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3 Simple Steps To Improve Your Health By Decluttering Your Habits

Written by: Rachel Sewell, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Since December last year, I’ve been decluttering a lot in my life. First, it started with my workspace, my bedroom, my computer, and eventually, the loft. I decided to clean up my life (so to speak) because I felt so overwhelmed when I looked at the mess surrounding me.

Woman Surrounded with plastic bags after decluttering at home.

Folders were overspilling, any hope of finding things that I needed was long gone and I couldn’t focus on work.

Over time, I started to ask myself the question; do I need any of these items that I’m holding onto? Are they adding anything to my life or dragging it down? I soon realized that there was a lot I was keeping hold of because my brain kept telling me that I needed it. But in reality, I didn’t such as university lecture notes that I had decided to keep for years just in case I needed to read them again. When in fact, I hadn’t looked at them once since I graduated (nearly 7 years ago now). Toys I had played with as a child and again hadn’t touched since growing up. My softball kit, even though I knew I wasn’t going back to play after my injuries in 2019 because deep down I was scared of another injury.

Interestingly, as I was sorting through these items, I noticed that they had all served a purpose in my life at some point. The toys kept me entertained and helped me to unleash my creativity when I was younger. My university notes helped me to learn what I needed for my degree.

Playing softball helped me to stay fit but most importantly it pushed me outside my comfort zone. At the time I had decided to play softball I was entering a new stage in my life; saying goodbye to studying in academia and hello to full-time work. Along with leaving university and starting my first full-time job I also bought my first car (lovingly called Lola). Playing softball allowed me to get comfortable with driving to new places (especially using the motorway) and meeting new people. And to be honest this was the main reason for joining softball as a lot of my friends had moved away after graduation and I didn’t have many friends to meet up with nearby.

I’ve noticed these same patterns play out with my clients and their habits. Habits that they’ve developed in the past to cope with life but are not helping them now. Instead, they are preventing them from reaching their health goals. For instance, someone who eats cake and sweets when feeling stressed even though they want to lose weight. But this was their coping mechanism as a child when they were told off/punished. It provided safety and comfort to them when they needed it. Or someone was working a job that required them to work non-stop and stay up late to meet tight deadlines. But they’ve since found a less demanding job that allows them to finish at 5 pm. Yet they still stay up late out of habit even though it’s impacting their sleep.

If you, like my clients, have habits that could do with some decluttering, try out the following steps:

  1. 1Make a list of all your habits in one area of your life (this can be health or another area, e.g., finances, etc.)

  2. For each habit that you have listed, ask yourself: ‘is this habit moving me closer to my goal or further away?’

  3. Pick 1-2 habits that you have identified as moving you away from your goal and decide whether to stop the habit or change it so that it moves you toward your goal.

It’s only when we bring awareness and take the time to question our habits that we can see their impact on our life. Because once we know their impact, we can then choose whether to keep them or choose new ones that will lead us to where we want to be.

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Rachel Sewell, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Rachel Sewell is a Health Coach accredited by the International and UK Health Coaches Association. She helps women approaching 50 improve their health so that they can spend less time at the doctors and more time making unforgettable memories with those they love. Rachel knows all too well some of the difficulties that women face when they age; loss of mobility and identity, which she herself experienced from her sporting injuries in 2019. Since overcoming these hurdles, Rachel is on a mission to empower other women that they can do the same. Most importantly that they can improve their health at any age and turning 50 isn’t a burden but an amazing opportunity to rediscover themselves.



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