The purpose of our mental spring clean is to free up some mental space so that you can better focus on achieving your weight loss goals.
Hey there, Supermum! Are you trying to be a superhero by juggling Monday meal preparations, work, school runs, date night, Sunday football mornings, Thursday night swimming, and Friday night Zumba classes? And all of this while trying to book into getting that upper lip waxed, and making sure the kids don’t show up to school in their PJs?
We feel you! All this stress is making you feel like you need a holiday on a deserted island. But hold up, are you taking too many shortcuts that might be affecting you more than you think? Is your life cluttered with unhealthy food, unhappy relationships, and neglected dreams, while you are left feeling burnt out with no backup?
Let’s face it, we all have different ways of dealing with stress. Some start smoking, some exercise, some move in and out of relationships, some hoard, and some turn to food (hey, who doesn’t love some crisps!). But even the healthiest of coping mechanisms can turn unhealthy when used in the wrong way.
That’s why researchers have found a definite link between losing clutter and losing weight. Yep, you read that right! So, why not give your life a good Spring Clean? Trust us, it could be the solution you need to live your best life yet.
So how can tidying help you slim down?
Have you ever thought about what would happen if you never decluttered your mind? Just like your overflowing wardrobe, your mind can become cluttered too. This can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and overall dissatisfaction with life. Our brains have a limited capacity for processing information, and when it becomes filled with outdated beliefs or negative thoughts, we have less space to focus on what truly matters.
But don’t worry, there’s a solution! Spring-cleaning your mind can be just as transformative as decluttering your home. Start by taking a pen and paper and following our guide to decluttering from the inside out. By letting go of old beliefs and worries that no longer serve you, you can make space for new and positive thoughts. This can lead to increased clarity, motivation, and overall well-being. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to start spring-cleaning your mind!
Step 1: Shake Things Up
We all love our daily routines, don’t we? They keep us organised and help us achieve our goals. But, did you know that being too strict with your routine can actually trap you in a spider web of habits that are hard to break? Yikes!
To avoid getting caught in this web, try making small changes to your daily routine. Take a different route home, sit on a different side of the sofa or try a new hobby. These little changes can help you snap out of autopilot and make more conscious choices, especially when it comes to healthy eating. Don’t let those habits spin you in circles, break free and enjoy the ride!
Let’s face it, sometimes those pesky pounds just won’t budge no matter how much we wish they would! But don’t worry, there’s hope. Instead of beating yourself up about those late-night snack attacks, why not try a different approach? Start by taking a good hard look at your daily routine and see where you can make some easy swaps. For example, if you usually reach for that bag of share bag crisps followed by chocolate in the evening, try switching it up with some yummy, NO Count or low-calorie snacks instead, With a little bit of planning, you can create healthy habits that will help you reach your weight loss goals without feeling deprived.
Step 2: Declutter your mind
Worrying is a natural part of life, but it can quickly take over and clutter our minds. Replaying the same fears and anxieties, known as ruminating, can leave little room for anything else. While it may seem like we’re working through our worries by giving them so much attention, it actually has the opposite effect, causing a negative filter on our thoughts and lowering our mood. This can increase the risk of depression and anxiety, and make it harder to have the confidence to make positive changes in our lives, such as losing weight.
To make space in our minds, we can try mindfulness exercises. Instead of getting caught up in worries, find a quiet place to sit and focus on breathing exercises. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath for a minute. Then, inhale for a count of eight and exhale for a count of 10 for several minutes. This exercise can help you tune out the background noise of worries and clear out the mental clutter, leaving you with more space to focus on positive changes in your life.
Step 3: Transform your environment
Research has shown that living in a cluttered and untidy environment can have a significant impact on our stress levels and overall well-being. In fact, it may even affect our ability to maintain a healthy weight.
Short-term, acute stress can actually reduce our appetite, but chronic stress, such as the stress of living in a cluttered home, can trigger the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that can increase our motivation to eat, particularly high-sugar snacks that offer an instant boost of energy. This can lead to a cycle of cravings and overeating, which can contribute to weight gain.
