When you hear someone mention how much clutter they have, you might assume they are talking about physical stuff like magazines they don’t have time to read, clothes that no longer fit or wedding gifts that they will never use. The sentimental, “what if’s”, and things you have inherited can take up precious physical space and create unnecessary clutter in your home or office. But there is also emotional clutter such as pent up hurt, disappointment, anger, and resentment. Left unexpressed, these feelings repeatedly come to the surface and will not allow you to move forward.
How long are you going to hold on to that grudge that you should have let go of days, weeks, months or YEARS ago? How long are you going to replay that argument in your head? How long are you going to blame someone else for your unhappiness? How long are you going to blame yourself for something you had no control over? How long are you going to let your flaws define you instead of strengthening you? All of that emotional clutter is keeping you from seeing the big picture. It is clouding your judgment, causing self-doubt and keeping you from being your authentic self. That ‘clutter’ is keeping you from fully articulating and demonstrating your life’s work and purpose.
What clutter do you need to let go of?
It’s more than just feeling blue. It’s about no longer being the person you once was and not having a concrete reason why. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and according to NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) 1 in 5 Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime and every American is affected or impacted through their friends and family.
Prevalence of Mental Illness
- Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.1
- Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—10 million, or 4.2%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.2
- Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.3
Consequences of Lack of Treatment
- Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.15
- Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18–44.16
Mental Health Screening Tools
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Sources: NAMI, MHA (Mental Health America)
Why do women have a need to be needed? Why do we continually sacrifice our health and sometimes happiness just to ensure that the ones we love are well taken care of? Let me offer this little tidbit of advice: TAKE THE CAPE OFF. No one should expect you to do it all so why act as if you have to?
One of the most wonderful things about our body is its ability to tell us when it has had enough and we need to slow up, push back and say no to yet another request. However, instead of listening to it, we continue to push forward to do “just one more thing” before we collapse in the bed at night. I have a newsflash for you honey, if you don’t slow up, if you don’t take some time for yourself, if you don’t say no to making 3 dozen cupcakes for your kid’s classroom…your body will find a way to shut down.
I want you to take a minute and think about the last time you were really sick. Not just the sniffles, I’m talking about being laid out with enough medicine on your nightstand to open up a drug store. Was it after you worked 60 hour weeks for 4 weeks straight? Was it after you planned and managed the entire family reunion by yourself…again? Or was it after your ignored every single warning sign your body gave you to sit your happy hips down somewhere? I’m willing to bet money and a favorite pair of shoes that it was after you stretched yourself so thin you were transparent. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience. I know what it’s like to have “just one more thing” to do while my body is screaming at me “PLEASE JUST GO TO BED ALREADY!!!” I ignored every single sign until they wheeled me out of my office on a stretcher to take me to the emergency room.
So I offer this piece of advice with love to mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, girlfriends, employees, entrepreneurs and successful business owners – take time for you. Your husband and kids can function for an hour or two while you to go to Starbucks and get a cup of coffee and read a magazine. Your office building will not stop running if you aren’t there. Your parking spot is not the weight bearing column for the building and it will not collapse. You have poured your heart and soul into your business and the foundation that you have laid will not be washed away if you decide to take a few hours to get a mani/pedi and a massage. I’m not telling you to neglect your responsibilities. I’m asking you to realize that you weren’t created in the pages of comic books.