Kon Mari your mind - What Sparks Mental Joy?

18 October 2017

Dear friend,

The last month has been a struggle. Dealing with my mental load has left me floundering. My outward image of calmness and control has started to crack and snappy, anxious mummy has appeared.

We are constantly sold the ideal of a happy mummy making for a happy home, well perhaps they were right after all because my big lad has also had a month filled with struggles and anxiety. Sometime I wonder, does he feed off me or do I feed off him? I am sure that my personal happiness is linked to his. (Read this fab post from my blogging buddy Hayley at Mission Mindfulness: A parent is only as happy as their unhappiest child). My mental load has increased significantly with my worries about my autistic son.

I recently convinced my friend to Kon Mari her wardrobe. I heard myself explaining to her how it made me feel, lighter afterwards. It lead to a light bulb moment. Why not Kon Mari my mind?

For those of you who don't know; Kon Mari is a home organisation method created by Mari Kondo; "The life changing magic of tidying up." The method involves taking everything out of your wardrobe and placing it on the floor. You then need to look at it and think - Does it spark joy? If yes keep it and if no, donate, sell or throw it away. This method sparked a home organisation craze with the book becoming a number one best seller.

What if I applied Kon Mari to my mental load?

Kon Mari your mind:   

In a bid to organise my mind I started with a list of the main things affecting my mental load; Family, Friends, Home, Work, Blog. I then asked myself; What sparks joy?

Family: My number one joy sparker. I certainly don't plan on giving away either of my boys and hubby can stay (as long as he keeps doing some washing - joke). It is clear that big lad really needs my support at the moment and that has to be my priority. I need mental space to deal with this properly.

Friends: This is a part of my life that I am really guilty of neglecting but that can bring me the most joy. I definitely need to try and make more time to do things with my friends, or just to call my UK friends more.

Home: I hate housework but it needs to be done! But like many mums I know I do tend to take on too much and then feel resentful. I have decided to delegate some of the home responsibilities. I have made chore charts for everyone to share the load. I have started doing my housework to music too as music is a real joy sparker for me and it seems to go much quicker!

Work: I love some elements of my work and not others (I think it is the same for most people). I am learning to say no and to work smarter. 

Blog: Blogging is my hobby but my blog has grown beyond belief so taking a look at what on my blog sparks joy for me has been a real eyeopener. This is where I have made the most changes because I had fallen into the trap of doing what I thought was required to be a 'Good blogger' instead of being driven by my passion. I have let go of several posts/series and will be posting less. It feels gratifying to get back to what really matters to me; raising awareness of autism and supporting my blogging colleagues. 

I need more mental space and more time, to be able to give my son the support he needs and to be a calm and happy mummy.

Using the Kon Mari principle to declutter my mind has been a very positive experience. We all have busy lives, responsibilities and demands placed on us but it is good for your health to ask yourself, what really makes your soul happy. Why don't you give it a go?

What sparks your joy?

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Photography @My_Dutch_Angle

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