a fresh adventure together, even if it’s just a Saturday afternoon bike ride. Find ways to reconnect over what you both enjoy doing together.
  • Draw A Line: We all have that friend who asks for too many favors. Or a relative who drops by unannounced. Or a colleague who interrupts during meetings. You can shrug it off and accept it, or you can bring it to the other person’s attention and seek a new understanding.
  • Put It on a Shelf: Not all relationships need tweaking. Maybe you have some that are fine the way they are, and that’s great. Take note and keep them handy.
  • Toss It Out: It’s OK to let a relationship end. It might not be pleasant, but if someone brings only negativity into your life, repeatedly hurts you, or behaves in ways you can’t abide, then say goodbye. And if you’re just going through the motions with someone, either get real with them or stop altogether.
  • Put It Out There: Have you always been a good partner, parent, sibling or friend? Consider if you need to reconnect with someone and renew your end of things. Relationships work both ways, after all.


It’s springtime, so let’s think of all your relationships as making up a garden. You have to pull out the weeds, plant fresh seeds, and nurture the ground with water and fresh soil. Let the healthy, thriving garden be a reminder that relationships take work, but they produce a beautiful landscape for your life.


Garden or overstuffed closet, the imagery is clear. Take this important step in practicing self-care. You can do it – and you’ll feel better after taking a fresh look at your own relationships.