Undoubtedly, our mental space and our physical spaces are related. One impacts the other. If our physical space is in order (we know where to find things, it’s not cluttered, it feels calm and peaceful), then it’s easier for our mental space to reflect that sense of peace. If, however, the physical space is in disarray, it’s all too easy for the mental space to follow suit. So, how do we avoid this? First off, I’d advocate for the obvious…get organized in your physical space. However, if you’re in a place where that’s challenging, it’s still possible to get a handle on the mental space.
1. Consume Intentionally
The focus here isn’t just on the most obvious – purchases or food. It’s on consuming in the broader sense – particularly social media, the news, or intrusive or repeating thoughts. We want to consume what will improve our mental state, not drag it down into doubt, fear, despair. You know what this includes, and what it doesn’t.
Your mental state can’t be decluttered if it’s swirling with images, jammed with to-do’s, just remembers, and in a state of constant rush or catch up.
2. Establish Systems
If your mental state feels cluttered, check in to see if you’re relying on “me, myself, and I” too much. Yes, you’re capable, talented, a master multi-tasker, a keeper of all the things! Yet, you’ll likely get to a point where it’s all just too much. You run yourself ragged, start to forget things and drop balls (no, not because you’re a bad mom/wife/friend, but because it’s just too many balls for one person).
You could delegate some of things filling your mind with clutter. Or, stop doing the non-essential things. And, you can also employ systems to help you. This could mean to-do lists, schedules, or calendars. It could mean regularly scheduled family meetings to get everyone on the same page. Or, it could mean establishing some routines – getting the kids and yourself on a consistent morning, after school, and evening routine.
3. Get Out
This can mean various things…get out of your head. Get outside. Get moving. Get, as in, a verb. Mental and physical movement helps you shake things up and re-gain perspective. It may feel like the last thing we feel like doing. But, likely just what we need.
You may be at a time in our life that is just busy – work, kids, activities. But, you can still guard your mental space against excess and burden. It’s your right, and it’s part of taking care of you, because only then can you care for others. You’re not destined to a mental state of clutter and chaos, but peace and joy. It’s yours to claim!