Spring cleaning is not just about the home, it’s a great time to embrace the mental spring clean as well. As an individual, I am the worst as holding on, and I mean to everything. It could be anything from keeping every single item of clothing and toy ever owned (and out grown) to birthday cards, pictures, clothes than no long fit. You name it, I’ve kept it.
And this is the same within my mind. I am a serious over thinker. I replay conversations, arguments, what I’ve accomplished and what I haven’t over over again. This happens daily.
I’ve recently learned this is exceedingly common and within a standard day, we will each have over 6000 thoughts a day!! With 80% of these being negative and 95% being repetitive daily. Those stats blew my mind too.
With stats like that I can understand so much as to why mental health has been on the incline. But how can we change this? I can’t speak for you but I want to address this head on and embrace change to ensure I am a positive person. I want to a glass half full individual and teach my children that we can overcome all hurdles.
And, as a parent we all know your mental load increase ten fold. So, although I know it is never possible to irradicate these thoughts and repetitive mannorisms, there are certainly ways that we will be able to help bring this percentage down and try to bring more varied thoughts to our minds each day.
I wager we would all like to embrace a more positive mindset but fins ourselves using the same excuses such as ‘I’ve a million jobs to do’, ‘I’ve no time’, ‘I’ve been on my feet all day and not sat down’ and so many more. But, these are excuses! One’s that I’ve been guilty of using, which is keeping me in this cycle.
So go can we break this cycle? Here are 5 changes that can be implemented.
5 steps to take
For me the biggest thing is about managing my own expectations and finding that balance between what needs doing and making that time for myself. I find the best way for to declutter my mind is through a list.
- Getting all those jobs written down. As soon as it is documented the mental load will feel lighter and at this stage we can then start thinking about the priority of these jobs and to categorise them. From there it is easy to set a plan in place. This needs to be realistic and manageable. I write mine down within a weekly planner so I know what I need to accomplish each day and from that I know they are actually getting done and the mental strain isn’t causing procrastination or a sense of overwhelm.
- Secondly, self care. It is so important to look after yourself physically and mentally. They go hand in hand. From having a bath, reading a book, writing – whatever it is that you love – it will help you focus your mind on something enjoyable, which automatically lifts spirited, relaxes my body and removes some of the physical tensions that can be carried around.
- Declutter your surroundings. I know when my house is cluttered – my mind usually isn’t far behind. So let’s take those small steps to start clearing those counters and surfaces. I read recently that if clutter is left on the side it is due to indecisiveness and therefore hasn’t or couldn’t be put away. So now is the time to be decisive and take back control. Once you physically start you’ll find it gets easier. It’s just about taking that first step.
- Get some fresh air. There is logic to the concept that fresh air makes you feel better. Getting fresh air and taking deep breaths helps your brain work better but more importantly it offers a change of scenery. Sometimes just getting away from the same 4 walls helps you change your perspective and consider things differently.
- Exercise. This can be anything from a walk to HIIT workouts to yoga. Find something that you enjoy. This will allow your body to release positive endorphins which in turns lifts your mood and thought process. Also, apart from the chemical changes to your body, you’ll find that your mind clears whilst exercising. So by the time you come to revisit your list you’re viewing the day ahead with a fresh positive perspective.