The concept of decluttering our space in our fast-paced, modern lives with every seasonal change isn’t a new one. As the weather begins to cool, it’s the perfect time to assess our living conditions — and no, we’re not talking about the clothes you no longer wear, or the extra furniture in your garage!
Seasonal changes have a way of wrecking havoc on our minds, especially since the change in weather tends to bring with it illnesses, allergies, and changes in routines which pile up and up and up, until they tip our stress levels into overdrive. Now that we’re back into motion again and the weather is cooling down, it’s time to mindfully minimise your stress levels in order to achieve a clarity and ease that can carry you through to the next season. Don’t just declutter your house — declutter your mind.
1. DECLUTTER YOUR CALENDAR
Are you an obsessive to-do list maker? A Google calendar fiend? As we’re aiming to ease the strain and burden out of your everyday itinerary, it helps to block out an hour of your time each week and assess your to-do list. What’s necessary? What isn’t? What must be done by this week, and what can stay? We’re not encouraging you to leave everything to the last minute, but if you’re struggling to hit everything on your list day after day to the point where it’s bringing you unnecessary stress — well, shouldn’t you amend the list?
2. DECLUTTER YOUR EMAIL
Off the top of your head — how many emailing lists are you subscribed to? How many wellness blogs (including this one!), how many social media pages, online stores, newsletters… how much free real estate do you have in your inbox? How much space do you have in your head? Too many cooks in the kitchen is an age old adage that can extend to noise too, and having twenty sources of conflicting, well meaning and shallow advice can do more harm than it can good. We challenge you — go through your inbox, and unsubscribe from every emailing list that you don’t regularly open. Doesn't that feel better?
3. DECLUTTER YOUR WISHLIST
Every January, we make an exhaustive list of wants, goals, to achieve’s. We want to travel to five new countries, sky dive, get a promotion, run a marathon… the list goes on. Well, for most of us, many of our 2020 plans are scuttled. But we’re asking you not to panic, and whatever you do, don’t give into FOMO! The world has drastically changed since you made your Resolutions on January 1. Roll with the punches, embrace the new situation and all the setbacks and opportunities it has presented you. Your year is still happening. Ask yourself again, and ask your real self, not your Instagram feed or your best friend: what do I want out of 2020? What milestones do I want to cross? What do I want to achieve for myself?
4. DECLUTTER YOUR BODY CLOCK
The human body is a complex and intelligent machine — that operates on a pretty simple schedule! For most of human history, we lived by simple rules: rise with the sun, eat when we’re hungry and sleep when we’re tired. However, many of us now are operating on multiple schedules: a weekday schedule when we wake up early for work, and a weekend schedule when we maximise our down time by staying up late and sleeping in. This, coupled with our blue light usage and artificial stimulants like caffeine, confuses our inner clock and can turn from physical stress to longterm mental and emotional havoc. Simply put — if you must wake up early during the week, then don’t sleep in more than an hour on your days off, and never go to bed so late on the weekend that you need two or more days to feel rested again. Your body and your mind will thank you.
5. DECLUTTER YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Surveys have shown that, rather than being a staycation, the Covid lockdown for many women meant being a full time worker and full time mum and full time cleaner without help. Being locked at home also mean that we feel a need to overcompensate by always being a call or a text away, 24/7. Don’t let this tendency worsen over time, since these habits can foster a lot of one-sided, shallow relationships even outside of work (how many of your Facebook friends are actual friends?) By decluttering our friendships and relationships, you can cut down on a lot of energy expended to maintain relationships which are just not nurturing you. We have a limited amount of time in the day, and limited energy to spend on a limited amount of people. Remember — your life is a garden. So which people are flowers, and which ones are weeds?