Here are my top 5 habits toward maintaining a clear mind.
The art of effectively utilizing a calendar comes down to discipline. As soon as anything is mentioned in my life that includes a specific date or time, it needs to go into my calendar. I used to only use my iPhone’s calendar to check the date and now, I utilize it for EVERYTHING. It’s perfect because I have my phone with me 24/7 and I even fill out the note section of the calendar event so I don’t forget any important details. If you’re old school and prefer written reminders, a yearly planner may suit you better. I personally keep one of these at my desk for work related things that shouldn’t take up space in my mind when I’m off the clock. Preparation is important in creating a work-life balance, which I’ll discuss further in a later post.
2. LEARN TO SAY, “NO!”
Yeah, organization is cool. You could actually have the next year of your life written out down to the minute and feel on top of the world. However, without the word, “no,” and being confident enough to say it to people out loud, you will likely experience burn out. Personally, I’m an introvert so it is quite easy for me to say no to invitations. On the other hand, for those of you who are socialites, it may be a bit more difficult. “No,” is not a bad word, it is a full sentence and a choice. It doesn’t matter if you’ve said, “no,” to the same person four times in the month, if they invite you somewhere you don’t want or don’t have time to go, just say no. If it’s someone you value, appreciate, and want to keep in your life, please try to make an effort to spend time with them, or give them a little explanation. Otherwise… No. No, no, no, no and no.
Meditation usually works for everyone because it can be whatever you want it to be. If you’re new to meditation, check out this guide for beginners. My meditation takes place in the first 5-10 minutes of my morning. I thank God for allowing me to see another day, and I welcome peace and confidence into my mind. Lately, I’ve also been using an app called, “Headspace.” The goal of Headspace is right in the name— to create space in your head. It truly does settle my mind and prepares me for the day by pushing out stress and worry and allowing me to have space for peace. I honestly don’t make time every morning for meditation, but when I do, I feel a little lighter and my mindset is positive which sets the tone for my entire day.
4. CREATE A PLAN FOR YOUR HEALTH.
Exercise: As you know, exercising makes your brain (and body as a whole) very happy. I personally hate going to the gym. Hate. For me, working out means hiking, fitness classes, a personal trainer, exercise apps and YouTube videos. There are always deals on Groupon and Eventbrite for different fitness classes, YouTube is free and so is my favorite Nike Training Club app. Create a workout plan in your calendar (see tip #1) and stick to it.
Pro tip: When you have a workout buddy, you’re more likely to stick to a schedule. Just make sure your partner is as dedicated to their goals as you are to yours.
Eating: Treat every meal as an opportunity to fuel, nourish and show love to your body. This means eating fresh and clean while getting the nutrients that your body needs. My favorite dietitians/food bloggers, Wendy and Jess of Food Heaven Made Easy will tell you exactly which foods have been found to nurture the brain and keep you focused. Similar to your work out plan, keep track of your meals so you know exactly what you’re putting in your body each day and make the changes that you need to as time goes on.
5. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVITY.
This is the part where I tell you to take care of your mental health. The people and content you surround yourself with often impact your mindset. It’s impossible to be happy and positive 100% of the time because… life. However, I do my best to see the bright side for myself and others and I do my best to limit my time around negativity. This is not to say that I won’t stand by the side of a family member or friend going through a hard time; I’m talking about the people who complain about the sky being too blue and water being too wet. If you’re able to have a conversation with the negative person in your life to encourage them to bring more positivity into their minds, that’s great. If you’re the negative person, before you say that negative thing, try to think of something kind or positive you can say instead. If you think you need to speak to a professional to help you sort out your thoughts, I encourage you to do so.