De-cluttering the mind

Jen Ripa-Edson '94

Jen Ripa-Edson ’94

A health and life coach who specializes in helping busy women to find balance, vitality, and soul-satisfying work, Ripa-Edson offers her tips.

The change of seasons often brings about a desire to shed weight and clean the house — an effort to feel more radiant and joyful. Many people sort through their closets and other cluttered areas, but I encourage my clients to look at mental clutter and give that a good cleaning as well.

1. Daily centering. The many known benefits of meditation range from lowering stress and increasing emotional buoyancy to enhancing physical well-being. What you may not know is that even just five minutes of meditation before bed, upon waking, or at any point during your day can greatly enhance your ability to let go of unwanted busyness, feelings of being overwhelmed, and mental clutter.

2. Nutritional cleansing. Making a commitment to eating more fresh vegetables, fruits, and superfoods can uproot mental fog, bringing forth a more positive and clear outlook. My favorite superfood snack is a mix of raw cacao nibs, raw goji berries, and raw dry coconut cubes. Another way to easily incorporate superfoods into your daily life is to add a greens powder and frozen acai to smoothies. Nutritional cleanses using whole foods are also a great way to dislodge those cobwebs of the mind.

3. Connect with nature. Sometimes we forget that we are natural people living in a natural world. Getting outside and connecting with nature can release a huge amount of mental baggage. Go to the woods, put down the phone, and focus on being present. Smell the earthen smells, connect with the sounds of the birds, taste a pine needle, feel an acorn, and stand still to observe everything you can for a few moments. By completely immersing yourself in your senses, you can connect to the present moment and let go of details that feel overwhelming. Nature is the easiest place to allow yourself to simply “be” and to reconnect with the happier, less-complicated you.

4. Re-prioritize. After meditating or returning from the woods, take a few minutes to think about your upcoming day or week. From this place of clarity and spaciousness, think about your to-do list and ask yourself what things can be skipped or eliminated because they don’t hold value for you. Are there things that you are doing because you are in a routine, but ultimately they are not in your best interest? Identifying these things and allowing yourself to release them from your life can greatly improve clarity, contentment, and lightheartedness.

What do you know? If you’re an expert in an area of your field or avocation and would like to share your sage advice, e-mail or write to the Colgate Scene, 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346.