When it comes to decluttering our homes, the process can be similar to making changes to our diet and exercise habits. It requires awareness, making conscious decisions, and taking control of our environment.
In the case of decluttering our kitchens, for example, we may start by taking an inventory of our pantry and fridge and assessing which items we actually use and enjoy. By getting rid of items that no longer serve us, we can create space for healthy foods that we actually like and will be more likely to eat.
Decluttering and organising your home can be a stress-relieving activity, which can also help you achieve your Activate awards. Once you start getting your home organised, you may find that you are able to make progress in other areas of your life, including your weight loss journey.
However, what if you can’t change certain aspects of your home? In that case, try to picture what you would like to change and notice how you feel. Do you feel tense or stressed? If so, try to accept things as they are, as this can give you the space you need to change the things you can control, such as your eating habits and daily routine.
MAKE SPACE: Take some time to create a peaceful haven in your home. This could involve decluttering and organising your space or simply adding some cosy touches like soft blankets, candles, and comfortable furniture. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s a place where you feel calm and relaxed.
Step 4: Shake off old body image beliefs
Have you ever caught a glimpse of yourself in a mirror or a store window and felt surprised by how you looked after losing weight? Or maybe you still mentally picture yourself as your previous size? It’s common to hold onto outdated beliefs about our bodies, especially if we’ve been overweight for a long time. But it’s important to let go of these old thought patterns and embrace your new, healthier body.
CREATING ROOM: Give yourself a quick and easy body image boost by grabbing a blank piece of paper and jotting down any negative thoughts you have about your shape. Once you’re done, tear the paper into small pieces and chuck it in the bin. According to research, people who wrote down their negative feelings and then discarded the paper were less impacted by those thoughts later on than those who kept the paper. So don’t skip this step! Get rid of those old, negative self-images and make space for the new, confident you.
Step 5: Make time for what matters
Are you a master of multitasking? Do you have a jam-packed schedule that makes you feel like a superhero? Well, here’s a secret: being busy all the time can actually work against you. It can leave you feeling frazzled, overwhelmed, and like you’re constantly putting out fires. And let’s face it, healthy habits like exercise and meal planning can get lost in the shuffle.
So, it’s time to declutter your calendar! Start by looking back at the past year and asking yourself what you truly enjoyed doing, and what you wish you had more time for. Then, start saying “no” to things that don’t serve your goals or bring you joy. Trust us, freeing up your time will give you the space to prioritise what really matters, like taking care of yourself and doing activities that boost your mental health.
Step 6: Direct your attention and energy towards the things that bring you happiness and pleasure
Marie Kondo, the queen of tidying, has inspired people all over the world to ask themselves, “Does this spark joy?” With her method, you keep what you love, get rid of what you don’t, and organise what’s left so that you can enjoy your belongings more easily. But did you know that focusing on what brings you joy can also help you reach your weight loss goals?
So, here’s the deal: choose to focus on the things that make you happy! If you hate a particular NO Count food, no problem – there are plenty of delicious alternatives to choose from (we’ve got you covered!). And if running isn’t your thing, don’t sweat it – there are loads of fun activities that even the least athletic of us will enjoy. Don’t start from a place of deprivation and punishment – instead, tailor your weight loss journey to fit your unique preferences and you’ll find yourself eager to keep going!
Now, let’s talk about motivation – spending time with your Evolve group or hanging out in the Community can be a great way to stay inspired and have some fun while you’re at it. And if you can enlist your friends and family to support you, there’s nothing that can stop you from reaching your slimming goals.
Last but not least, let’s broaden our horizons. Imagine you’re going to a party and instead of stressing about the calorie-heavy food and drink options, ask yourself, “What else do I love about parties?” Maybe it’s the chance to wear your favourite outfit, catch up with friends, laugh and dance the night away – whatever it is, remember that your life is about so much more than just food or your weight. Embrace the joy!
So don’t let your worries and anxieties take over your mind! Take some time to declutter your thoughts and create space for positive thinking and healthy habits. You got this, and we’re cheering you on!