With the much anticipated arrival of Spring comes the desire for de cluttering and re organisation. Sorting through old clothes and bits and pieces accumulated over time that no longer serves a purpose; cleaning out the winter feel to make room for brightness and freshness that comes with Spring. The start of Spring usually signifies clean homes.
However, in amongst all of the physical cleaning, how much time do we spend de cluttering our emotional, mental self? How much left over emotional clutter are we carrying around?
In recognition of RUOK Day yesterday, I turn my thoughts to mental wellness and care. Over the last few years, I have come to appreciate the immeasurable value of self care and the impact on life when that care is not occurring.
It’s clear that time just keeps ticking over without any assistance on our part. Life continues; positive and negative life events happen and our being continues to take the brunt. At what point do we check in with ourselves and give our mind the space to breathe out the toxins and negativity?
There are times when our soul feel congested. We feel as though we have hit capacity in terms of space to take in life and I am often heard saying “when it rains it pours” because life just continues happening and there really isn’t any higher consideration that you have already had so much.
My emotional state often translates in my physical self. Fatigue, headaches, sore eyes, dry and unhealthy skin colour, a lower immune system and feeling run down all the time. I’m not a doctor nor do I purport to be medically minded in the slightest, but I can see when my body is reacting to my souls congestion.
It is in those times that we need to step back to de clutter our emotional world and implement the magic of letting go.
I’m not much for cliches or catch phrases and I concede that “letting go” is definitely a cliche bounced around so flippantly when the reality is somewhat more challenging than clearing out the cupboards but often the tougher tasks are the ones that create the most benefit in our lives.
Here are some ways I de clutter my emotional world:
1. I take time out of each day to disconnect.
I have become accustomed to being available all the time through various mediums and be reactive to everything. Turn off all notifications for 20 minutes and just be with my own thoughts helps me to regroup. The world does not fall apart the minute I step away from it.
2. I learnt to feel comfortable with saying no.
I can’t be everywhere or take on everything – I am not superhuman, much as I like to purport to be. Saying yes to everything I do not have the capacity for causes unnecessary stress that I can’t take on any further. The stress I carry festers into negativity and that in turn casts a shadow over the beauty in my world. I become a cranky mum, a distracted wife and a crazy, not so fun person to be around – even for myself! This week my busy life schedule made me pause to ask “has this task caused a detriment to my family?” Even by asking, I think I answered my own question and that is now taken very much on board for my next weeks life planning.
3. I take the time to listen to my self.
I listen to my body. I listen to the clutter in my mind. I mindfully ask the questions about what I need to nourish my self right now. This year I have been struct down with this horrendous flu and have no doubt that my lack of self care has been a contributing factor that needs a greater eye and care kept.
4. Remind yourself that not everything requires a solution.
Some things do not have a solution. Some things merely need to be sat with and acknowledged that the situation is tough and not everything needs to be fixed or changed or understood really. Sometimes it is merely about accepting the reality, without the need to accept that you accept it.
For me, nothing is a greater form of medicine than sitting in a park with my shoes off… I can reconnect in a Lion King, circle of life kinda way.
7. I have become realistic about my time capacity.
Admittedly this one was difficult to grasp. We have become programmed to be busy and accept that is normal because everyone seems to be busy. I have instead gone back to a simply technique of life planning. What needs to be done and what can be pushed down or even off my to do list… One of my new mottos is that so long as there is clean underwear in the draw the washing can wait until tomorrow.
Finally – I have learned to respond genuinely to the question of how am I…simple yes – but how often do we merely answer good as a knee jerk reaction whether it be not to reveal how not okay we are going? Or because we are trying to maintain a facade that life perfect.
Life is not perfect. Life is messy and chaotic and beautiful. It is stressful and exhausting and some times defeating.
Feel okay to respond honestly. Feel okay to breathe out, let your shoulders slump to let the weight of the world slip off them and tell another that in that moment you are not feeling so okay and why. Feel okay to check in with your GP and tell them if things are a little rough. Tell your significant other when things are getting to you. A problem shared is a problem halved.
Talking about it might be the little therapy you need to gain a perspective about it and to gain the control back to let it go.
And don’t forget to ask another and actually wait for the answer. Show your openness to receive an honest answer and listen. Listen to listen and not to respond… Because sometimes the difference for one person may be that they felt the world finally heard or saw them… And do it everyday…not just yesterday because the calendar told us to…