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Is This Energy Drainer Keeping You Stuck?

Clutter… it’s all around you, but you probably don’t even notice it anymore. It has stealth power to drain your energy, and it may be sabotaging your fitness goals.
Clutter can by physical, mental or both, but we all have it in our lives. Clutter establishes itself so gradually and entrenches itself so deeply, that you may not even consciously know it’s there. But it is there… sapping your creativity, your energy, and your productivity, and ultimately your health.

Physical Clutter

Physical clutter is clutter in your physical environment. It can be in your car, your office, your home, your garage etc. It can be unorganised or unkempt, or it can be organised and arranged: but it is stuff, and there is too much of it.
Clutter is an extra burden that makes everything more of a challenge. You have to move it, step over it, dust it or maybe you feel guilty for not dusting it. You have to look at it. It takes up space that could be used for other things or space that could simply be emptied and left serene and open.
A clear mind needs a clear environment. When you are living surrounded by clutter (whether you even notice the clutter consciously or not), it pulls on you and prevents your forward movement and your creativity. It always demands to be dealt with, and that is draining on you. So you have less energy for fitness and for health.

Here are some solutions to help with physical clutter:

  • Assess all the different environments that you spend time in at work and at home. Take one small space at a time and physically touch every object.
  • Try eliminating anything that does not serve a positive purpose anymore. Ask yourself questions like: What is it? Why do I have it? Does it enrich my life? Is it trash?
  • Get a friend involved for a more objective point of view.
  • Out with the old in with the new. Think carefully before acquiring more stuff. Try removing something from your environment each time you add something new.
  • Keep in mind that junk food is actual junk too. Doing a good de-clutter of the pantry and fridge will set you up for a fresh start to a healthy diet.

Mental Clutter

Mental clutter is clutter in your patterns of thinking and reacting to yourself and others and everyday situations. It operates under the radar most of the time, which makes it especially difficult to manage.
Mental clutter can be self-defeating ways of thinking about yourself, entrenched patterns of behaviour with certain people, habitual ways of reacting to certain situations or just a general approach to life that runs on auto-pilot. Mental clutter can manifest itself as excess weight, negative emotions, confusion, feelings of defeat and always only seeing obstacles in life. Clutter is the feeling of being stuck. Clutter is frustration.
The trouble with living on auto-pilot is that you don’t really live: you can’t see options or alternatives.
Your creativity stagnates, your energy levels slowly drain away and your motivation takes a hit too.

Here are some solutions to help with mental cutter:

  • Slow down. You must slow down and really pay attention in order to identify your mental clutter.
  • Ask yourself “Do I have other options?”, whether that’s when someone is pushing your buttons or when you are rushing to get to work again (whatever it may be that is getting under your skin). Try to stop for a moment and try coming up with other options for dealing with these situations.
  • Set reminders during the day to remind yourself to stop and take note of what you are doing. Are you nourishing your body with fuel (eating)? Have you been checking face book too often? Are you where you thought you should be with the tasks you set for yourself today?
  • Take an objective look at your routines: bedtime, morning, lunch, afternoon, exercise regime etc. What are your habits? How can you make them better? Are they productive or destructive or are they just simply time wasters?
  • Are you procrastinating by leaving dreaded task unfinished, weighing on your mind like a big shadow zapping your energy and reducing your productivity? It’s time to make that list of things you have been putting off and just get them done. You will be amazed at your energy levels afterwards.
  • Use a journal to write out the thoughts that clutter your mind so you can analyse them objectively. There is something very liberating about getting stuff out of your head and onto paper where you can see it for what it really is.

Your space should help you feel invigorated every day. If you can de-clutter just a little bit every day for a month (longer if necessary), you will feel lighter and more energised. Motivation will not be something that comes from someone else, it will be ingrained into your life, reinforced by the clear, dynamic space you have created.

Being fit and healthy requires being intentional about your environment, your schedule and your relationships. Take it one day at a time and start moving toward deliberate living.

Enjoy sweeping away the old that you no longer need and creating a new lighter life.

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