There are two types of clutter: physical and mental. Just because you are an organized person, it doesn’t mean you can’t have mental clutter, and I will bet most of you do. People who are organized carry this type of clutter around also.
Does your mental clutter make you feel anxious, exhausted, stressed, or overwhelmed? Does it make you feel like you are running a mile a minute in 10 different directions? We have to realize that we are carrying around this mental clutter and then we have to figure out a way to alleviate it.
Here are 6 ways you can combat mental clutter:
Exercise. Exercise is a great stress reliever. It helps clear the mental clutter and it’s good for you! It’s a win-win all around. You can put on your headphones and have a great heart-pumping workout and just focus on what you are doing and nothing else. After a long day, you can also de-stress by taking a Pilates or yoga class. You can also take a quiet walk without any music. Just enjoy the scenery and the fresh air. If you want to feel energized, listen to music and enjoy the time alone.
Just Breathe. When you find you are getting stressed, just stop and breathe for 30 seconds. Take big inhales and exhales. Think of stressful situations that arise in your work day. How do you recover from them? Did you just get back to your desk after a stressful situation and you sat down and you just can’t seem to relax? Try just sitting quietly and breathe for just 30 seconds.
Empty your mind. Get all your thoughts out of your head. If you have a lot on your mind, sit for a few minutes and just write everything down that is on your mind. Don’t worry that it’s not organized; you can figure that out later. Just let your thoughts flow onto paper. After you do this, then you can put together a to-do list of everything you need to accomplish. Once everything is written on paper, you will see that some things really aren’t that important. It just felt good to write them down and get them out of your mind. Now you can just let it go. If the thoughts aren’t related to things you have to do, keep a journal and jot down what you are thinking. This will help release the mental clutter.
Meditate. Sit in a quiet spot for 5 minutes and meditate. Set a timer and just be with yourself and your thoughts for 5 minutes. If you can’t find the time to stop and do this, try taking 3 inhales and exhales a few times a day.
Unplug. Now more than ever, we have information being thrown at us from all types of mediums. Just think about social media aloneFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and all the other apps out there. These are all adding to the mental clutter. We didn’t have this form of mental clutter 20 years ago and it’s something we find ourselves struggling with throughout the day. If this is adding to your mental clutter, shut down for a day or week and recharge.
Take a vacation. Sometimes we need to step away from the day-to-day mental clutter. Try taking a vacation. You don’t have to go anywhere elaborate or expensive. It can be a day at the beach, a picnic in the park or a relaxing day trip. De-stress and release that mental clutter.
Practice doing one or more of the above and release the mental clutter. Take note of how you feel after you do this. You will feel energized and revitalized.
Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, the founder and owner of Organizing in RI, has always enjoyed finding creative ways to streamline the environment around her. She has appeared on air on Patricia Raskin’s Positive Business Radio and her articles have been published in RISBJ, New England Home Life, and Providence Business News. Kristin’s CD, Organizing Basics, is a 1-hour guide for the person who wants to get organized but doesn’t know where to start. She is also available for organizing workshops. Tune in to her radio show, “Organize, Energize!,” on www.talkstreamradio.com.