If you complain about the world moving too fast, slow down.
Ever feel stuck in overdrive? With a cluttered, stressed mind and a sense of urgency to get everything done now?
Only, you have so much to do, so many thoughts, so many worries, so many emails to send, shopping to buy, friends to see.. it’s just too much?
How does it make you feel? From my own experience and from my clients, I would hazard a guess:
All of the above?
Sadly, running around in a state of panic seems to be the done thing these days.
It even hard to find the courage to slow down, reduce the load and implement self-care strategies. If other people are getting on with it, you feel like you should too?
But other people are struggling too. SO many people are experiencing this. It has become normal and everyone is stuck in a very similar cycle, despite, how alone you feel.
Naturally, after a recent trip to Iceland, everyone asked me how I found the trip. The only way I could really describe my week is ‘It was amazing, it was so slow’. I hadn’t quite worked out what I meant, I just knew my mind felt quieter and i felt at ease. Arriving home, I knew I had to do more to resist the pull of the hustle and bustle of every day life.
Ask yourself WHY you are living like this.
We are not designed to be constantly on the go, you need down time to relax.
People continue on the fast track out of fear of being left behind, not knowing how to change and even getting a kick out of being ‘busy’.
Like I said, your mind is full of information. Thinking about what needs to be done, what other people are thinking, what you should be doing, what you want for dinner, how you will afford your next holiday, bills that need to be paid, and the rest.
Let me ask you: is living like this making you happy?
If you answered no, then let me also ask you this again: WHY are you living like this?
Work out your why. Because if you really want to change, you are going to have to fight your ‘why’. Your ‘why’ is your excuses – “because it’s only until next year”, “because I am saving”, “because everyone else is”, “because I need to”, “because I’ve tried everything to change”, because, because, because…
Our minds are cluttered. And rather than slow down and de-clutter, we keep adding to it. It is easy to develop a habit of overthinking and worrying instead of taking action. Before you know it, the cluttered mind is becoming more cluttered with things that don’t even matter and all the extra little things you are putting off.
Is your mind clutter building up? Is it already full?
Maybe it is hard to do things you can usually do; like making decisions, booking an appointment and facing new challenges.
Is it easier to forget about it all? Sit in front of Netflix each evening despite your best intentions?
This clutter is not obvious, it can be so subtle. I know you are considering your options and you want to change, but don’t know how. I also know you would prefer a magic wand, so you can change overnight and no have to do anything…
It is crucial you are willing to take some action if you want to reduce the clutter in your mind and life. Just because your work culture and/or friends aren’t taking this action, doesn’t mean you can’t. You will need to decide to commit to being happy with or without the people around you.
You might be surprised anyway; usually, as people see you flourish (because you will), they will want to know how you do it and will eventually take action themselves. Be the shining example.
The actions I am sharing with you have helped me to reset and recharge. They are part of my weekly routine, contribute to my wellbeing and improve my coping abilities for when life does get busy (the point is, it’s not a constant state of busy).
Note: When I let these techniques drop, I feel it, my mind fills up and I am more prone to negative thoughts.
Here are three techniques to help you de-clutter your mind:
Something I have always noticed is when my environment is tidy; I think clearer and I feel happier.
And it’s true; your environment impacts your mood. We’ve all heard the saying ‘tidy space, tidy mind’. If your space is cluttered, that will reflect in your mind, mood and actions. A messy space is not conducive to being calm and content.
Tidying your space takes away stress of having to sift through all the ‘stuff’ to find what you need, and along with it goes the niggly thought telling you you’re lazy and messy.
You already know what you need to clean, tidy and organise because it is part of the clutter in your mind right now.
It’s possible, as you’re reading this, you have lots on your mind and tidying up is the least of your priorities (or that’s what you might tell yourself), but if you want to get started on the other clutter in your brain; start here. Tidying will create a calming space for you to tackle the hard stuff and it will give you a sense of achievement so you will be feeling more productive anyway.
ACTION: If there is a lot to tidy and organise; break it down into chunks. Divide it by room or parts of the room. Create at least one space you can go to and feel some peace.
Transfer all that stuff in your mind, on to paper. Don’t worry about it flowing or having a structure, just focus on getting it out.
As you do this exercise, you will see all the things you are aware of, plus you will write things you didn’t even know were bothering you.
Resist going into problem-solving mode too soon, just get it on paper as the first step.
When it is all there, it may seem overwhelming, but congratulate yourself all the same. You have to go through this messy part to get to the other side.
Without trying, for a lot of this clutter, you will instinctively know what action needs to be taken, what you need to change and what you need to let go of. It won’t all be so straight forward, but it’s still a step closer to clarity.
Begin to analyse what you have written. You can prioritise, make action lists and get stuff done.
Action: Grab a pen and notepad, set a timer on your phone of ten minutes and just write all the things on your mind until the alarm goes off. If you need more time, take it. After this, step away for a few minutes and gather yourself (I like to listen to a happy song and motivate myself). When you are ready, go back to your brain dump and begin to work through and make a plan of your next steps.
One action that has the power to make me feel ‘off’, vastly fills my mind with useless information and creates an unhelpful spiral of thoughts; is too much time on social media.
Aimlessly scrolling is the procrastinator’s worst enemy.
On top of avoiding the real world and all the things you need to attend to, you are adding more clutter and ill feelings to your life.
I’m not saying you have to quit social media (Hello? Instagram lover over here!), but if you intend to use it, you need to be responsible for your own thoughts, feelings and reactions.
There is only so much you can blame other people for sharing their best life. It is your reaction to what you are seeing that is causing the problems.
You must remind yourself that most of what you see is not real; You must remind yourself you do not need to have all the nice things you see on social media; and you must remember it does not matter how many people liked your posts. If you are not remembering those golden rules, social media will bring on the unnecessary clutter.
Limit your time on social media a day. You will know what works for you because you won’t feel good when you go over it. This will help you in so many ways, including freeing up time for you to spend doing points 1 & 2.
Be mindful of what and who you follow. Is it helping with feelings of overwhelm in any way?
Action: Unfollow or mute all accounts that do bring a low energy into your space; it’s not necessary to follow anything that negatively impacts your day. The last thing you need is your mind going over inaccurate thoughts about how other people choose to live their lives and the things you don’t have. Once you have done this, decide how much time you are going to allow yourself on social media a day, you can download apps to help you with this so there is no excuse.
Given that you are trying to de-clutter your mind and life, I think just three tools is plenty for now. I don’t want to overwhelm you with techniques.
If there is one thing I am used to, it is that client’s want a quick fix tool that doesn’t take much effort. You will see that all of the above require action from you.
If you are serious about slowing down and building your coping skills, it will require you to take some time out and prioritise your needs.
Please remember, your heath is SO important; your happiness is SO important. It is imperative that you are able to take at least ten minutes for yourself a day if you are going to start getting a handle on this, that I can promise.
Schedule these three activities into your week and let me know how you get on 🙂
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Carly Ann xx