Practical ways to declutter the mind are now part of my daily habits.
For some reason I have always had the sort of life where there is always something happening.
It doesn’t seem to stop and it feels like I can never get a break. I’m sure there are many of you out there who understand what I am talking about.
When I am going through a particularly busy or stressful period I get to a point where it feels like my head is so full that I can no longer concentrate, retain any new information.
If I do not put appointments into my phone (with multiple alarms) I will forget them and the easier sudokus become a challenge (not an ego booster, I can tell you that), I can’t think straight, loose my train of thought and the list goes on.
Also, a full mind was one of my burnout symptoms, so alarm bells go off in my head warning me to slow down.
Practical ways to declutter the mind.
See here are some quick ideas that you can do to help declutter your mind
Clean up your physical space
Having a tidy physical space around you helps your mind to come down. It does not need to be extremely clean. There is no need for you to scrub the grout in the bathroom with a toothbrush, unless that is what helps your mind to declutter.
Start a journal
Journaling is a excellent way to get out any thoughts or ideas that you have been holding on to. It’s a great way to work through any problems or emotions you may be facing.
If journaling is not for you can starting an Art journal or simply do a brain dump or create a mind map.
The idea is to just get all those thoughts out of your head to give your mind some more space.
Change your physical surroundings, get some fresh air. Give yourself actual space by leaving your four walls, let the fresh air help to clear your mind.
Ditch the TV
Watching TV sounds like a good way of relaxing but it’s a lot of stimuli for your brain to process. For a brain that’s already been loaded this could actually add to the stress.
You could replace watching TV with a different activity. For instance, you can listen to music or an audiobook, read, learn a new hobby.
Anything that takes you away from the screen even if it’s just for a little while.
Now I understand that being a minimalist is not for everybody. In this case it refers more to minimalizing your visual clutter. Clear away clutter from flat surfaces. Simplify and display your treasured items, then all you will have left are item you enjoy which are not being hidden by clutter. This could be your first step into a minimalistic lifestyle, or not.
Stop overbooking yourself
Just for a short amount of time stop doing all the’ little extras’. In my case I stopped adding extra appointments to my calendar. I also said ‘No’ to family and friends who wanted me to do extra tasks and I also stopped overcommitting myself.
Give yourself an easier week or two, if possible.
Talk it out
I find that our dog can be an excellent listener, but if you’re not lucky enough to have a pet at home to chat with, then perhaps your partner could help, or a good friend. Even a professional if need be. Find somebody that you can talk to.
Embrace your one-track mind
Sometimes it’s just easier to go with the flow than to go against it and in this case, when your mind is overloaded, it is a good idea just to go with it.
Instead of fighting your mind you can embrace it. Try a brain dump just before you go to sleep. This way you can empty you mind of all those thoughts that are left running around in there.
Keep a running ‘to do’ list or use a notetaking system to help you keep track of all your notes and ideas.
The ‘I don’t have to’ day
This of course, is one of my favourite things to do, it does not have to be a whole day but it can also just be an afternoon or an evening.
In short what it entails is that it is you’re giving yourself a break from the tasks that you feel you have to do. This is not referring to work, but tasks you do at home, so instead, of forcing yourself to clean up the washing, you can just let it sit for this one evening and clean it up tomorrow.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Mental wellbeing is important. Try and find something to do that is just for you. Such as taking a bubble bath or going to the gym, take a walk, do some yoga, meditate, sit outside with a cuppa or even just take a nap. A little bit of me time is necessary to help calm you and to declutter the mind.
Leave the world outside your door
Your home is your sanctuary, that one place where you can hide away from the world outside. It’s a place that you should be able to come back to and just relax. The last thing you want to do is to bring all that stress from work and the outside world back into your sanctuary. So do you best to leave it at the door. Turn off your phone if you must. Leave aal that craziness out there. This may take some practice but it is a good habit to get into.
The world is extremely hectic and there are a lot of demands upon us especially when our work lives creep into our private lives. In a world that demands 110% it is awfully hard not to feel overrun. Our minds become cluttered with all the things we must do. This is when slowing down your private life and help you to cope. Take your time to enjoy your life. Learn to relax and enjoy the menial tasks of, let’s say, cooking and cleaning and just realizing that you were doing it to take care of yourself and your loved ones.
Work on one thing at a time
Sometimes it’s a good thing to multitask, but what constant multitasking does is hinder your ability to concentrate for long periods of time. Add an over cluttered mind to the mix and it becomes almost impossible to concentrate at all.
let go of perfectionism
There is a high demand for perfectionism in today’s society and the funny thing is, is that nobody’s perfect. Trying to be perfect in an imperfect world and trying to do everything and be everything is never going to end well. Instead of saying to yourself’ it needs to be perfect’, maybe you can say ‘it’s good enough’ just like you’re good enough.
You can find me on LinkedIn