Updated: Jul 6
Spring has finally sprung. You know what that means. Spray bottles at the ready…and CLEAN! Make some space, charity shops, we have STUFF coming your way. Sigh. The magic of sorting your shit out and getting ‘organised’ never loses its shine. But, why does it feel so bloody good to purge our hoarded crap and get our dwelling place squeaky clean?
Well, actual research has shown that cleaning and organising our environments can lower our stress, improve our moods and generally enhance our wellbeing. Ok, that makes sense. Less stuff = less stress. And lately, there seems to be a glut of cleaning gurus over on social media – Mrs Hinch, Stacey Solomon, Marie Kondo, etc, all offering us a chance to get a natural high (or a Zoflora fumes high, whichever) for ourselves by doing as THEY do! It feels like no coincidence that, as the pandemic reared its ugly head and the outside became a little too…outside-y, lots of us chose to gain a little control by throwing ourselves into a cleaning routine to keep what order we could!
So, we got to thinking. We know what physical spring-cleaning can do for an overcrowded and cluttered house. Bonus knock-on effect for an overcrowded and cluttered mind. But, what if we cut out the middle man and went straight to hoovering up the cobwebby corners and clearing out the cup cupboard IN YOUR MIND!? It makes sense, right? Like emptying the recycle bin on your laptop (as if) or deleting unwanted photos from your phone. We know that stuff is there. We know things would run smoother without it. But we ignore it. Hands up, who wants more headspace, less overwhelm and a faster brain? (We can’t promise a faster brain, FYI) But stick with us. This gets good.
We came up with a 4 Step Plan to freeing your mind from everything that’s weighing it down right now. How do we know it works? Because we wrote it for ourselves based on what we knew we needed AND what our clients tell us about in session. So, we slapped together a pretty printable (we know, we know, we love our printables) (link to Etsy shop) and decided it was too good not to share. For free!
Want to know what to do?
Step One – Get your thoughts OUT!
We always encourage our clients to get things out of their head and down onto paper, phone or computer. In fact, we bang on about this a lot…but there’s good reason for it! It creates distance between thoughts and the feelings we’re associating with them, whether we know we’re doing it or not. It’s the equivalent of emptying cupboard and wardrobes to get everything out on the floor before you decide what to do with it all. It’s not possible to know what you really have unless you can see it all. Plus, research shows that writing or journaling can have a massive positive impact on our emotional wellbeing, so what’s not to love? Our free download worksheet has all the space you need to have an absolute purge of everything that’s whizzing around in your mind. Grab it now and get started.
Step two – The Big Sort Out.
So now you can see it all, what do you think? Time to sort through. This is where we start to get specific. Separate out into the three categories we’ve listed. The Physical clutter category is fairly straightforward. The other two might take some thinking about. Personal clutter is made up of resentment, grudges, things left unsaid and anxieties you have. It also encompasses unfulfilled dreams, things you want to buy to treat yo’self, things you WANT to do, self care, new exercise regimes, meet ups with friends, etc. All the stuff that keeps you up at night, in good and bad ways.
Mental clutter means things you have to remember to do for yourself, the kids, friends, family. Anything that takes up room in your brain (taking the bins out, remembering birthdays, completing work projects, etc). Basically, all of those plates you spin to keep everyone’s lives running smoothly.
It’s always fun to see which category most of your clutter comes from!
Step three – The Big Clear Out!
Everything must go! Here’s where things start to take shape for real. Anything you think you can take care of pretty soon (but have been procrastinating over) goes in the first section. Hang those pictures, put the washing away, file your tax return…all of that stuff.
Delegate anything that you feel should be shouldered by someone else. Sometimes we take on tasks just because it’s ‘quicker and easier’ if we do it ourselves. But it doesn’t teach others how to take responsibility and it robs us of time and mental headspace! Get a family calendar if need be…just stop doing it all!!
Step four – Putting your plans into action!
This is your chance to really tackle the things that have been bothering you for so long. By describing what actions need to be taken, you’re already halfway to getting the tasks completed. You’re committed. Get some dates down if you can, for immediacy, and get cracking! Our advice is to break down the bigger tasks into smaller steps. ‘See a counsellor’ becomes ‘check the web and make a shortlist of counsellors I like’. Small steps take away the overwhelm and will prevent you stopping before you’ve even started.
Now that you’ve done all that hard work, it’s really important that you maintain all that calm and order that you’ve created in your mind. The absolute best way to keep your mind calm and still is to meditate daily, (we’re big fans of apps like Headspace and Calm which are for beginners and seasoned pros alike). Your idea of meditation might not necessarily mean incense and candles in a dimly-lit room. We’re all unique and we all have our own ways of keeping the anxiety at bay. Find what works for you and schedule in time to actually do it.
And, if you haven’t already, download our declutter freebie. You won’t be sorry, we solemnly swear.