December 23, 2021
December Decluttering for Your Mental Health

December is a month filled with nostalgia. It is the month that we look back at all that has happened throughout the year and begin to look forward to the coming year.

December is a month filled with nostalgia. It is the month that we look back at all that has happened throughout the year and begin to look forward to the coming year.

We often get stuck in the “failures.” The things that we did not do or the things that did not happen, yet December is also a time to take stock, celebrate our successes (because there definitely are a few) and be proactive about the path we would like to pursue in the New Year. Intentionally stepping into 2022 can allow you to plan without judgement and move with fluidity. Intentions are different from goals. Intentions are about following your dreams and can be more flexible. Goals tend to be more specific and for some of us, adds pressure to succeed. And when we do not “succeed” in the exact way we set out, we can become discouraged and even step away from our ideas. New Year’s Resolutions can be an example of this mindset.

Decluttering our physical and emotional spaces is one way to step into this idea more softly. Decluttering may sound like work, however it will offer you many rewards at the end!  Physical decluttering is about our open spaces as well as our hidden ones. Our open space may be filled with holiday decor at this time of year, things that are not there the rest of the year. We can overlook those spaces for now. December can be about our hidden spaces; emptying and sorting closets, cubbyholes and drawers. Pick one or two so it does not become overwhelming. Prepare a bag or box to keep, discard and donate. And start quickly. Following your instincts as you hold each item. Simple tips include anything you haven’t seen or worn in a year; you have not missed! Therefore, they can go! If something produces a strong emotion when you are holding it, keep it. That’s the box you will set aside and look at again. Overthinking keeps us cluttered!

Emotional decluttering includes contemplation and forgiveness. Make a list of the losses you have had this year. Allow yourself some time to grieve those losses. It is more about quality than quantity of time. 15 minutes may be more meaningful to you than hours! Do this reflection in any way that resonates for you. Do you cry? Do you laugh at wonderful memories? Do you become nostalgic? Sad? Whatever the emotion, honor it, out loud.

Then move to forgiveness for your Self or others. Remember that forgiveness does not mean forgetting the pain. It is about regaining your peace. Write a letter. Use a journal to share the feelings. Express yourself with art, music, or dancing. Any way that calls you.

Now make a list of your wins! What have you overcome? achieved? celebrating balances loss. The cycle of life. Share your wins in a way that is unique to you: mantras, positive affirmations, photos of the events/situations. Leave them visually available to you so you can reference them easily. Especially on the challenging days!

What are some ways that you would like to purposefully step into 2022?
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