Chicago Home and Lifestyles – Spring Cleaning Your Brain

It has been an extremely stressful couple of years for everyone. After coming out of the pandemic we now face extreme inflation along with a devastating war in Ukraine. While we may have little control over what our leadership decides, we do have control over how we manage the stress. Here are a few ways to keep the stress to a minimum.

First, we need to be mindful of the stress and act quickly before it can take over. Mindful meditation can return you to the present when we become distracted. When our minds begin to race, we can become anxious and need to refocus. Try to stop as soon as you notice your mind wandering and notice the sensations in your body. Do you feel the sun and the ground beneath your feet? Return your awareness and pay attention to your breathing until you come back to the present. 

With our 24/7 news cycle we are bombarded from all sides with information and news. This is definitely overwhelming. It can leave us feeling helpless, anxious, and even angry. Reduce your consumption to no more than twice daily. Pick a reputable source for your news and check it sparingly!

Start a journal and write in it every day. While keeping you mindful it also lets you see what is working for you and what keeps you happy. You will see a pattern that shows you which experiences give you the most joy and where you need to focus. Re-evaluate how you are spending your energy and time. 

Your physical surroundings have a definite effect on your cognitive ability. Living in a messy space can have a distorting effect on your emotions that can decrease your productivity. Of course, you can hire a professional organizer to help but that can be costly. Invite a good friend over who also needs to de-clutter. Help each other work on getting rid of the mess and what you can keep. Play music while you sort to make it a pleasant experience!

If you find your mind as cluttered as your house, it is good to reconnect with the people that you love and make you happy. Throughout the pandemic we have lost touch with so many friends and loved ones. Now that restaurants are back open you can get together; even just going out for a cup of coffee could be great. Don’t feel awkward when you call, everyone understands. Just say how you miss them. Believe me, everyone is waiting for that call!

Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago