You’re trying to raise kids, feed everyone, keep your home clean and organized, succeed at your job, keep your pets alive, make time for your partner, exercise, and it’s A LOT. It takes all your energy and focus and sometimes you just need a break from all the mental clutter. Decluttering your mind is a helpful practice that can provide much-needed stress relief. Below I share 12 simple ways for decluttering your mind and why you should do it.
Decluttering your mind might sound like another job, but it’s really it’s taking a pause from all those other jobs, evaluating your mental state, being intentional, and making yourself and your mental health a priority.
Why Declutter Your Mind?
Decluttering your mind and protecting your mental health are essential for your wellbeing. Decluttering your mind can:
- Boost your mood
- Improve self control
- Help relieve stress
- Help you treat others kindly
- Help you treat yourself kindly
- Improve concentration
- Reduce chronic pain
- Lower blood pressure
- Treat heart disease
All of that sounds pretty fantastic, doesn’t it? Plus, it’s easy to do and adapt to your lifestyle and personality!
Tips for Decluttering Your Mind
There’s no one special way to declutter your mind. It’s more like a combination of activities you can use interchangeably when you’re feeling stressed. Pick your favorites from the list below and do them regularly, or use the one that fits your mood and situation when the need arises.
Dumping out the contents of your brain on a paper feels so good, provides perspective, and literally allows you to declutter your mind. Once it’s on paper, it can be dealt with strategically.
A close cousin to the brain dump is simply making a list. To me, the difference between a brain dump and a list is that a list is a little more orderly, when you have time
Multitasking has its place, but doing multiple things at once definitely contributes to a cluttered mind. Free your mind by focusing on one task at a time. Yes, it might be tempting to listen to your child talk about their day while you fill out your grocery pick up order, but are you really going a good job on either of those tasks when you divide your attention?
Being intentional with your time and attention will help free your mind.
Get More Sleep
I know you know this one, and I know how hard it is.
When you get enough sleep can you be more energetic and focused, and in a better mood to conquer your day.
Turn Down the Sound
Sometimes turning down the volume around you quiets your brain down, too. Turn off the music and tv. Shut the door on the kids. Put on headphones. Do what you can to remove yourself from the noise.
Put Down the Phone
I know I’m not the only one who uses my phone as procrastination or to avoid issues that are overwhelming me. But what does scrolling through social media do? Provides more mental clutter.
So attempt to put the phone down or lock it in a drawer, if needed, and do another task on this list or one from your to do list.
Unfriend and Unfollow
Using your screen time wisely is also helpful for decluttering your mind. Do this by unfollowing and unfriending on social media.
Human brains aren’t meant to have as many friends and personal interactions as social media allows us to — we’re programmed to maintain about 150 relationships (source). While there are benefits, such as the ability to be in touch with relatives that live far, there are also downsides, such as sacrificing important relationships for superficial, surface-level ones.
Too many “friends” is another distraction your cluttered mind doesn’t need!
Mindfulness is having a moment… but what is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a type of meditation that encourages focus on exactly what you’re experiencing and sensing in that moment. You don’t interpret or judge what you’re doing and feeling, you just feel it.
Mindfulness allows you to focus and be present with the people and things around you as opposed to being distracted and inattentive — as so many of us are all the time. There are many ways to practice mindfulness and most of them are quite simple: paying attention, living in the moment, accepting yourself, and breathing. Doesn’t that sound lovely?
Feeling like you have too much going on? Take a break and step outside. The change in scenery can be a wonderful thing. It can help you reset your mood and your focus. So go take a walk!
Again, you know this one. Exercise is good for the body, mind, and soul. While it may seem like you don’t have time to exercise, if you make time to exercise you may find that things just seem to go a little smoother.
Plus, you can combine exercise with other methods of decluttering the mind, such as going outside!
Delegate & Outsource Tasks
One reason you’re probably feeling like you’ve got too much going on is because YOU DO. What can you remove from your list?
If you’ve got a partner, assign some tasks. If your kids are old enough to help, make them! If you have some extra money, hire a housecleaner, landscaper, babysitter, or dog walker.
Try and offload the tasks that stress you out the most.
Take Care of Small Tasks
Small tasks are no big deal until there are so many small tasks that it’s overwhelming. If a task will take you 1-2 minutes (or less) don’t put it off — do it right away. Getting these small things off your to do list and out of your head will clear up mental space and allow you to relax a bit.
Tasks like taking care of today’s mail, putting dishes in the dishwasher, switching over a load of laundry, or tidying a table can be done quickly and can make such an impact on your surroundings.
Self Care/Do Something that Brings You Pleasure
Whether this looks like pampering, reading, knitting, listening to music, coloring… it doesn’t matter what it is, just do it once in a while.
Declutter Your Space
Finally, having a decluttered space can help you declutter your mind—to an extent. Being able to sit down once in a while and NOT see a massive to do list all around you in the form of mess, piles, clutter, and laundry allows you to truly relax.
Your Decluttered Mind
Mental health has never been a bigger topic than it is right now. Decluttering your mind is one way to help maintain mental health. We all have a lot to do and a lot of things distracting us from what matters and what doesn’t.
Would you add anything to this list? I’d love to hear it!