Weird suggestion, right?
If you want less stress, why add one more thing to your to do list?
Well, there are some habits that are powerful when it comes to our mental well being. This is one of those little habits that I have adapted the past while that seems to make a lot of difference! Here’s why it helps.
One: Reduce your stress. A cluttered and unorganized space creates stress for anyone! If you want to reduce your stress, reduce your clutter. The top two places we spend the most time in are our bedrooms and our kitchens. Tackle your bedroom by simply making your bed. You’ll notice your stress level immediately decrease.
Two: It’s an easy habit! The best habits are what I call mini-habits. I learned the concept of mini-habits from the book “Mini Habits for Weight Loss” by Stephen Guise. I have taught it and watched it change lives – including the lives of my family and myself!
The concept of a mini habit is this: make a habit that is tiny and you can do even on your worst day. Pulling up your bed sheets only takes a moment, but it can cascade into putting a few other things away and wanting to keep that space clean and de-cluttered. The chances of me leaving my pajamas out after making my bed is very small. I don’t want to clutter up the space I just created. But I’m not going to try to make my morning routine super complicated. So I just make sure my bed is made. Most of the time it means I straighten up around my bed. Sometimes I do more. Sometimes I do less. But I always feel like I’ve checked off my list and accomplished what needs to be done when I’ve started with the most simple, basic, easy part.
Three: A strong start to your day just seems to help things go smoother. I’ve checked off one of my mini habits and I’m ready to go! By the time I’ve made my bed I’m dressed and I feel like I can tackle whatever comes my way.
The confidence of starting off strong helps us feel like we are off on the right foot and ready to go! (Bring it on baby!)
Four: This is one of the best reasons to make your bed. How many times do you just need a place to “fall” – whether that be figuratively or physically? Admittedly, raising kids, being a good wife, starting a business, keeping my health goals, and trying to be a decent human being is a heavy load to carry. I sometimes need a place to just collapse for a moment and recenter myself. Sometimes that doesn’t happen until bedtime. Sometimes it happens several time during the day. My bed becomes my safe place to pray, cry, take a time out, read, relax, or ponder. And trust me, creating a sanctuary when in the middle of my own emotional crisis isn’t going to happen. If I’m needing a moment, I need my bed already made and inviting so I can just focus on what is going on in my head.
A second important note about this one – this is where I go when I’m dealing with intense food cravings and desire. Stress or emotion can still trigger in me a craving to eat all the food. I now have this place in my home where I can go to get away from temptations, clear my brain, recenter my goals, and tell myself that I can figure out what’s driving me to want to eat and discover what I REALLY need. And food just doesn’t fix those problems. This is my place where I journal, write my gratitude, re-commit, and escape.
Five: Meditation is such a powerful tool no matter what it is you are meditating about. It’s the tool you can use to sort out your feelings and the chaos that’s happening around you. Feeling confused? Meditate. Feeling lost? Meditate. Feeling out of control? Meditate.
There are lots of free tools around that will help you if you need to learn or practice guided meditation. Sometimes my meditation looks like listening to relaxing music or brown noise. Sometimes it looks like following along with some guided meditation.
Many people find peace through meditating in the form of prayer. This is also fantastic. I love being able to talk things out with a loving God who will help me know that I’m doing okay and I’m good enough and give me guidance and direction.
Meditation does not have to be a long process. Clients will often tell me they just don’t have time. 3 minutes. The shortest guided meditation on the app Headspace lasts 3 minutes. You can carve out 3 minute for yourself. And trust me, once you’ve done 3 minutes, you’ll want to add more time.
Try the 2 week making your bed challenge. Make your bed everyday for 14 days and see how you feel. Did you notice any of the benefits listed above? Did it take you long to make your bed? (Time yourself – you’ll be surprised how quick it is)