When I think about taking back space, I think of decluttering. Sorting through things, re-shelving the things I want to keep and finding a good home for the rest. Maybe a little Marie Kondo method* too if I’m feeling extra antsy. But when it comes to your mental space, how exactly do you take it back?
I’ve spent the last month or so really diving into this in my life. Looking at what I felt like I was struggling with: not having enough space to do what I wanted or time and just feeling generally overwhelmed. And some of those things, I’m not in a position to change right now. However, I did realize I could change the way I was seeing things. I could take a step back and really look at what was a mental problem vs an actual problem. I realized I needed to take back my mental space.
For me, mental space is the only real estate I own these days. Part time caretaker + part time blogger living in a post hurricane life means I’m limited in ways I wasn’t before. With everyone home all the time, I’ve found I’ve faced new challenges. From the noise of social media to the cacophony of TVs in our house, some times it’s hard to feel like you have space to think. And while I’m still working on this daily, I wanted to share the things that have helped me along the way.
Unfollow Or Mute
Your mind is such a precious place. And as much as we like to pretend things don’t get to us, sometimes they are getting to us without us knowing. I know it’s just as much on me as it is on anyone else when I start playing the comparison game. Sure, we as bloggers have a tendency to make things look perfect all the time. But we all know they aren’t. When things are crap, the last thing I want to do is pick up my phone and share it.
Do I have a responsibility to share more of the crap stuff? Yes, probably. I’m a massive energy absorber so I tend to shy away from that because I don’t really want to pass on my bad juju. But as viewers, we have just as much of an ability to UNFOLLOW. If you don’t like someone’s content or they make you feel like less than, click that unfollow button (Or if you can’t because it will cause WW3, mute is also a great tool too).
Take A Social Media Break
Earlier in the year, I planned to take a true break around the holidays this year. I’m talking full on lazy vacation without social media and the like. And when it came time to it, I really only took a break from Instagram. Facebook & Twitter aren’t so much time wasters for me and help me keep up with family. But it was the most refreshing thing I’ve done for myself in a while.
I hadn’t realized how caught up in the numbers game I’d become. I’d put far too much of my self worth into something that isn’t lasting and definitely isn’t worthy. Stepping back from that has helped me to really refuel my own tanks so I have something genuine to give again. My mental space felt free again because I wasn’t worried about some arbitrary algorithm that we are all fed up with.
TURN OFF YOUR NOTIFICATIONS
If you’re like me and you hate to leave things that need to be done, this is a game changer for your mental space & mental health. I’ve been rocking the do not disturb feature on my phone nightly for a while now. It kicks in automatically around 9pm these days because I’m a grandma & also thanks to my new morning routine. But I also went in an turned off my notifications. Best decision of 2018.
Now instead of constant random pinging from apps I probably don’t care about, I have silence. I still may have one or two set up to hangout on my screen so I see them. For me, it’s typically news updates, texts and weather info. Nevertheless, turning off my notifications removed the overwhelming amount of unnecessary info I was taking in. And the lack of noise has definitely helped me focus more on other things rather than grabbing for my phone every 20 seconds.
Consider Rearranging Your Schedule
I mentioned in my 5 books to start your morning with post that I recently made some changes to my morning routine. And if I’m honest, the first round of changes were a massive fail. I felt like I was trying to put a square peg into a round hole.
After reading Laura Vanderkam’s book What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast*, I realized I needed a change. I love mornings and getting a jump start to my day. And one of the things I felt like I was struggling with was really having the mental space to get the things done I wanted to do. So I decided to make work the first thing I do each day. In the morning hours before everyone is up, needing my attention and requiring errands to be done, I have mental space. But it took me time to realize I need to make that shift to really make things happen.
Maybe for for you, it’s carving out a dedicated hour for writing or meditating. Whatever feeds you and helps give you that mental clarity, consider rearranging your schedule to make it a priority.
Define Your Boundaries
And last but not least, I think one of the most important things we can do for ourselves to create boundaries. Sure we may not be able to turn our work brains off all of the time. But we can create boundaries that allow us to really give our best when we are there. And those same boundaries help us refuel when we aren’t there.
Maybe that means putting your phone on the other side of the room at night or opting for airplane mode in the gym so you can really give that time to yourself. Whatever your boundaries look like, the biggest thing I’ve learned about taking back my mental is carving out time where I’m taking care of me. It’s the time I give back to myself, pour into myself and just really enjoying my time so that I’m not constantly pouring from an empty cup. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Don’t be afraid to make the necessary adjustments to take care of it.
SHOP THE POST
I do a few sponsored posts but they are limited to maintain the authenticity of © What Savvy Said. Some links in my posts may be affiliate links. This means I receive a small compensation for purchases made through those links. The presence of affiliate links and potential commission compensation are marked with an (*).