It seems like everyone is doing some sort of decluttering nowadays. Whether it’s their room, closet, or car, everyone seems to be clearing out the mess and making space for new items. Now, maybe it’s just me, but I’ve had some issues with this.
I’m not gonna show you my room because that’s embarrassing, but trust me when I tell you that it’s a mess. I moved home from my university for the summer back in May and I’ve still yet to purge the items I don’t need anymore and get things generally tidied up. This is, I’ll admit, partially to do with laziness on my part (who wants to clean while they’re on break? Not me, when there is all this sleep to be had.)
But I’m gonna be honest with you: I’m beginning to dread going to my room at night. It’s definitely not the sanctuary space that it ought to be for me. Now, I’m not going to give you any spring (summer) cleaning tips today. Instead, I’m going to talk to you about something dear to my heart. Or, more specifically, my head.
My headspace is one of the biggest things that I try to be aware of. Whatever headspace that I’m in on any given day will often determine how my day will go. Positive headspace bringing joy into my day, and vice versa. Oftentimes I can go out into the day with a relatively positive headspace, or even just an average one and be completely fine.
But lately, this has been a problem.
For the past few months, I’ve been recovering from the sudden loss of a very dear family member, my grandmother, who played an integral part in raising me. This alone would normally be enough to send someone into a depression, but about a month later I split up with my long-time boyfriend. These, among other things, just piled up. One after the other until I felt like I was suffocating in negativity. These weren’t things that I could have helped. No matter what choices I could have made to impact my life positively, the negativity that just seemed to pour in from every facet of my life would have ended up bringing me down, one way or another.
Because I’ve been so plagued by negativity, not only has my headspace suffered, but so many other aspects of my life have been tainted as well. This includes my motivation (hence the aforementioned laziness being the reason that my cluttered room remains untouched).
Trust me, I’m going somewhere with this.
The dictionary definition of “declutter” is this:
de·clut·ter/ˈdēklətər/verb1 . to remove unnecessary items from (an untidy or overcrowded place)
I’ve been on a journey, over the last few months, to better myself. I’ve done therapy, tried different self-care methods, kept a journal, tracked my moods, basically tried anything that I could to make myself a lasting, positive headspace. All of these things worked to some degree, but not to the extent that I’ve needed.
So when all of these posts popped up in my feed about decluttering, something inside of me clicked. What if I could declutter my headspace?
And so I began thinking of ways in which I could do that. I made a list in my phone of different ways that I could theoretically “declutter” my mind. I’m not talking about things such as folding some laundry or dusting. I’m talking about hardcore trash removal. We’re cleaning out the dirty stuff, the stuff you don’t even want to touch because it’s so nasty. All of it.
Let me be upfront with you: this is going to be hard. It might be one of the hardest things that you’ve ever done (it certainly has been for me), but I can promise you that the sense of catharsis that you will start to feel after a little while is unimaginable.
None of these are easy, but here are some ways that I’ve managed to “declutter” my mind, and free up some mental space.
1. Surround yourself with positivity
This is a hard one, not gonna lie. Life has a way of throwing shit at you in times that you just really don’t need it. And so sometimes it’s really hard to seek out the positive aspects of life. Social media, especially, is a place where I struggle to find positivity. In a world where so many people have such interesting, glamorous online lives, it’s hard to remember that they’re humans too. They’ve just figured out their best angles. Try to find things that make you joyful, even on social media.
2. Cut out the negative
This is by far the hardest one for me. The other night, for example, I asked my good friend to take me off of his private Snapchat story, where he talks when he has bad days mentally. Now, not to sound harsh, but it was just more than I could handle. My mental state is fragile because I am working on making it better. And so hearing him talk about his self-destructive thoughts, without any warning, really brought up some negative emotions within me. Whatever is plaguing you might be a family member, or a friend, or something seemingly insignificant like a comment or your social media. Don’t associate with people who don’t appreciate your value. And don’t put things that don’t matter before your own mental health. I mean, hey. Why do you think I took such an extended hiatus from blogging?
3. Write stuff down
You don’t need to keep every to-do list continually active in your mind. Write down things that you need to remember. I personally use a mixture of Google calendar and my phone’s note-taking app, and that helps me to remember things that I need to do.
4. Declutter your space
I know I was just saying that it’s hard for me to clean up my physical belongings when my brain is a mess, but I won’t deny that having a dirty space is absolutely exhausting. By having a clean environment, you’re not expelling so much mental energy on things that don’t matter.
Mindfulness is perhaps one of the most useful skills I learned during my college PE class. We did a unit on how mindfulness affects people’s overall wellbeing, and how one of the main ways to increase your mindfulness is through meditation. I really love finding guided meditations on Youtube or Spotify that will help with specific issues that I may be having.
I hope that some of these ideas work for you! Decluttering is such a positive thing to do, and so many people are taking part in it for various reasons (thank you, Marie Kondo), and it’s just so healthy. So I hope that if you’re like me, and struggle with decluttering things on the outside, then maybe you’ll take the chance to try and declutter things on the inside.