Life can feel messy sometimes. There are always a million and one things going on – juggling career goals, with learning a new hobby, and going to the gym but also making some time for a much-needed catch up with friends.
Sometimes I feel like all these different, disparate parts of my life are speaking to me at the same time. Talking over one another, louder and louder, competing for my attention. One big mess.
As a perfectionist and someone who likes to have a plan, this can be pretty unsettling at times. There can be so much going on, and it doesn’t fit into the neat little boxes you usually like to put them in, or write well as a list.
Whilst life is a naturally messy thing, here are five simple ways to manage that unsettled feeling, and keep you feeling productive in times of uncertainty, mess and chaos:
Have an outlet
Making some time for yourself to relax and just do you is understated, especially when we have so many competing priorities to deal with. It’s so easy for ‘you time’ to slip down that list, at the expense of trying to please everyone else.
Whether its smashing out a kick boxing class, yoga, bird-watching, or volunteering at a soup kitchen – whatever your outlet is – just pick one and go with it. Setting some goals in your hobby is a surefire way to get some structure and motivation back into your life, and help keep that ‘messy mind’ at bay.
We’ve got a lot to learn from our Danish friends – and it’s not just their style notes about how to dress Scandi-cool. Hygge (pronounced ‘hue-gah’) is not a thing. You can’t see it, touch it, eat it, buy it. It’s a feeling, and one which requires practicing a bit of mindfulness.
Whilst there’s no English equivalent, it basically translates to a feeling of cosiness, togetherness and presence (ultimately the pursuit of everyday happiness). It can be felt by doing anything from having a warm cup of cocoa or playing a card game with friends or family. Hygge is simple and special. Having some stillness in our mad lives is going to help you see with some clarity.
Write a diary
A problem shared is a problem halved, so the old saying goes. But, what this old saying doesn’t take into account is that in our 21st century lives, it’s not always easy to talk to the people around us. That ‘mess’ that we feel may not be easy to express in words.
Write it down, draw a mind map, doodle a picture. Whatever you do, get it out of your head and onto that paper. Sometimes, just seeing your feelings or thoughts or actions in words on a page in front of you is one big release.
Plan a holiday
My favourite past time. Whenever I’m in a mess, or in need of a break, I start to dream of my next getaway. It doesn’t have to be a big holiday – a weekend staycation or even a day out of the city can be all you need to give yourself a little distance from the messy mentality you may find yourself in. We come back from a holiday feeling new, relaxed, refreshed. Perfect for tackling those life goals head on.
Embrace the mess
For me, life is messy and that’s the beauty of it. The grit, the finding your feet – it’s all part of the journey. Life doesn’t have to be perfect and planned – and most importantly, we need to learn to accept that it never will be. It’s great to have life goals and don’t get me wrong they are necessary, but you can’t plan for everything. The beauty of life is in the uncertainty, the will he, won’t he. It’s hard to accept but embracing the fact that there is no plan is one of the simplest ways to clean up the ‘mess’ in your mind.
If there’s anything I’ve learnt recently, it’s that you never really know what’s coming right around the corner. So just go with it.
Read more from Elly on her personal blog, here.