5 ways to reduce mental clutter

If you’re constantly feeling overwhelmed and stressed, always tether to your endless list of to-do’s, or have struggle falling and staying asleep, you could probably do with a thorough mental decluttering.

Mental clutter can reduce our ability to give our undivided attention to other people or tasks or, most importantly, ourselves.

It can also create a foggy, indecisive mind that just simply doesn’t let you rest. And that’s no good, because if you’re caring for yourself well, you can’t do well for the people you love and care about.

So here are 5 ways you can reduce mental clutter and get the most out of your self-care rituals.

Declutter your physical spaces

Most especially the areas you use for your self-care activities. If they’re filled with physical clutter, it’s most likely going to affect your mental capacity to focus.

Clear that bathroom shelf and create space for your most used products that you love looking at. Tidy the desk with stacks of paper to create a sanctuary for your journalling. Create an environment that feels calm and clear, just like you want your mind to feel.

Be mindful

When you’re busy with your tasks, practice being more mindful. If you feel your thoughts wandering, acknowledge them then bring them back to what you’re busy with.

You can think of this is a kind of meditation, and when you’re focusing on just one thing, you’re shifting all your attention to the ‘here and now’ and reducing the amount of thoughts swirling around your head.

Brain dump

If you can’t shake the clutter, it might be time for a brain dump. Get a fresh sheet of paper (off-screen is best, but you can use a note taking app for your phone or iPad too), and just start writing down all the things you’re thinking about.

You don’t have to go into great detail at first, but once you’re done you can go back in and write down why you’re thinking about certain things. Maybe it’s a task you need to schedule, or an event you need to plan, or a shopping list you need to make. You can organise your thoughts better once they’re more tangible.

Rely on routines

These don’t have to be routines you currently have - they can be the ones you want to have, too. You know that journalling habit you keep wanting to start but forgetting about. Or that bi-weekly bath that’s kid- and noise-free?

It’s time to draw up a routine that takes into account what you have to and want to do, and then scheduling around those things. Print it out, or set calendar reminders. Something that will prompt you to stick to your routine until it becomes a natural part of your day or week.

Take good care of yourself

Use your time for self-care to really spend time with yourself. Organise your thoughts, address your concerns and create a safe space that feels calming and nurturing. When you’re not emotionally, mentally or physically burnt out, you have better focus and can be more productive in ways that feel good to you.

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