25 Ways to Detox and Declutter Your Mind and Soul
IT'S NOT JUST YOUR HOUSE THAT NEEDS A PERIODIC CLEANING.
It's like clockwork: Every spring, you declutter your home, booting all the things you don't need from your space. But when do you take the time to cleanse your mind and soul? With the new year quickly approaching, there's no better time than now to put the focus on your mental health and make sure you kick off 2019 feeling your absolute best. Here are 25 ways to give yourself a nice detox, from ridding your life of negative people to rethinking the way you spend your time.
Cut Out the Toxic People in Your Life
Do you have someone in your life who always makes you feel worse after being around them? Even if it's a family member or a friend you've been close with since you were kids, there's no reason to keep a toxic person around if the relationship isn't benefiting you or making you happy. Whether they have no boundaries, add unnecessary stress or drama to your life, or affect your other relationships, cut them loose: They're cluttering up your mind and soul more than you even realize.
Spend Time with People Who Make You Feel Good
There's a major plus to cutting the negative people out of your life: You have more time for those who make you feel amazing. Make sure you're setting aside time to plan something fun with those you love—even if that's just a quick dinner or coffee date. Something as short as chatting with a friend you care about—and who genuinely cares about you—for 15 minutes can help get rid of some stress and boost your spirit, making you feel whole.
Go on a Daily Walk Out in Nature
With all the chaos of everyday life, there's nothing like taking a walk through nature. Past research has shown many times just how soothing it can be for your mind and soul. In fact, a 2015 study from Stanford found something as simple as taking a 90-minute walk or hike in a natural area made the participants feel happier and more relaxed overall, even reducing their risk of depression.
Get Rid of Your Clutter
Didn't quite get to your spring cleaning this year? It's never too late. It doesn't seem like getting rid of the physical clutter piled up on your desk and kitchen counter would do that much good in helping declutter your mind, but it does. After you have a clean space to spend your time in, you'll no longer feel bogged down and stressed out by your surroundings, making you feel lighter and more energized overall.
Stop Scrolling Through Instagram
One of the biggest time-wasters of the day? Endlessly scrolling through social media. Not only does it take time away from other, more fulfilling things you could be doing—as well as the people around you—but it's also really great at cluttering your mind. A 2017 survey found it was the worst social media network for mental health and overall wellbeing, making the participants feel anxious and depressed. So log off and find something that makes you feel full—not constantly empty.
Take a Pottery Class
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Instead of scrolling through social media, find something else to do with your hands—like pottery. Spinning clay and getting your hands dirty is known as being an incredibly therapeutic activity, letting you get some stress relief while also creating something beautiful you can proudly display in your home as a reminder to keep striving for those relaxed, positive feelings.
Rethink Your Diet
You can't properly feed your mind and soul if you're not properly feeding your body. Take a few minutes and examine your diet: If it's full of processed junk and minimal fruit and vegetables, try to start incorporating colorful, wholesome options into your weekly routine. Even grabbing an apple or banana for breakfast over a sugary bar will make you feel better physically and emotionally.
Put Your Phone Away After 8pm
Most people's phones tag along with them all day long. Think about it: Are you ever anywhere without it? To get some personal space—and give your mind and soul a chance to detox—set a time at night when your phone goes into airplane-mode and stays there. With your phone put away on the charger in a separate room, you have the chance to enjoy the people in your life—or simply being by yourself—without any distractions.
Take a Soothing Bath
Sometimes giving your body a detox is simply giving yourself the chance to truly wind down and relax. And what better way to do that than a soothing bath? Instead of buying a bath bomb at the supermarket that has a long list of weird ingredients, use natural options, filling the warm water with slices of fruit or some essential oils to totally rejuvenate your spirit.
Learn How to Cook a New Meal
Instead of constantly ordering takeout or going out to eat, spend a few nights at home every week making yourself a delicious and healthy homemade meal. You don't have to be a good cook, either. Take your time working through new recipes, and a tasty meal at the end won't be the only benefit. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology also found the process boosts happiness and creativity, helping give your mind a much-needed shift.
Start Being a Little More Selfish
For some reason, it can feel very selfish to do things for yourself—and it shouldn't. All day, every day, your focus is on those around you, making sure your boss, family, and friends are all happy and taken care of. But how much time do you actually devote to yourself? Give yourself the chance to detox and declutter your mind and soul simply by spending more time focusing on your wants and needs instead of everyone else's. Your emotional health should always come first, no matter how "selfish" that might feel.
Treat Yourself to a Spa Day
Speaking of taking more time for yourself, how about a spa day? Once a month, treat yourself to a whole day of pampering: Get a massage to work out those knots you've built up from work-related stress, sip on cucumber water with peaceful background music, and hang out in the spa's relaxing pools. Afterward, you'll feel a sense of calm you haven't had in a long time—one that's well-deserved.
