My life has been super busy lately! You may have noticed that I have been away from my blog more than normal. Like you, I only have 24 hours a day, and when my life goes on overdrive – I need to let somethings go. As much as I love writing and sharing with you – when my time is limited, my blog gets put on the back-burner.
It has not all been work that has kept me busy, but yes, that is much of it. I have also found the time to spend a weekend with my forever friends; visit my son and his girlfriend and meet their new puppy; and enjoy a recent trip to Lake Tahoe. The reality is it has been more about brain space that has kept me away than a shortage of hours in my day.
With all of my work commitments, my mind has been on overdrive. My break from my blog has really been about giving my brain a break. Sometimes I just need to step back and give myself the time to declutter my brain. Making sure that I declutter my brain, helps keep me sane. So what do I do?
7 Simple Ways to Help Declutter Your Mind
Take the time throughout the day for a few mindful deep breaths. When I hear myself let out loud sighs – I know that I am feeling overwhelmed. To me, that is a sure signal that I need to work on getting more balance back into my life. Mindful breathing helps me. Simply breathe – breathe deep and focus on your breathing for a few moments. It is amazing how this simple activity can really help settle your mind.
Enjoy Time in Nature
Breathing fresh air is the best air to breathe. If it’s only a walk around the block or through a neighborhood park, try to spend 15 minutes noticing and enjoying nature. Time in nature is a perfect way to give yourself time to unwind. That old-time adage of taking time to smell the flowers is one way I help settle my mind. Take a few minutes to sit on a park bench and notice the magnificent trees, the squirrels scampering from branch to branch, the beauty of flowers, and the buzzing bees in search of nectar. Enjoying time in nature, taking time to unwind, not only helps settle my mind, but it gives me perspective on how insignificant much of that clutter taking residence in my brain really is.
For me, the repetition and focus of exercise allows my brain a break from thinking. I like to swim laps and while in the pool, I am counting laps, and focusing on my breathing and stroke form. This occupies all of my brain space. There is no time for other thinking. Likewise, when I head out the door for a walk – I put in my earbuds and really enjoy the music. Giving my brain time to “let it all go.”
Declutter your Surroundings
This one is the hard one for me. I seem to always have a bit of extra clutter around me. But getting the mail off the dinning room table, putting the shoes away that I so causally kicked off by the couch, and clearing the dishes from the counter that were left there to dry, really helps my mind rest. It is hard to look at clutter and not be thinking of all the things on my to-do list. Clutter is a constant reminder of what needs to be done. Getting rid of clutter is sometimes just a matter of spending a few minutes, It really does not take much time to put away the dishes! When I know that I need to settle my mind, I start by cleaning up the clutter.
Create To-Do Lists and Check Them Off
This is super helpful for me! It not only helps me focus and get my tasks completed, but it removes that long laundry list of what needs to be done from my brain and puts it on paper. Simply writing it down frees up my mind. I know it’s on the list and I will get to it, but the thoughts of that long list are no longer spinning through my mind.
This goes hand-in-hand with writing it down. When you have a long list that needs to be done, spend a few minutes to really prioritize. What really needs to happen? You just might see that when you take the time to prioritize, there are items on that list that you can completely let go. And even if they all need to stay on the list, you now have a clear sense of the order in which they need to be tackled.
Putting tasks off, just means that you are giving them more time to take up brain space. While this can be hard – that prioritized list can help you tackle the jobs. Once an item is checked off the list, you just freed up some mind space. Think of it in those terms. Off the list and out of your brain. No more worrying about when you are going to get it done. sometime this also means being more decisive. Putting off decision making is just putting off the inevitable and fills your brains with way too many swirling thoughts. So many possibilities to think about! Make a decision and let it go!
Many times in life we will find ourselves overwhelmed with so many swirling thoughts consuming all of our brain space. When this happens, we need to take the time declutter our mind. I hope these tips will help you clear your head and help you move forward with clarity.