Last week we posted the first part of this two-part series, discussing things to cut out of your life this new year that would negatively affect your physical health. Eliminating stress and adding whole, organic foods, like aloe vera, your physical health will have an advantage. This week, it’s all about your mental health! We hope that by eliminating some of this everyday negativity, you may feel more healthy across the board.
Be it a room, your house, your yard or even your mind—whatever your space—it’s time to declutter. It’s been said, in many ways, clutter is a result of unbridled consumerism. Once basic needs are fulfilled—food, water, shelter, stability—people begin to accumulate things. Madison Avenue provides an endless market of consumer goods to capture your attention. Things we want are not necessarily things we need. The unfortunate side effect is soon our houses are overrun with things and our brains are overflowing with stuff we don’t really need. Break the habit. Less stuff means less to take care of, less chaos for the mind. Avoid impulse buys. Around the house, start with small manageable tasks. Toss junk mail when you get it. Hang up that coat when you take it off. Clean pots, pans, and dishes as you go.
“Putting it off is the new tomorrow.” A friend used to say that to me every time I looked in the mirror. I never liked what I saw but knowing that we all do it on some level seemed to make it right. Letting tasks, jobs, chores, assignments build up can steamroll into a great source of anxiety in your life. Take a moment and schedule what needs to be done. Write it down. Begin with one step at a time and soon enough you’ll routinely get where you need to be.
Constantly Checking Emails & Messages
Studies have shown that nearly a third of all U.S. employees’ reply to their personal emails within 15 minutes of receiving them. An additional 23 percent will reply within half an hour. Constantly checking email or text messages costs all of us lots of valuable time and the risk of injury—over 390,000 accidents are caused by distracted drivers annually. It is time to control it. Create a new habit of turning off your email program and notifications while at work, or driving. Come up with a system to check your new messages only twice a day. You’ll save time and get much more done, and there will be less chance of a car accident.
You just shared a vision of where your life is going—goals, dreams, objectives—with a person you thought would support you and the first thing out of their mouth is, “It’ll never happen.” It’s time to move on. When you start to think about how much time is lost by the people in your life who make you feel bad, miserable, or who make your life more difficult, it adds up. Be it a supervisor, boss, coworker, or family member, it’s okay to cut them out of your life.
The Old Job
Which brings us to changing jobs—it can be as welcome as a change of scenery, however, it can also be very stressful. But the flipside is if you’re stressing out over work and work relationships—see toxic people—for your own mental health, it’s time to move forward. Create a vision. Write down what you want out of your work life, not only your salary, but what you hope to accomplish, and the kind of people you want to do it with.
In theory, having multiple tasks going on at the same time might seem like a good way to be productive, but in actuality, it’s a great source of distraction. It prevents us from actually focusing on a task and completing it. Become a single-tasker—write down a list of tasks and do them one at a time.
Your mental health has a direct effect on your physical and spiritual health too. By clearing the negativity in your life, as well as the junky processed foods you have the potential to start down your path to a healthy new you.