Cutting the Mental Clutter This Spring
If you were to rank all your favorite things about this time of year, spring cleaning probably wouldn’t appear high on the list. Mucking out the garage and cleaning the kitchen are rarely classified as fun activities. Spring cleaning is the annual ritual we love to hate. But at the end of the day, it can be rewarding to start the new season with a clean space.
Despite a thorough cleaning routine, there’s one important thing you might forget - Yourself.
The negative feelings of daily life - stress, worry, anxiety — can build up over time and create mental clutter. Not only does this clutter take up space, but it can also impact your physical health. Stress may impact your sleep, weaken your immune system and increase your risk of numerous health problems. Once in a while, it’s important to clean out your own emotional closet.
Start by assessing your current emotional clutter. If you laid everything out on the table in front of you, what would it look like? Make a list of all the things you’d see - stress from work, a toxic friendship, or just not enough time for the things you love. Writing everything down can help you take stock of the situation and begin to identify specific corners of your life that need a little extra “elbow grease.”
Next, decide what needs a good cleaning or should be thrown out altogether. Chances are many things on your list can be made better with a few tweaks. For example, if your current workload at the office is becoming too much, take time to sit down with your manager for a conversation about your stress and how some of your tasks can be delegated. However, there might be certain things, such as a particularly stressful relationship, that you need to remove from your life altogether.
Write down your “next steps” for each thing on your list. This becomes your mental spring cleaning to-do list. Dedicate time in the coming weeks to follow through on your actions and slowly de-clutter your mind.
Finally, figure out how to help cut down on emotional buildup in the future. Just as you create time for your daily workout, you also have to find time for your mental health. This might be following up your workout with a meditation session. Enjoy a quick nap on a Sunday afternoon before the week starts. Sign up for a weekly yoga class at your local gym. Blocking out time each week to clear your mind makes all the difference in cutting down on mental clutter.
A healthy mind is an important step in an all-around healthy lifestyle. Take the time this spring to create the healthy habits to stay fresh and rejuvenated.