May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I would like to offer a giant virtual hug to all those who struggle. I myself have lived with depression + anxiety since I was a child, and am just recently emerging from postpartum depression after having my beautiful daughter. The more we talk about and share our experiences, the more we can reduce and eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness.
If you or anyone you know is in a mental health crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
A few months ago, I had an incredible conversation with Blake Blankenbecler about organizing for mental wellness. We talked about organizing habits, healing through organizing, perfectionism and so much more! If you have a little time, check out our discussion HERE.
Through the last decade and beyond as a Professional Organizer and Breathwork Healer, I’ve found many ways to reduce anxiety through clearing both internal and external clutter, as well as practicing other grounding techniques.
Below I’ve chosen a few of my favorite practices to share with you.
Take a Social Media Hiatus
You’ll often see me post on IG every single day and then go radio silent for a week. Sometimes I just don’t have the time, energy or emotional bandwidth to keep up with all the algorithms and what I’m “supposed to do,” and I certainly don’t need to constantly compare myself to others day in and day out. While I appreciate social media in many ways, I do think we could all use a detox from our screens (especially as soon as we wake up and right before we go to bed). If you haven’t seen it already, I recommend you check out the documentary, The Social Dilemma.
Make the Mundane Magical
Do you feel like you are just going through the motions every day? If you create a ritual around your routines, you can make them magical experiences each and every time! Take your morning coffee or tea, for example. Use your five senses to enjoy every moment of the process. Watch the coffee brew or your tea steep. Take a deep breath in and savor the aroma. Listen to the birds outside. Take a sip and pay close attention to the flavor notes. Notice how it feels as it warms your mouth and belly. Really take the time to connect to this entire experience and take note of how your mind and body feel. Then take a moment for gratitude…remember all that you have and how lucky you are to be here right now. Breathe. Connect. Appreciate. Repeat.
Create a Weekly Reset
One of the things I started doing years ago after reading “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey, was giving myself space every Sunday to plan for the coming week. There is a distinct energetic shift inside of me when I don’t review the week ahead. Time and space aren’t in my control and the anxiety we all talk about feels very real. When I take time to fully understand what the week has in store, the more I’m in flow + present to the gifts that life has to offer. Click HERE to get my free Weekly Ritual Reset Guide which includes my Sacred Sunday Ritual, a weekly meal plan + shopping list printable, a daily cleaning guide and a nightly clarity journaling exercise.
Eat the Frog…or Not
One of the most common questions I get asked about clearing clutter is “How do I get started?” Many people dwell on this question and become paralyzed with indecision and spiral downwards from there. There is no right or wrong way for you to start clearing. You might consider choosing the biggest most daunting thing on your list to work on, while others might need a gentler approach. Eat That Frog by Bryian Tracy speaks to doing the most uncomfortable task first so that it clears the path to easily move through the less daunting tasks. Others may need to pick a few simple doable tasks which once completed will start the fire to face the larger more difficult action step. My suggestion…don’t overthink it, just begin. Once you complete one task, you will become motivated to continue. As a wise Yoda once said “ Do or do not. There is no try.”
Tame Paperwork + Digital Clutter
I know piles of paper and an inbox full of unread emails always send my stress levels soaring. To combat this, I’ve created a Three Folder Inbox system to organize this type of clutter. Learn how to do it HERE and tame that paper and digital clutter once and for all.
Hiring someone to help you around the house can save your time + mental capacity for more important things. I realize that hiring a nanny, housekeeper, TaskRabbit, tutor, etc. is a luxury that some people can’t afford, so I encourage you to get creative! Try sharing a nanny or housekeeper with a friend, swap free babysitting days/nights with another parent or delegate tasks to a partner or child. Remember that your time is precious and we are only given so many hours on this planet…make them count!
Being a city-dweller in Los Angeles, going into nature is something I crave. I’ve found that the Japanese practice of forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is something that really calms me and helps reset my nervous system. The practice is quite simple and only requires you find a location with trees, let your body guide you, and use your five senses to experience nature and become one with it. If you live in the city and trees are hard to come by, I’ve found that putting my bare feet on the earth in a small patch of grass or dirt still helps me get grounded. To learn more specifics about the practice and its benefits, there is a beautiful article HERE.
Releasing trapped energy through movement, exercise, cleaning + dancing can help us feel like we are making progress and moving forward. The next time you are feeling stuck, try moving your body, shaking out your arms and legs, running the vacuum, going for a brisk walk or dancing to your favorite song.
Breathwork is another one of my favorite ways to relieve stress, depression, anxiety, grief, anger + pain. If you aren’t familiar with it, Breathwork is an active breathing meditation that gives your brain something to focus on while your physical and emotional bodies release stuck energy. In addition to the above benefits, Breathwork can lead to mental clarity, renewed energy, a greater sense of well-being and calm, ah-hah moment and emotional release. I’ve been practicing Breathwork as both Student and Healer for nearly 10 years. If you’d like to learn more or book a private healing session with me, click HERE.
I hope you’ll try a few of these practices and incorporate them into your wellness routine. You can also check out some of my favorite mindful products HERE…I especially love the magnesium flake bath salts after a Breathwork session!
What are some ways you relieve stress, connect with your deeper self, calm your nervous system and/or stay positive? Email me and let me know!