The end of August is drawing near. As record breaking heat temperatures sweep the United States, the promise of cooler days and a renewed sense of motivation fills the air. Each season brings a reflection on life, guaranteeing that change is the only promise. If burning up and burning out are depleting your energy, consider refreshing your mental and physical space to prep for a season of change.

1. Declutter: Letting go is a meditation. It can be easy for physical things to multiply (i.e., a family of papers, a collection of pens that may or may not work). Sometimes the act of holding on to things is purposeful, (offering an attached sentiment, providing important information, comfort, etc.). In other circumstances it’s an accident, like when you’ve been busy or simply forgot. Often, it’s a combo of both.

In all cases, decluttering your physical space can lead to a clearer mind, and vice versa. To reset your mind, take time to go through your workspace. This can be accomplished in one sitting, or you can spread it out at your own pace. It could look like a daily declutter, or it might be a commitment to removing one piece of clutter a day. According to a WebMD article from 2021, “If you’re looking for an easy way to reduce stress, decluttering your environment may be a good place to start. Getting rid of excess stuff can benefit your mental health by making you feel calmer, happier, and more in control.”

Hayley, a teacher, sees decluttering an opportunity to declutter her desktop and phone as well as her physical workspace. “Getting started on the process can be the hardest part,” she says, “but I remind myself that it ultimately helps my mental health.”

2. Personalize: Adding a personal touch to your space can be a big mood boost. This doesn’t necessarily mean physical items, either. One personalization Jamie made to his space was setting an alarm on his phone, twice a day for a 3-minute meditation. This was his reminder to come back to the present.

On the other hand, adding purposeful, tangible things to your space can serve as a reminder. For instance, a meditation stone can be a visual representation, gently nudging you back to the present. A funny framed quote from a favorite tv show can offer comfort and even motivation. Explore which personal touches can enhance your mental and physical space.

3.  Follow the Light: Your lighting setup affects you more than you realize. According to an article by Andrew Jensen, “Sure, it’s common knowledge that reading in the dark can harm your eyes, but lighting has effects well beyond that, and an employer’s choice of lighting can have a significant impact on the productivity of her company.”

You may not have control over the main lights but customizing your personal lighting space can be a game changer. Jocelyn, an attorney changed her bulbs to blue. According to the BlissLights website, “A 2017 study reported in the scientific journal PLOS ONE (3) found that blue lighting leads to post-stress relaxation three times as quickly as conventional white lighting. Blue light’s potential calming effects have been observed outside scientific studies as well.” After learning this information, Jocelyn gave blue lights a try. She noticed a shift in her mood and perspective. There are even mini lamps for smaller spaces.

With Fall on the horizon, turning to mindfulness can help usher in a new season. Refreshing your mind and physical space shifts perspective, promoting mental rejuvenation. Through all the unexpected turns of life, we must come back to the moment, connecting with what may need to go. In doing this, we make space for growth, new experiences and peace.

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