untangled: four ways to ease your mind
Have you heard the analogy that a woman’s brain is like a bowl of spaghetti—hundreds of long, wavy strands all tangled up together in one place?
Today I need to… I can’t forget about…I wonder if she’s still angry…what if I tried quinoa instead…I need to change the oil in my car…why am I hungry…call about that weird noise from the furnace…follow up with whatshername…maybe I should workout…frick I forgot about…limes, bread, Windex, dog food…I should call Grandma…I need to remember to…
Pasta brain can be exhausting. Like just.so.tiring. One good thing is that you’re not alone, and the other good thing is that there are some things you can do to get untangled.
1. Put Away Your Phone
Girl, you’re distracted, and staring at the screen isn’t helping. Too much screen time takes you away from the things you really should, or even want to, be doing. Yes, it can feel like an escape, a mindless activity to decompress, but between the bright lighting and the bombardment of images and ideas, you’re actually ramping yourself up even more.
How many times do you finish scrolling through your timelines and feeds and feel refreshed? If the answer is even one, please tell us who we should start following because that stuff is exhausting. Scrolling makes you want things, scrolling makes you envious, unhappy, unsettled. It’s all in good fun most of the time, but if you truly want to feel refreshed, lay that device on the table and walk away.
2. Do the Thing You (Really) Don’t Want to Do
Those things you’re putting off because you don’t have time, take up as much space in your brain to think about as if you just went and did them. We’re not sure how it works in your spaghetti brain, but if there’s unfinished business up there, it doesn’t just go away. It nags. It’s counterproductive to spend time with an idea in your head when you could get it out of there and free up some space. That reminds us…we’re going to go print of that return shipping label and head to UPS.
3. Pretend You’re Carefree
This can be a tough one, especially if you aren’t, in fact, carefree. And especially if you are a curmudgeon. Bear with us for just a moment. Smiling, laughing, running, playing, dancing—even if for only a minute—is scientifically proven to boost your mood. All of these things give you endorphins. “Endorphins make you happy. And happy people don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t.”
Really though, we know this can feel less appealing than going in for your annual, but it’s worth every second of lifting that butt off your desk chair. Move around a little, act as a happy person would act, and we’ll be surprised if you don’t feel even the least bit better. Oprah says that she learns to practice joy by watching her dogs play—everything is new and exciting to them when they’re outside and carefree. Take her advice and try finding joy by really seeing things.
4. Indulge a Little
This is a daily mantra at Heart because for all we know, today is the last day we have. A little doomsday-y? Sure. But it’s a great excuse to get that pedicure you’ve been wanting and eat that second cupcake. Take a nap, lick the spoon, watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. It’s not going to hurt you in the long run to indulge and give yourself a little pampering. As a bonus, giving yourself something small that you have been craving can ease tension (as can foot rubs, hint hint).
Take thirty minutes off from the grind and go take a yoga class. Snuggle into those covers for five more minutes—another day sporting a messy bun will work just fine. Indulgence doesn’t have to mean naughtiness, unless you want it to. We’re merely suggesting that you allow yourself a bit of time to do the things that recharge your batteries—even when it feels like there isn’t any time to take off.
It can be hard to pause, especially when you need a break the most, but when you grant yourself a few minutes of peace, you’re much more capable of doing what needs done and sorting out the mess in your head. We completely understand that you have a lot on your mind, but every once in a while, you have to untangle it a bit.