10 Ways To Release What Is Holding You Back
Thinking about spring cleaning? The best place to start isn’t the kitchen, garage or closets. This year, try starting with your mind.
Write a journal – but take your time
Most people won’t find the time to write in a journal for an hour every day, especially when it’s new to them. But you can still get a lot out of the process by doing it for just five minutes each day, until it becomes part of your normal routine. It’s also worth using a habit tracker app or speaking to a friend to hold you accountable.
Learn something new
Life changes can make us feel unsettled, taking away our ability to focus. Starting a new hobby or class is a great way to develop a renewed sense of purpose, leaving more space for creativity in our lives. Whether it’s learning a new language or trying a different sport, it really helps to take you away from that “mind clutter” you don’t want.
Practise saying no
People-pleasing often comes from a place of wanting to be accepted by others. Learning to say no and put healthy boundaries in place is essential, whatever the person’s reaction. Remind yourself that you can cope with the disappointment of others, so that you only take on tasks you can comfortably accommodate in your life.
Do a digital cleanse
Just because you’ve been a long-time follower of a social media account, it doesn’t mean it’s serving your wellbeing. Spring-clean your feed by unfollowing accounts that make you feel jealous, resentful or unhappy, and try to focus on the accounts you do feel a connection with. “Hate scrolling” might provide a short-term distraction, but it can also be a barrier to engagement, meaning and building genuine connections on and offline.
Detox your wardrobe, not your body
As life gets busier and we grow older, our bodies often change shape. Rather than hanging on to old clothes “just in case you lose weight”, choose to appreciate and accept the body you have right now. Forget the crash diet, just pack up the clothes that no longer fit and drop them at your favourite charity shop or give them away to someone you love. You’ll also be making space for new things that better reflect the person you are today.
Break your procrastination habits
Spring-clean that start/stop mentality by spotting your procrastination behaviours and challenging them every day. For example, when you find yourself saying “I’ll just watch this before I start,” make a conscious decision to stop in your tracks before you get distracted. Simply by saying “I choose to do this,” you’ll be helping your brain to overcome the procrastination trap.
Meal-prep at weekends
During the week it can be hard to create healthy meals that sustain us, especially when things are busy at home or work. Try making big batches of soups and casseroles while you’re watching a film at the weekend. Having homemade ready meals in your freezer for those stressful moments will allow you to focus your time on other important tasks.
Focus on what you can control
If you’re feeling worried or anxious about something, it’s easy for your mind to become quickly overwhelmed with negative thoughts. Take a sheet of paper and draw three columns. In the first one write down all the things about your situation that you can control, in the second write down the things you can influence and in the third add the aspects that are out of your control. When you’re building a plan, look only at the first column, so that you’re focusing on what you have the power to change.
Rate your stress
It’s easy to sleepwalk into a state of overwhelm when you’re working on autopilot. Write down everything you’re dealing with and rate the anxiety it’s causing you from one to 10. Then work down the list from lowest to highest, putting in place a plan for each situation. Breaking things down into small steps always makes them easier to deal with.
Do an energy audit
What we think of as baggage can often be a habit, situation or environment that is draining us. An energy audit is a simple exercise that helps you to identify the things that are affecting your life. On a page, list your “drainers” and “energisers” for people, environments, mindsets, habits and things. Once you’re done, you can commit to making tiny adjustments in all the areas you identify.
The feeling of clearing things out is a lifted burden and is invigorating and refreshing…kind of like spring!