Organization For Stress Reduction: Top Tips To Reduce Stress

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Looking after yourself means allowing yourself to live your best life. Having a tidy bed is a prerequisite to having a tidy head. If you’re not sure where to begin here are some holistic tips to be your most organized self in order to reduce stress.

1. Clear The Clutter

Bookshelf with lamp, plants, and clock on wall.

Clutter free room.

When attempting to organize your life, the most obvious place to start is with the physical clutter. Clear the clutter by removing the things in your life that don’t enhance it. Whether that’s sifting through your junk mail pile or reorganizing your whole living room, make time to clear some space. The psychological benefits of this kind of organization is immense. When our brains are overloaded with visual stimuli (aka mess) it’s ability to process information is negatively impacted. This subconsciously increases your stress levels and anxiety

Personally, I find that the minimalistic approach helps me to feel more at ease and know where things are when I need them. I wasn’t always like this though. I began by making my bed before work every morning. This was a catalyst for bigger changes because unsurprisingly tidying your bed can make everything in the vicinity look incredibly unorganized. After I made the bed, I got this sudden urge to pick up the laundry off the floor and throw out the trash. The idea is to start small and see how the big changes come on their own. 

2. Stress-Free Day 

Birds eye view of hands writing in diary.

Plan your day.

Does your mind feel like it’s always racing with everything that you need to get done? Or maybe you’re just that little bit more forgetful than you should be. It should come as no surprise that organizing your time is one of the keys to a stress-free life. Whatever your dilemma, planning your day the night before is the solution to your worries. What you do the night before is just as important as what you do in the morning. In fact, it makes tomorrow’s accomplishments all the more likely. 

For me this means taking some time out of my evening to make a list of what needs to be done the next day. This helps me to get an idea of what tomorrow looks like which reduces stress and allows me to feel accomplished the following evening. If I’m feeling really eager I’ll even lay out my clothes for the next day or meal prep my lunch so that I’m not rushing in the morning. Make time in the evenings to organize tomorrow, you’ll be surprised at the mental health benefits. 

3. Learn To Say No

Three friends with arms around each other.

Learn when to say no.

We often overlook our greatest source of disorganization: our ability to say no. Getting organized means setting boundaries not just in the physical sense of the space around you, but also emotionally. By knowing your limits you’re better able to minimize stress and take control of your life. Getting yourself organized means not overbooking yourself.  It’s not ideal for your schedule or self-care to be spreading yourself too thin. This isn’t conducive to optimizing your productivity or your mental health.

I’m somewhat of an overachiever when it comes to my schedule. You know that person who throws realistic timing out of the window and hopes that they can complete their ridiculous to-do list? That’s me. Put it down to spontaneity, but I have a habit of taking on more than I can chew. By learning how to say no to things, setting up boundaries and prioritizing I’m better able to function at my best. Not only am I more productive but I feel less stressed and more fulfilled. Don’t forget to schedule in some downtime for yourself.

4. Digital Clutter For Stress

Close up of email inbox.

Declutter your inbox.

Clutter doesn’t just mean those things taking up your physical space. Mess comes in many forms. For many of us, most of our life does not actually take place in ‘physical space’. Nearly everything is digital and that means that digital mess is a real thing. Take the time out of your day to declutter your email inbox, delete old photos from your phone or, if you’re feeling brave, go through Facebook and unfriend those friends you’ve never met. 

I often get overwhelmed by the amount of emails, notifications and apps that I need to keep track of. A solution that I found helps me to stay focused is to turn off notifications for anything that isn’t urgent. This means that I’m not notified every time somebody ‘likes’ my photo or sends me a Snapchat. It’s a small change but it makes a world of difference in not only how often I check my phone, but also the fact that only relevant messages pop up on my screen. Whichever way you decide to organize your digital space, take a small step to minimize your information overload. 

Conclusion

It’s not easy to make time to declutter. Essentially the idea is to include things in your life that are relevant to your life – and to get rid of the things that aren’t. Organization can promote a sense of calmness and increase mindfulness. These are all elements of a holistic, healthy lifestyle. These tips are the place to start if you’re looking to embrace self-care in an encompassing way. 

“Get rid of clutter and you may just find that it was blocking the door you’ve been looking for” Katrina Mayer

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