Dr. Jenn Mann’s 5 steps to spring clean your life

To kick off the new season, Dr. Jenn Mann (formerly Dr. Jenn Berman) brings you her five steps to spring cleaning your life and psyche. Ask her more burning love, sex and relationship questions every weeknight on SiriusXM Stars (Ch. 109) at 10pm ET!

Spring cleaning is associated with dusting, boxing old clothes and organizing your home. It is also a great time to clean out your life and your psyche. Here are five ways to start spring cleaning your life.

1) Clear your home. Many years ago I did a show called Family Forensics where I went into family’s homes sight unseen and did an assessment of the family members’ issues and family conflicts based on what I found in the home. What I learned is that the way we keep our home is a reflection of our psyche. People who have chaotic inner lives have chaotic homes. The first step to change your emotional experience is to change your environment.

2) Clear the air. Spring is a great time to look at where you have been hurt and been hurtful so you can make amends. If you have heard me on The Dr. Jenn Show, you know I always recommend the four “R’s.” Take responsibility for your actions. Show the person you have harmed how remorseful you feel. Take steps to avoid repeating the behavior. Take steps to repair the damage that has been done.

When it comes to expressing your hurt, make sure you are not accusatory. Use “I statements” such as “when you _____________ (fill in the blank), it makes me feel ____________ (fill in the blank).” Take responsibility for any of your own unresolved issues that may be influencing how you see the situation. Don’t just look for an apology, seek to understand where the other person is coming from.

3) Reorganize your relationships. Take the time to evaluate your relationships. When I became a therapist I had to do some reorganizing in my own life. After spending all day giving advice and helping people, I didn’t want to have the same dynamics in my friendships so I had to reevaluate some people in my life. I had to ask myself, “if I had a conflict in my life who would I go to for advice?’ and “who gives back to me?” As a result, some people got demoted to acquaintance level friends who I might invite to a party but not someone who I spend a lot of time with. This is good self care.

4) Reprioritize your relationship. In this day and age, it is too easy to neglect our romantic relationships. We spend more time looking at screens- phones, tablets, computers and televisions- than we do looking at our partners. In order to have a healthy connected relationship, this has to change. Connection is the foundation for any relationship. Studies show that the number one reason people cheat on their spouse is not lack of sex, but lack of connection. A study came out a while ago where researchers had a heterosexual man and woman answer a series of increasingly personal questions and then stare into each other’s eyes for four minutes. Six months later, two of the participants were married. The researchers concluded that “close relationships require sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self- disclosure.” Finding the time to do this in your partnership is crucial to the health of your relationship.

5) Clean out your psyche. I always recommend everyone have one year of weekly therapy. If you have had trauma, a painful childhood or find yourself suffering from issues like depression, anxiety or substance abuse problems it is even more important for you. Therapy provides you with an objective person who can hold up the mirror to you and help you see what is working and what is not in your life. A therapist can teach your healthier coping skills, teach you better communication and help you heal old wounds. We all bring our unresolved issues into our relationships- romantic, friendships, business, family- and we have a responsibility to work through our issue to be the healthiest version of ourselves possible.

Use spring cleaning as an opportunity not just to better your home, but to better your life.


Dr. Jenn Mann (formerly Dr. Jenn Berman) is the host of The Dr. Jenn Show, a call in advice therapy show, on SiriusXM Stars Monday through Friday 10pm-Midnight ET. She is also the host and lead therapist on VH1 Couples Therapy with Dr. Jenn, which will be going in to its sixth season this spring. She is the author of three bestselling books: SuperBaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years, The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy Confident Kids and Rockin’ Babies and has a new book about relationships that will be published by Sterling Publishing in 2016. Dr. Mann also created the popular weight loss app No More Diets application, which is currently available on iPhone & iPad.

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Photo via Flickr/tusnelda

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