• Dara Kobrin, LMHC

Free up Space, Free your mind

For some of us, a casualty of this global pandemic has been more time in our homes. With that said, we may find that there is some extra time to spend on areas of your life that may have been neglected due to ongoing busy schedules and outings. Since social distancing has taken place, how have you used your extra time in your home? As overwhelming it may feel to make an effort to stay inside, I have found that cleaning, organizing, and discarding items in my home has also assisted in clearing and cleansing my thoughts.


Now more than ever there are shows and books that focus on home organization. As tedious as this task may present itself, as you begin, you may find it to be soothing, freeing, and almost fun. We know we are adulting when... we think of cleaning as “fun,” but there is a joy that comes along with cleansing a space in your home. Feng Shui is an old Chinese art of arranging buildings, objects, and spaces, that has been used for many years to help achieve harmony and balance. This aligns with cleaning and cleansing your home of unused or no longer needed items.


I understand that there tends to be an emotional connection to belongings. I have experienced that myself and I understand how difficult it is to discard something that I have attached meaning to. A practice that I try to utilize, as well as encourage is to be mindful of the value it brought to my life. Recognizing the purpose it has served and then allowing myself to either donate or give these items to a friend or family member. Knowing it may do the same for them. As the saying goes, “one man’s trash, is another man’s treasure.”


Allow for space where you can hold on to meaningful items, and feel a deep sense of appreciation for them. I have found that people tend to hold on to more belongings than actually needed. I have also found that through the act of organizing and cleansing, my thoughts feel lighter. I feel accomplished, and my mood is typically more positive. It is also helpful that when I am in a time crunch, I can access what I need more efficiently as a result. Clearing your space can help clear your mind.

The spaces in which we reside represent our mental health and well being. A clean space can positively impact your mood and thoughts. Think about how nice it feels to walk into a hotel room or someone's home who just cleaned. The floors are clean, the towels are folded, the bed is made. That fresh feeling impacts your emotional state of mind.


In my years of working with clients with severe substance abuse and mental health issues, observing hygiene and cleanliness is crucial to their overall well being. I also understand how busy life can get, especially if you work full time, and/or have a family to also tend to. Things can get messy. It is less about the mess and more about the ability and process of cleaning it up.


Start small. Pick one drawer, area, or closet. Begin sorting through belongings, recognizing the items that have been useful, versus items that you may not have used for some time. My rule of thumb is, “if I haven't used it in two years, I probably don’t need it.” Before moving on to the next area, complete the first one. Once completed, observe how that area looks, and observe the items you are discarding. Do those items need to be recycled, thrown away, or donated? Take a moment to process your thoughts and feelings after completing the project. As you allow yourself to complete small challenges, you may experience a sense of pride. Open yourself up to completing small tasks, and experience accomplishing them. Giving away items you no longer need to others who may not have as much may also increase personal positive feelings. Focusing on a personal task helps distract negative thoughts and feelings. As we help ourselves, we can also help others.


Pay it forward, clear space, and free your mind!


Keep Connecting with Care,

Dara Kobrin, LMHC

Follow me @connectingwithcare


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