Clutter and life go hand in hand unfortunately. Life is complicated and messy, and we're unable to avoid some clutter in our life every now and then. Clutter can manifest as physical or emotional mess.
You may find yourself surrounded by a household strewn with mess or you might work at a desk covered in endless piles of papers. These types of physical clutter are easy to identify because they're easily seen, which makes them far more straight forward to tidy up. To sort this type of mess out, all you need is some free time and a 'can do' attitude.
Mental clutter on the other hand, can't be seen by the naked eye and as a result, it's far more difficult to recognise that there's a problem and as a result, the tidy up process becomes more complex. A cluttered mind is exhausting and prevents you from performing at your best. You find yourself making poor decisions, feeling overwhelmed and unable to concentrate.
Just as we attack a messy kitchen drawer full of utensils or a living room cluttered with children's toys, we are able to declutter our mind in very much the same way. Here are a few simple ways you can start decluttering your mind today.
Exercising isn't just good for your body, it's a great way to clear your mind. Head out for a walk or set up some weights, whatever it is that brings you pleasure. Get active to switch off your mind for a while, you'll thank yourself for it later.
If your mind is feeling overloaded, it's likely you've got too much going on so it's time to get cutting. Look objectively at all the things you have happening and trim some of the excess worry out of your life. If you list off the things you're stressed about, you'll probably realise there's a number of them that you can cut out of your life and mind.
Learn To Say No
Some of us are naturally 'yes' people and we struggle to say no, even when we really should. If you're feeling like you're full to the brim it's really important that you exercise your right to say no. Say no to those unnecessary activities that you don't have the capacity to handle right now, and remind yourself that it's ok to say no.
When we're bogged down with too many things happening inside our head, it's so easy to stop taking care of ourselves. The biggest gift you can give yourself during times of stress, is a fresh, healthy diet. Nourishing your body with the right foods will keep your mind and body in tip top shape and you'll be better equipped to handle everything that's going on. Ensure you drink enough water each day to keep your mind feeling clearer.
When your mind is a whirl of worries and stress, sleep can be difficult, and quality sleep is almost impossible. Sleep has a hugely positive impact on your wellbeing and is an essential part of your self-care routine. When you're well rested, your capacity to juggle multiple tasks and handle stress increases significantly so when you've got a lot going on in life, quality sleep really is your best friend.
To Do Lists
If you've got what feels like a hundred and one things whirring around in your head, the best way to attack the situation is to make a list. There's something soothing about putting all of your tasks down on paper when you're feeling overwhelmed. It allows you to be able to develop a plan so you can attack your situation logically rather than constantly worrying that you'll forget something. As you start crossing tasks off your list, you'll start to feel more in control and more accomplished. Never underestimate the value of a detailed 'to do' list!
Once you've completed your 'to do' list, it's time to start prioritising. Start working your way through tasks in order of most to least important. You'll find some relief in knowing you're dealing with your situation in a structured way and it'll help ease your mind knowing that you're tackling your problems in the best possible way.
When your plate is full, the easiest way to lighten your stress load is to get organised and eliminate the number of decisions you need to make each day. Prepare your meals ahead of time, stick to a strict routine, create habits that allow you to do the simple tasks without thinking. This frees your mind up to think about more important things.
Work On One Thing At A Time
Multi-tasking is a great skill but when you're overwhelmed with clutter, it may be your worst enemy. If your mind is foggy from over-thinking about too many different thinks at once, multi-tasking will only confuse the situation further. Working on too many things at the same time when you're struggling will limit how much you can achieve and will leave you feeling deflated. So work your way through your jobs one by one and you'll find be far more productive and will have a greater sense of accomplishment.
It's easy to dwell on things when our mind is full. Making a decision can feel overwhelming so instead we choose to let it linger in our mind unresolved. We may think that by avoiding making a decision we are making life simpler but by putting decisions off, they pile up and cause us more stress and worry. When we've got a lot to do, the last thing we need is to spend valuable time and energy worrying about decisions that we will eventually need to make, so get it over with and settle on a decision as quick as you can.
Talk It Out
As they say, a problem shared is a problem solved. So when you're feeling that your mind is one big muddled mess, talk it over with someone. Aside from the relief you get from verbalising your stress, getting someone else's perspective on things can be extremely valuable in helping you gain some clarity about your situation.
Switch Your Mind Off
Perhaps the best form of self-preservation when your mind is cluttered is regular intervals of mindfulness. When you're feeling like there's too much going on, it can be really difficult to switch off but it's important to persevere. Incorporating regular moments for mindfulness into your daily life will allow you to perfect your technique and you'll be armed with the ability to switch your mind off when you most need it. Schedule mindfulness breaks when you're feeling overwhelmed and you'll find your capacity to cope increases significantly which will help you keep your cool under pressure.
Whatever the reason is for you feeling like your mind is a cluttered mess, there's lots of simple strategies you can use to help improve your frame of mind. A muddled mind will prevent you from getting on with the tasks at hand so take a little time, invest in your wellbeing and work on decluttering.