Learn How to Meditate
You hear time and time again just how beneficial meditation is. It helps you relax, combats stress and anxiety, and, as the Mayo Clinic puts it, can help "restore your inner peace." When it comes to decluttering and detoxing your mind of anything that's been weighing you down, holding you back, or making you feel less than stellar, there's nothing better than a 10-minute meditation session for some clarity.
Take a Solo Trip
Traveling with family, friends, or a significant other is fun, but have you ever went on a trip by yourself? Taking that time—and having an incredible, memorable adventure in the process—is an exciting, uplifting way to detox your soul. You get to fill up on everything that makes you happy with no distractions or negative energy from other people, whether that's a weekend in a new city or a month hitting up spots on your bucket list around the globe.
Use Your Phone's "Screen Time" Settings
It would truly frighten—and probably disgust—you to know how much time you actually spend on your phone every day. That's where the iPhone's new "Screen Time" feature comes in. Not only does it let you see which apps you've been using most and for how long, but it also lets you set daily limits that alert you when your time is up on the ones of your choosing. Set any time-wasters to an hour a day to give your mind and soul a change to recharge, sans phone.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
In today's world, it's impossible not to compare yourself to others. It happens while reading magazines, watching TV, and even double-tapping pictures on Instagram. The problem is constantly looking at a super-edited version of the world doesn't do your mental health any good, so make it your mission to start focusing on what you love about yourself instead of what you wish you had from others. Your soul will feel a lot more full because of it.
Spend Time in the Quiet
When's the last time you sat in actual silence? Yes, without music playing or the sounds of the TV in the background. And even without your phone keeping you company. Sometimes just enjoying being present is one of the most simple ways to declutter what's been going on in your head: With something always going on, you never get the chance to truly shut off. Enjoy cuddling with your dog or taking in the glow from the fireplace while you're cozied up on the couch.
Rethink Your Current Job
Sure, your job provides you with an income. But does it make you feel good mentally, too? Whether it's a toxic boss, awful co-workers, or a simple lack of fulfillment, don't be afraid to shake things up in 2019. Take a chance and go after your dream, whatever that may be, and you'll surely get rid of any negative feelings taking up space in your mind and soul.
Keep Technology Out of the Bedroom
Having technology in the bedroom doesn't just affect your sleep—it also doesn't give you a chance to declutter your mind before going to bed. While you're lying there scrolling through your phone, you're just feeding yourself more and more unnecessary data. But when you just hang out and relax, sans tech, you'll drift off to sleep feeling a lot more light and relaxed.
Take a Break from Netflix
Whether Netflix takes up all your weeknights after work or entire weekends, there's no harm from taking a break—even if that means missing out on some major binge-watching sessions of your favorite show. Before you could stream away your day, you would spend your time doing things that are a little more fulfilling and engaging—like, you know, hobbies. Find something you love doing that doesn't involve the TV and make sure you're devoting some time to it every week to really fuel your soul.
Visit an Infrared Sauna
Sometimes you just need to sweat out the bad stuff, and that's where infrared saunas come in. Unlike traditional saunas, these use infrared light to safely penetrate your skin and have been shown to do everything from reduce chronic pain to improve your heart health. Afterward, your mood will be lifted, your stress will be gone, and you'll sleep like a baby.
Get in Touch with Your Emotions
For some reason, showing emotion has been dubbed as a sign of weakness. Well, it's time to drop that reputation, stat. Getting in touch with your emotions and letting things out—that means feeling all the feels, whether they're good or bad—is a great way to declutter your soul. Even if that means having a good cry.
Delete Toxic Apps Off Your Phone
If there are apps on your phone that are toxic to your mental health, don't just set a time limit on them—completely delete them. Whether it's seeing all those fake-happy updates on Facebook or the photoshopped images on Instagram, if they don't make you feel good, ditch 'em. You can always add them back later if you want to.
Start Reading Again
How long has it been since you read an actual book? If your answer is "quite a while," you're not alone. One way to declutter your mind and soul is to start fueling yourself with things that benefit your mental health opposed to distractions that don't. Not only has reading been found to give your brain a boost and reduce stress, but it also makes you feel good overall.
Set Aside Time to Worry
If you're worrying about anything and everything 24/7, it's going to be impossible to declutter your mind. One tactic that will help you finally be able to clear your head? Setting aside 10 minutes a day to unleash those worries, no matter when or where that may be. If you allow yourself to get them all out, you'll be able to spend the rest of your day focusing on what's important. And here are 23 Things To Let Go of to Be Happy in 2019.
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