7 ideas for mind detox
1. Make sure the people you follow have a positive effect on you
The large number of people we follow on social media for one reason or another doesn't make us happy. Some propagate values that are not close to us, some make us feel guilty by saying that only their way of thinking/eating/living is right, and some of them do nothing special but we are always filled with negative energy while following them... It's okay to click “unfollow” and filter which content you will watch in your digital space. If your feed is full of people who annoy you, who don’t have a good opinion of your life and yourself and who make you feel miserable, it’s your responsibility to get them out of there! My rule is - if someone doesn’t make my life better, I don’t follow it.
2. Get some sleep, the world looks different when we are tired
It’s amazing how much easier each problem seems when we’re not tired. Regular and quality sleep is essential for good mental functioning, and sleep is the fastest and easiest way to ''recharge your batteries''. You should never feel guilty for having a natural need for rest and sleep to be more productive and satisfied. If you have a sleep disorder and the problem lasts for more than 15 days, it's important to seek help. Remember - sleep is half mental health!
3. Turn off the internet before bed
I rarely turn off the phone at night because I want people close to me to reach me if something is urgent. But I realized that SMS and calls are not a problem I have in the evening, but it is endless scrolling on social networks and notifications from less important people. And that’s why perhaps the most important thing I do when I need a mental detox is to turn off the internet on my phone around 10pm. I am still available if it is urgent for someone, but meaningless notifications don't distract me. I don't go online for the first half hour in the morning, I give myself space to start my day by opening the window, taking a few deep breaths, petting the dog, drinking lemonade.. It’s amazing how much clearer the mind is and the mental feeling easier when our day doesn’t start with burying in irrelevant content and when we give ourselves space to wake up before we get into commitments.
4. Write a diary
The first best thing we can do for our mental health is to go to psychotherapy. However, when this is not available to us for any reason, the next best thing is to write a diary. It’s a really great way to get rid of what’s “suffocating” us, to get some clarity and insight, to feel instant relief. There is a lot of research that shows all the benefits of writing a diary, how those few pages a day can change the quality of everyday life. When you write, then you are in touch with yourself, you can better understand your emotions, to look more clearly at the situation you are in and to better define what you need. And while writing, you don't have to worry about how what you text sounds, whether it is "good enough" .. The point is not to write a story worthy of the Nobel Prize, the point is to make it easier for you. Remember - no one will ever read that!
5. Clear your living space
The space you are living in significantly affects your mind. It is amazing how much better we sleep in a tidy room, how much more we enjoy drinking tea on the clean terrace and how much nicer the atmosphere is to stay in a tidy and clean space. Of course, one should not exaggerate, but it is phenomenal that 20 minutes of tidying up can make you feel good. Start with your room - choose one shelf or corner of the room to clean today. You will see how much getting rid of excess things and tidying up space contributes to sorting out thoughts and mind.
6. Promise yourself that you will talk to yourself today as you talk to someone you really love
Whatever happens in life, we all have one ''inner commentator'' who tells us the reality and gives meaning to things. What often happens is that our inner commentator is very nice and kind to other people and rude to ourselves. If a friend gains 3 kilos, we will honestly tell her: "Don't worry, you're still beautiful! This 3 kilos aren't important", but if we gain weight, our inner commentator will assure us that we do not deserve to go out, enjoy, have sex, have fun because we’re ''fat'' now and that’s awful. The problem is that this commentator is on auto-pilot most of the time - the things we say to ourselves are automatic and we don't even question them. However, the good news is that we can review them whenever we want! If you want to do a mind detox, be sure to reconsider what your inner commentator is telling you. Does it cheer for you the way it cheers for other people? Does it tell you that you can do something and that you are great? Does he easily forgive you for small mistakes? Does it allow you to rest, to do something beautiful just for yourself, to say “no” to others when something doesn't suit you? Just try to tell yourself one day everything you will say to other people you love. Because honestly, it’s really hard to live happily if one voice inside you constantly tells us we’re not good enough.
7. Remind yourself of what is really important in life and what your goals are
It is so easy to get lost in a pile of intertwined thoughts and various obligations. But at the end of the day, chaos is not created by those things that are really important to us, but by what is irrelevant to us. That is why it is important to ask yourself from time to time: "What is REALLY important in my life". Not everything can be equally important and not everything deserves equally energy. It is not equally important to do a workout and vacuum behind the couch and hand in the project on time and drink coffee with your aunt and take the time to be close to your partner. Not everything can be equally important. Also, it is very important that you know what your higher goal is. Why do you work so hard? What do you want to achieve this year? Where do you want to be in 5 years? If there is an activity that constantly takes you a lot of time and does not help you get closer to the goal and is not something that makes you feel good in general - then what is the point? Whenever I have a busy period, I ask myself the question: how important is what I am doing now from 1 to 10 and how does this help me get where I want to go. It is interesting how much of that is cleared up once we make the decision that we will not allow so much energy to go to unimportant things that there is not enough left for what is really important to us.
Jelena (@ smartchange.me) deals with psychological counseling and couch-ing. She is followed by more than 50,000 people at IG and delights with her illustrations that go ‘deep under the skin’ and ‘straight to the heart’.