My second resolution for 2015 is to declutter my life. This applies both physically and mentally, although the physical version is much simpler and easier to visualize.
We have lived in this house for almost thirty years, so have accumulated much too much “stuff.” When we purchased the house, we were newly married, with no children. Thirty one years of marriage and three sons later, the house is bursting at the seams. Two of these three sons have moved out this past year, so the opportunity to declutter is here. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved every minute of my house full of boys, and miss them terribly already, but as they move on to independence, I am both excited for them and very proud of them.
We started cautiously with the two unused bedrooms. Not wanting to imply that we were happy to see them go, we sorted through the things left behind, relegating some of the stuff to the garbage, and organizing the rest. With those two rooms now sporting a minimalist look, it is now time to move on to the rest of the house.
I finally convinced my hubby to part with the sectional sofa in the basement rec room. Santa Claus was a big help with that when he brought us a nice new replacement for Christmas:
The “furnace” room is currently under a purging process:
with more rooms to follow soon!
Decluttering a lifestyle is much more complicated. This involves removing as many sources of stress as possible. Stress means different things to different people, but basically it is your reaction to things that happen to you. Some people are stressed just driving to work each day, while others are slower to react to things that bother them.
The problem is, stress can wreak havoc in your life if you let it. Stress has been blamed for many diseases and adverse health conditions. Dr Leigh Erin Connealy says “Many times, it turns out that a patient’s health problems are caused by emotions, rather than something physical…stress weakens your immune system, making you vulnerable to colds and infections. It also raises levels of stress hormones, boosting your blood pressure and heart rate, interrupting your sleep, wiping out your libido, intensifying any pains you have, and disrupting your digestion. The truth is, emotions have a tremendous impact on your health and longevity. Even something as simple as smiling or laughing can boost your body’s levels of natural painkillers known as endorphins.”
So, how do you declutter your life so that stress cannot control and ruin it? First you must realize what you can control and what you cannot. If you cannot control something, like the weather or a traffic jam, do not let it bother you. If a situation has been bothering you for a long time and there is no resolution in sight, let it go and move on. The same rule applies to people in your life. Obviously, some people you dislike cannot easily be removed from your life, but if they can remove them and surround yourself with better choices. For example, if you dislike or disagree with your boss, but love your job, find a way to make it work or find a new job. If you are in a relationship that is not mutually fulfilling, get out of it and find one that it is. Discover and surround yourself with the things and people that make you smile!
I made the first step in decluttering my life when I retired almost three years ago and my health has improved considerably. Check out a previous post. I currently surround myself with people I respect and whose company I enjoy.
Start decluttering your life in 2015, you and your health deserve it!