Spring Cleaning for Your Life
Why does being organized matter? Because it can reduce the influence of stressors in your life. Stress has been around for a long time. Like a virus, it mutates and assumes a more virulent form. Stress is a result of change. Today’s changes occur at exponential rates and their solutions have increasingly shorter lifespans. With such complex lifestyles today, the various occupations, obligations and responsibilities we have each have a stressful impact. Especially when you’re already under higher than normal pressure, extra pressure from somewhere else can easily put a person over the edge. What’s the lesson here? Keep the different areas of your life organized so it doesn’t pile up into one monstrous problem and you can instead handle and solve individual issues as they develop.
Staying Organized in Recovery
I met with SCHC Recovery Coach, Tucker Dinnes, to discuss the benefits an organized and cleansed lifestyle can provide. Our discussion focused mostly on internal organization for the heart, mind, and soul. She states it’s important to get in touch with anything “cluttering” your internal life. This can be accomplished through personal methods like writing out what’s bothering you, keeping a journal, and using meditation and reflection methods. Meditation doesn’t have to be the cliche “sit cross-legged with your eyes closed and say ‘om'”. It can be as simple as finding quiet space and clearing your thoughts to go over how you felt today and what that means to you. Don’t worry if none of the above methods work for you; reflection works best when it’s personal and useful to you.
Another form of cleansing and organizing yourself internally includes releasing and letting go of resentment and grudges. Sometimes this is easy, but often it can be a process. “Spring Cleaning” can be the start of this process. This is the time to collect resources and materials to help you; especially if you get stuck. Your friends can be a helpful resource, too, for certain things, while talking with persons you have a more neutral relationship with may be better at other times. The main idea here is working towards a vision that moves you forward. Think of it as “If I’m letting go of this and this, what do I want instead?”. Essentially, you’re building a vision and you need to figure out what it looks like.
I also asked Tucker if she thought a person’s external environment affected someone internally (emotionally and mentally). Her answer was a definite yes. If a person’s physical space is chaotic, it transfers over into his or her mental space. Maintaining clean and clear spaces helps our thought processes. Following personal management skills also help us maintain stress levels. They include the usual “eat well, sleep lots, and stay active” and many more. Knowing this information doesn’t always mean you follow it though, right? Many us avoid what’s good for us despite their benefits because we don’t always value them. A way to make a life change permanent is reflecting on its purpose. “Why and how will this help me?”. We should make changes that bring us meaning and purpose, not because others say we should do it.
If you think your physical environment could use some de-cluttering, I’ve provided some links for common organization issues below…
Let’s start with the most common organizational frustrations. Clutter and mess in the home. Clean homes aid relaxation and personal time like individual recovery. If your external environment is stable, you are able to focus better during current tasks with few distractions, minimal stress, and can make the best possible decisions.Here are some links that break down cleaning and organization into manageable tasks.
1. 9 Steps to Arranging a Well-Organized Kitchen
2. Sorting your Things
3. 8 Things to do Right Away for an Organized Basement
4. Getting Rid of Junk
5. How to Organize Your Closet
Every person works a little differently. Productivity and efficiency depend on what type of organizer you are and how your mind works. Some of us rely on post-it notes, agendas, neatly placed piles, or color-coded separators, while others make due with shoving papers and files into corresponding drawers never to be seen again. This link offer tips on how to keep a generally organized office where you can keep a clear head and be less likely to misplace/lose important items. Keeping flowers or plant life can bring some nature and tranquility to an office. A concrete, white, and windowless office can be revived and energized with live plants. Opt for plants that require little sunlight and/or water if you lack a green thumb or natural light in your office.
Your finances is an area that must be organized and kept up to date. It’s something that most people would like to leave on the back burner (which many do…), but keeping current with your finances and revisiting your budget makes it easier to stay in the black and keeps a very heavy stressor off your back. In a time where Canadian personal debt continues to rise beyond controllable levels, keeping a detailed budget and following it will allow you to pay off any debt and learn healthy, sustainable spending practices. These links provide many resources and information on paying off debt and the importance and benefits of staying debt-free.
Helpful Phone Apps
In today’s society, you likely have errands to run everyday. You may also have a smartphone or tablet that you keep on you most of the time. If you’re someone who continually forgets to do things to a point where it can mess up your whole day, there are many apps that can make life a whole lot easier. The standard calendar and reminder iPhone apps let you set appointments and reminders in addition to sharing them with someone else (family, work, etc). Here are some top-rated Productivity Apps to help with your personal management and to-do lists: 10 Best iPhone Apps for Organization and Top 11 Productivity Apps for the iPad. Completing your to-do list is always a liberating feeling. It also contributes to your feelings of confidence and self-efficacy. In recovery, these types of feelings – no matter how little – are imperative to maintaining a fulfilling and progressive lifestyle in recovery.
Many people change life paths after treatment and during recovery. Many times, this can mean transitioning into a different career. If you’ve spent several years in a certain field of work and you’re skill set is very specific, it can be daunting to leave that comfort for something completely unfamiliar. It’s worth it though, right? This change means you can pursue your true interests and what will bring you purpose and meaning. The following resources can help you design you’re resume to show your competencies rather than work history. It has several tips and information you need to know for a career transition.