We've all been there. We start out gung-ho, we feel inspired, we're motivated.
We're going to conquer this.
Fast forward & the resolution to make change has dwindled, we feel scrambled again, we feel as though we have failed.
But that's life. We rise & we fall. We get knocked down only to get back up again, as many times as necessary. I'm no exception to that. When people tell me things like "You're brave" or "How do you handle all of this?" my response is often a mixture of "What other choice do I have?" along with "Well, it's not easy & I'm not perfect at handling it all of the time but I keep moving forward, one piece at a time." Organizing your home is no exception, especially if you have a high pressure job, have tiny kids, travel for work, the list goes on. The reasons are many why this is hard for so many people. Sometimes it's outside circumstances that are beyond our control, sometimes it's habits that we haven't changed & sometimes it's how our brains are functioning. Most of the time it's all three. In addition, a lot of people feel as though they're not able to focus when surrounded by clutter, and this is true. Clutter has been proven to increase anxiety, especially for women, but it does for men as well. I firmly believe that with some small changes in your daily routine that are focused more on your mind than anything else it will help you get & stay organized. This is also why I believe that organizing is holistic. It's linked to everything in our lives & everything in our lives is linked to it. This is why my clients look at me & say "This is life changing."
Just like I created my Start Here Arrow & 3 Phase Process to get my clients through their projects while I'm working with them in person, which is the same duplicatable process that you can use on your own just like they do when I'm not around, I created the same for managing that scrambled, "What in the world am I supposed to do?", panicked feeling during stressful times when anxiety is taking over. I took parts & pieces from different places, books I read, people I met & realized that when put together in this simple way, it was helping myself & my clients. Here's your Start Here Arrow for your brain. Sort & purge your mind & the rest will fall into place. Organizing is 80% mental focus, fortitude & determination. The rest is physical habits with physical stuff. Get your mind in the right place & see your physical world change.
Start Here Arrow: Breath. Breath deep down into your belly. In through your nose, out through your mouth. When you walk around your house, when you're organizing, when you feel lost. Breath. I can't tell you the number of times I have watched my clients hold their breath while trying to make a decision on whether or not to keep something. "Breath," I say & they take a gulp of air & usually start talking through it. Start by breathing, really breathing deep, & it will help.
The 1st 3 Steps After Breathing:
Step 1 - Begin to meditate &/or pray on a daily basis. Make it a goal to set aside 5 minutes to start, whether it's in the morning, on lunch or at bedtime. Create a boundary in your schedule for sitting in peace. Add time on as you feel the benefits. My goal is 20 minutes a day. When & where I do it changes but I do try to get it in. When I don't I can tell. Meditation isn't about doing it right. My clients tell me all the time that they "can't meditate." I'm here to tell you that everyone can meditate. That's anxiety talking & telling you that you can't. The best description I have ever been given is that it isn't about "clearing your mind" into a blank slate with "no thoughts" but instead about letting thoughts pass through your mind like a car driving by a house. It pulls up in front of the house, passing by & rolls on. Let the thoughts, the lists, the negative & positive thinking, slip through your mind like a car passing by a house. Feel your jaw relax, your eyebrows go down, your shoulders roll onto your back. Breath deep. I often pray during my meditation, the two are very much linked for me. This is always a personal preference & very private. Clear your mind to clear the clutter.
Step 2 - Take inventory of what you're putting into your body on a regular basis. Are you drinking 5 to 6 cups of coffee or high sugar energy drinks? Are you pumping the sugar in 3 baked goods at a time? (Recovering sugar addict here so I get it, I really do.) Are you drinking as many calories in wine as you are eating in food? If you are, these things are not making it easy for your brain nor your organization. Try starting with switching away from 1 thing, like caffeinated soda (even diet soda makes it hard to lose weight). Instead go for Green Tea or a drink with Green Tea based caffeine. The research shows that a healthy amount of caffeine a day is good for our brains & is even believed to help prevent Alzheimer's. Mental focus & memory increases when it's the right kind & amount of caffeine. For me, Spark by Advocare is what works the absolute best. I'm floored by the results every time I stop drinking it & add it back in. With Amino Acid (which helps brain function), loads of vitamins including B6 & B12 & that Green Tea based caffeine it is my sidekick. I'm a distributor for Advocare & offer health coaching too so if you're interested in giving it a try let me know. But the key is finding what is right for you & really being aware of what you're putting in your body & how it's affecting brain function. One small change like this can change everything.
Step 3 - Drink more water. Period. Our brains need water to function. We're like a flower, without water we're going to wither up & our brains will too. All of the research proves that brain power & being hydrated are directly linked. I drink 120 ounces throughout the day & feel so much better than I used to when I drank maybe 8 ounces a day along with coffee, diet soda, milk, beer & wine. On a regular day I'm drinking 2 Sparks (Spark is mixed with water), my Meal Replacement Shake for breakfast (made with water) & reach 120 ounces in total of water a day. I drink 20 ounces with each meal & eat 6 small meals a day. I simply measure 20 ounces each time I eat, it's really simple to track. The key is actually measuring so that you know how much you're taking in. People think they're drinking a lot of water but when they start tracking they're lucky to get 40 ounces in, that's simply not enough especially if you eat a high sodium diet & are drinking loads of caffeine. Hydrate. When my clients start to shut down during the 1st Phase: Sort & Purge I always ask if they've had any water today. Most of the time they either haven't had any or very little. I encourage them to fill up their glass, drink it down & watch them bloom into a decision making, clutter crushing, champion. I can literally see the difference hydration makes in them right in front of my eyes. It's amazing. And much easier than you think to add into your routine. Organizing is rooted in decision making which is hard on our brains. Support your brain with water & feel the difference.
I know if you add this Start Here Arrow & 3 Steps to Sort & Purge Your Brain the organizing will fall into place. I know that you can do it. Breath, meditate/pray, find the right kind of caffeine for you & drink more water. It's worth it. You're worth it.