Since we’re all talking detox these days, why stop at guzzling green drinks? We all know that feeling physically healthy is just one part of being emotionally healthy. So let’s look at the whole picture – our body, our environment and our moods. Why not go for a complete ‘Life Detox’ – guaranteed not to result in frequent trips to the bathroom or foul tasting burps?!
If you are like most of us, you would happily take on the challenge of a life overhaul if:
a) you knew where to start, and
b) it was manageable.
Here are 10 places to start, with helpful ideas and links to make changes do-able:
Food. We had to start with the obvious. We are not going to go into detail, or even suggest you go on a major diet-detox (we’re not into that sort of thing). What we do recommend, however, is eating more unprocessed, whole-grain foods. A healthy body is fundamental to a healthy mind and balanced mood.
Your attitude. Biggest culprits? Feeling anxiety, anger, fear and regret. Start noticing if you find yourself worrying all the time. Easily angered. Stuck in the past, or on the “should-have-could-have” roundabout. Most websites tell you to get all zen. Practice gratitude. Meditate. We do too. But we also know that if you have been stuck in that place for a while, just wanting to get out is not enough. And a juice-based detox is unlikely to change your situation. Don’t be afraid to ask for help (and if you are afraid, know you’re not alone and do it anyway!).
You can feel – and think – better! Promise.
Friends. Or so-called friends. This is such a source of stress we’ve already written a whole post on this very thing. Check it out here.
Technology/Social Media. This is huge. What an emotional vaccuum. How many hours have you spent reviewing what people did, didn’t do, wear, say, while your actual life was going on around you (or worse, was NOT happening)? Check out this post – it summarizes a book by Daniel Sieberg all about having better boundaries around technology and social media. Or these two posts where Sally was interviewed on this very topic last year.
Finances. One of the biggest sources of emotional stress, and the biggest reason cited for marital discord. Get your financial house in order, and you will be closer to having your emotional house in order than you might think.
The Great Outdoors. This is particularly relevant for those of us living in an urban setting, where ‘outdoors’ means walking down streets that are burrowed between very tall buildings. With lots of smog, exhaust fumes, and smells. We as humans do much better when we can touch, feel and see greenery, the earth. There really is something to the saying ‘feel grounded’ – sometimes we literally need to stick our feet in the sand or walk across a meadow. Short of that, buy some plants and water and tend to them. Talk to them too if that doesn’t feel too crazy!! Oh, and certain plants do wonders for our air-quality (they detox the very air we breathe – bonus points!).
Your Career. Okay, so you may not want or be able to walk into your job and dramatically announce that you are quitting in order to start an organic vegetable farm on the rooftop of your apartment building. However, you can draw in several of the tips we’ve already discussed (e.g., detox your relationships with-coworkers, learn to ‘say no’, and even put a plant on your desk!). Or, instead of using your precious half an hour lunch break surfing your Facebook feed and taking selfies, might we suggest you take five minutes to breathe, and then take a walk (again, outside, if possible).
Clothing & Clutter. That overflowing closet? Clear it out. The office/den/playroom where there is so much stuff you literally have a panic attack just walking in there? Yes, tackle it. Get a friend to help. There is plenty of excellent advice on the Internet or books to help you with how to get started. The most important thing is to get started!
Chaos on the outside = chaos on the inside.
Your Physical Self. Okay, you may have lofty goals, and we encourage that, but in the meantime, take small but measurable steps toward a healthier you. Change excesses to areas of moderation. Choose to have one slice of pizza and salad instead of three pieces. Notice if you smoked only 5 cigarettes today instead of the usual 10. That 10 minute walk at lunchtime might not seem like a lot, but at the end of a workweek you will have added 50 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. You get the idea. Make small but positive changes toward a healthier body. Again, a healthy body is the foundation of emotional health.
Breathe. Yes, that simple. And so amazing. Our nostrils and lungs do an amazing job of filtering and detoxing the air for us! And breathing done well can support a calm mind and healthy body. Try to have relatively clean air to breathe. Go for a walk outside if you live somewhere where there is fresh air. If not, you might want to invest in some plants, or even an air purifier for those of you in polluted areas. And find a breathing technique that works for you! (try a simple one here).
We hope you have some new ideas about how to clean out your emotional closets. Now get to it – free up some space to put some new healthy habits in place!
ps: Have fun!