Summer is officially over which leads many people to a new mindset. Children are back to school and vacation season is over for most so where’s your mind taking you? Are you reassessing your life in any way? Maybe you should be? Not everyone feels the need to wait until January 1st to reassess and set new goals. Today is as good of a time as any to begin. What in your life is not working? What is making you feel stressed or over-burdened? What things or relationships are no longer serving you?
We have a limited amount of both time and space. Have you thought about it? Well, maybe you should. There are only so many hours in the day and we have only so much space in our homes, lives, and minds. Are you spending your time wisely? I am reminded of the idea that instead of dollars, we should assess the cost of things based upon how long it takes us to earn that amount. It changes your shopping and spending when you consider this. Is that handbag worth a week’s salary? Is that dinner out worth an hour of your time at work, or two? How much time would you be willing to invest into that piece of jewelry or workout equipment?
How about spending time with people either on the telephone or in person? Given your limited amount of time, is this someone with whom you want to spend your time. To some it sounds selfish but in truth, we are responsible to steward our time just like we steward our money. If you want to give some time to a person, but it is a person who often takes more of your time than you want to give, consider setting boundaries with your time. It is ok to set a time limit for telephone calls or even face to face visits.
Have you ever considered that your “stuff” could be causing you anxiety? Many of us are visual and clutter or excess can actually cause us stress. It is a great time to clean out your children’s rooms or even your own. How about your closet? How long has it been since that dress has fit you or those shoes were in style? Sometimes the things that we are holding onto that are bringing clutter and stress into our lives can actually be a blessing to someone else that really needs them. How about all of those knickknacks aka tchotchkes you are keeping because they belonged to grandma or they were from a special trip. Do you really love them and do they add to your decor or are they just clutter? If you decide you don’t want to hang onto them but they have sentimental value, consider giving them to someone else who may enjoy them or feel a similar sentimentality. If it reminds you of a great trip with family or friends, do have pictures from that trip which would do the same thing and take up less of your space? Your space should be a reflection of you and should allow you to be relaxed and peaceful not stressful.
Now to expand upon the idea of limited space, have you ever thought of your brain as having a limited amount of space? We actually do have a limited amount of grey matter and we can choose how to appropriate that brain space. If you find yourself forgetful or stressed it may be because you have too many things on your mind. There are several things that you can do if you suspect that this is the case. First, write things down. This works in two ways, one by getting things written somewhere to which you can later refer when needed and two by getting them out of the forefront of your mind. Your brain works a lot like a computer in that there is only a certain amount of bandwidth or memory and like a computer sometimes you have to clean out the junk and cookies. Some of the things that are rolling around in there, you might need to just let go of or file away for another time. Taking the time to examine your thoughts is often easier than continuing to allow them to “hang out”. Sometimes the things that you are thinking about are causing you stress and making you depressed because you are trying to figure everything out today only to feel defeated. Often, organizing our thoughts into categories, such as: what I need to look at today; what I need to look at next week or in the future and what I need to throw out as junk can be helpful. Businesses have a fiscal year which can begin at most any time and I suggest we also need a fiscal year, when we press the reset button and re-examine our time and space. We can use the time that we might have spent on the beach or at the pool to look at our life. Moving into the fall season, which is quickly followed by the holiday season, could be a good time to reassess and clear the clutter. You will feel less stressed and maybe feel ten pounds lighter.