I don’t know about you, but the start of a new year always makes me introspective. I evaluate the previous year and set goals for the coming year. I analyze what things (physical or not) I need to be done with and what things I need to make room for.
I already shared that I ended 2016 feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, overworked and just plain tired! That’s why I’ve claimed 2017 as my year of rest.
You guys, it’s not just my body that’s tired. My brain is flat out exhausted! This week I decided to do some research on how to clear the crazy amount of thoughts I have swimming around in my head all the time. I can’t effectively rest my body until I learn how to rest my mind as well.
Write It Out
Sometimes I cannot rest because I keep thinking of everything that needs to be done. Take 10 minutes before bed and write out that to do list. The next morning you can prioritize (or sometimes even eliminate) those tasks, but this way you can be sure you won’t forget them.
Feeling off, but not sure why? Journal. Get all those feelings out and you may just get a little clarity. And if you’re worried about someone reading it, you can burn or trash it immediately. It’s the act of getting it out that helps.
Physical clutter around you is only going to make your mind feel more cluttered. There are many strategies for decluttering. You could commit to 15 minutes or a trash bag full each day. You could send the kids away for the weekend and do a big purge. Maybe even focus on a category each week. Just get the stuff out!
Apologize and Forgive
Have you ever done something that you feel bad about that continues to nag at you? Sometimes we hold onto wrongs we have committed towards others for years, never able to move on. I recently apologized to a friend for something that happened several months ago. I felt like I had really let her down and it had consumed me for months. My apology was accepted graciously, though she hadn’t even felt slighted in the first place. I could have saved myself a lot of mental anguish had I apologized when I first realized my misstep.
In the same vein, forgive those who have hurt you – even when they haven’t apologized. Carrying around resentment and bitterness will quickly wear you down. Remember, forgiveness doesn’t mean you condone hurtful behavior. Forgiveness frees you, making it easier to move forward. It even improves your physical health.
Set Realistic Goals
It’s great to say you’re going to eat 100% healthy, run a marathon, read 50 books, and keep your home company ready 24/7. But if you are currently living on drive-thru meals, can barely run to the mailbox, haven’t finished a book in years, and can’t see your floor, those goals are completely unrealistic.
Self-improvement is wonderful! But the positive feeling you’ll get from completing even the smallest of goals will serve you much better than the negative blow to your self-esteem failing will bring you.
Adult coloring books are all the rage right now – and there’s good reason for it! Much like meditation, coloring can have the therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus, and bring about mindfulness. I don’t think I could just sit and meditate, but I think coloring could be engaging enough to help clear my mind. source
My work demands that I be available nearly 24/7 – or does it? Honestly, it’s so difficult for me to pull myself away and totally disconnect, but in reality, the world is not going to stop spinning if I turn off all my devices for an hour.
We all know we’re on our devices more than we should be. But what benefits come from powering down?
- Helps remove feelings of jealousy & loneliness.
- Combats the fear of missing out.
- Helps us find true solitude.
- Tunes us in to the real people in front of us.
- Promotes creativity as opposed to consumption.
- Exposes device addiction.
- Reminds us to truly live.
I’m going to try to find a consistent time period every day that I can remove all devices and just focus on living. source
Exercise has been proven to improve mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative moods and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function.
It’s not necessary to work out much to see an improvement either. Thirty minutes of exercise three times a week is enough to see improvements. And those thirty minutes don’t need to be consecutive – take a 10 minute walk on your lunch break, have a dance party with the kids after school, and do a quick yoga routine before bed. Done! source