Are you yearning for less stress in your life?
Feeling overwhelmed is very common in today’s society, it’s impossible to keep up with ever changing demands. Everything from the clutter in your home to the clutter in your relationships can have a lasting impact on both mental and physical health.
So how do you start changing the story of your life and start living a happier and healthier you? It takes intentionality and the desire to do something different. Nothing changes overnight, but each step you take is a step in the right direction and soon those steps add up. You look back and eventually the stress seems so far away.
For many years I have worked on bettering myself and some of those years have been an uphill battle of unlearning beliefs that did not serve me. Where I was and where I am today is lightyears apart. I’m not done growing, neither are you. I can’t tell you I have all the answers. All of us are on a different journey with different values and goals, but my hope is that my journey may help others on theirs.
Here are the things I have learned…
1. There’s a time to hold on and a time to let go.
This can be applied to so many areas of your life and it can be hard to let go when it’s all you have known for years. Sometimes it’s more comfortable to stay in something that is unhealthy for you even though you know in your heart that it’s hurting you. Whether it’s an unhealthy relationship or clutter you’ve been holding onto, each day it steals more joy from you. Make it a priority to clean out your life and your environment. You are the best advocate for yourself.
Start journaling the things that you don’t like so you can refer back when you feel yourself sliding back. Get help and reach out to people you trust or professionals that can help you forge a new life. Counselors, Life Coaches, Home Organizers, Family Members, Social Groups, and Church are good ways to strengthen you as you change what is not working.
2. Always move forward with intention.
Creating a vision board is a great way to move forward with intention. Place it somewhere that you can look at it daily and meditate on how you envision your best life to be.
Journaling can also bring about change by just writing it down. The brain responds to what we write down and can have a lasting impact on how you motivate yourself to move forward.
Learn what you love. When in a bad relationship or feeling helpless, it’s very hard to come up with what really interests you. What your values are and what brings you joy is a journey of rediscovering yourself.
Join groups that seem interesting to you. Apps like Meetup can be a great way to make new friends and possibly find new things you love.
Be intentional and you will always move towards who you truly were meant to be.
3. Clutter in the home is mentally exhausting
This goes back to “there’s a time to hold on and a time to let go.” If your home is a place of confusion, anxiety, and depression than where can you go to find peace?
Things are just that...things. They can be replaced, but your peace of mind and mental health cannot. Make it a priority to get your home in order. Finding things when you need them, not repurchasing items because you can’t find them, and having an uncluttered home is priceless.
If you can’t tackle this on your own you can ask family to help or hire a professional organizer that will get your home in tip top shape. There’s nothing better than having everything labeled and in a designated place that can be found in an instant! Ask anyone who has decluttered and they will tell you the amount of stress and depression that has lifted off of them.
Just start. It doesn’t have to be done in a few weeks, but each step in another step to having somewhere to decompress when life gets hard.
4. Stop comparing your life to others
You don’t have to have the perfect life, as a matter of fact, no one has a perfect life. We all struggle with something.
The media and marketing companies have a way of making people feel “not enough”. You will be prettier if you use their makeup, you will be richer if you buy their book, if you drive that car everyone will envy you…and the list goes on.
Stop and think about what you have been taught from early on in life. All the things that tell you you’re not good enough. Why? Because it sells products and makes others rich. The minute you stop believing the lie, it has no more power over you. You are good enough just the way you are!
When you stop chasing after something that is unattainable and start living for you, you are finally free to find true joy and happiness.
5. Get your finances on track
If you have fallen on hard times or you have just not been responsible, this is the time to evaluate whether that is working for you. Almost anyone who has too much debt-to-income ratio will tell you it is not working.
Take a day to pull your credit reports and start negotiating anything that has gone to collections. Most agencies will take a portion of what they are trying to collect. Something is better than nothing. Always get a letter of payoff and collection release and keep it forever! Zombie credit can come back as these companies sell blocks of collections and the next company can start the process all over again. That letter is your saving grace if and when that happens.
Pay off the lowest debt and then start with the next lowest until they are all gone. This help keep you motivated when you see debt disappearing. Some people believe pay off the highest interest rate, but if that is one of the highest debts, you’ll be more likely to give up as there seems to be no relief in sight.
Just start, that’s all you have to do. Make a plan.
6. Take accountability
Everyone has a part in where they are and the struggles they face. Taking accountability is the most important step to moving forward into a positive life. As soon as you can say “hey I allowed this to happen by being irresponsible” or “I taught them how to treat me by what I accepted” is the time that you make changes. This is called growth and empowerment.
Once you take accountability, it’s only natural that you will start moving in a more positive direction. When you struggle, you grow. When you humble yourself, you are empowered to be better.
7. You have the strength to move forward
Whether it is leaving a bad relationship, moving to a new town and starting over, or just getting your home in order; you can accomplish it. It may take sacrifices, but nothing worthwhile comes easy.
Don’t let fear keep you from doing something different. If your life is not working right now, you can’t expect to do more of the same and get a different result. Take chances. None of us are getting out of here alive and you don’t want to have regrets when that time comes. Life is too beautiful to let it just happen. Get out of your comfort zone and I promise you will find your joy.
Robin has been organizing homes in the Chicago and suburban southside area. She has an undergraduate in Clinical Psychology from Governors State University and uses her education to help clients clear clutter with the understanding of each individual client's situation. She has extensive knowledge of organizational systems and finds joy in helping others achieve their dreams for a stress-free organized home. If you are interested in her services please visit: https://www.beautifulhomeorganizing.com/