Decluttering and Comfort as Self Care
All it took was one unplanned weekend of organizing, trashing and recycling to clear my mind and seeking out comfort when needed.
Before self care was a buzzword I was practicing it without knowing it. I would take walks throughout the day and watch funny dog gifs. Self care is being co-opted by companies that want you to buy things to accomplish this task. Preferably by purchasing their products or else you won't be self caring to your highest potential. Most types of self care, or the most meaningful kinds, shouldn't cost that much.
Like most humans who aren't one dimensional characters I'm a walking contradiction. I live to be an organized list maker who draws satisfaction from checking tasks off one by one. I also love unscheduled time where I can relax and not worry about filling every hour with something productive. When I don't make time to organize the piles forming slowly out of the corners of my eyes I get anxious and antsy. Then a week or two later I can't see the floor and can't relax no matter how hard I try.
Last weekend I set out on an unknown mission to declutter my room including the closet. I was just trying to kill time but ended up being productive in the process. I had gone through my clothes months before and put them in three giant bags to donate but since the floor in my closet was covered with these bags I assumed it was still a total mess. In reality I had three bags of clothes waiting to be donated sitting on the floor waiting to be remembered and discarded.
The biggest items to tackle were the papers, pretty trash (catalogs) and shipping receipts scattered around made to look organized by being in neat piles. These accumulated on my desk and until recycled or shredded remain pretending to be important. They aren't. I love amassing collections of cute merchandising touches from brands I love adorning items ordered online like tags and hand written notes. But since I don't actually need these things they get tossed eventually. I'm also guilty of shoving things into shelves and forgetting about them. I found tax documents I forgot about and don't have to scramble or yell at customer service to locate or resend.
I didn't realize what an impact having an organized room would have on me. All week I've been calm and content even while trying to douse the small fires of life that pop up. After some self reflection I realized my room has again become a calming sanctuary against the outside world. I could relax and not stress about piles of clothes, papers or other debris taking up space and cluttering my mind.
On Wednesday I was on a comfort seeking mission and ordered Thai food for lunch. Certainly sounds dramatic. I accomplished a pretty hard work out the day before and wasn't sure what to eat for lunch. The day was chillier than I anticipated and the first four hours of work that day under the faulty central air and barely heating system my fingers were going frigid. I wanted to feel warm and comfortable instead of eating where I planned to which would have been on the healthier side but too cold and unsatisfying for me in that moment.
After my meal I was satisfied in that full and complete way where it is usually best if you can collapse on a couch and not have to move for a couple of hours. Alas work was calling. But my self induced carb coma left me content in a way I'm not used to. My mind wasn't racing and I didn't feel anxious about work related tasks. I had sufficiently comforted myself into a stupor and it was great. I think being comfortable isn't a bad thing especially when your body is craving it. Growing, changing and moving constantly isn't any better than sitting still if nothing is being accomplished either way. Listening to your body and giving into the comfort whims was exactly what I needed on this chilly April day. Also I have amazing leftovers.
Just like how the sentiment of dress like you will meet your worst enemy is good in theory I can't be bothered to dress that nice on the daily. Most days I choose comfort over a more dramatic outfit that will be driving me crazy by the end of the day. This is also the reason I stopped wearing mascara to work. It irritated my eyes and no one noticed but me. Now I rarely wear mascara on the weekends either unless I'm going to an event where I want my eyelashes to impress. As Iman says, “Everything in moderation including moderation.” Sometimes letting comfort be your guide is exactly what you need.
Finding comfort in the small things you can control makes the day so much better especially when it is pure chaos or just feels like it. Don't consider this spiel on the importance of comfort as an excuse to never leave your comfort zone. Change will happen to you whether you seek out comfort or not so you might as well get used to change or comfortable with it.
These are two of my easily implemented self care routines. Feel free to use yours as often as you like from cleaning to clearing out a few minutes to breathe and maybe meditate anything that soothes you is worth doing.