First steps on the 2020 mountain

Thank you to Victoria (A Tidy Mind – Midlands) for writing this blog. Who else thinks it’s come at just the right time? January can be a month of unrealistic expectations & overwhelm. So let’s take a breath & start small….

2020 overwhelm

Here we are at the mid point of January. I don’t know about you but I find January almost as overwhelming as the December Christmas build up!   

I wonder if sometimes we fall into the trap of starting at the bottom of the 2020 mountain and start panicking about the where we’ll be in 6 months time. When we should just focus on the next couple of steps on their own.

If you like me want to get started but want to keep it manageable, I say start small…..start with your handbag.  The average woman’s handbag weighs 5.5lbs! that’s a serious extra weight to carry around with you!

declutter my handbag

Here’s my advice to get started:

  1. Clear a space on your kitchen table and empty everything out of your bag.  That’s all the little pockets and compartments.  Clear the immediate rubbish, old receipts, tissues….and ahem sweet wrappers!  
  2. Be honest with yourself about how often you use the items left on the table. Do you need 5 lipsticks? 3 packets of tissues? And 6 biro pens? There’s being prepared and then there’s carrying around everything and the kitchen sink! If you don’t use it at least almost daily, think if you really need to be carrying it around daily.
  3. Think about the items causing the most chaos in your bag.  Headphone wires and loose cosmetics to name a couple.  Invest in some clear/mesh pockets for makeup and toiletries.  This way you can see what’s inside whilst keeping everything ordered.  You can keep headphones in another one or get a little holder for them which will stop them floating around and getting tangled up with everything else in your bag.
  4. Personally I find I use the same bag daily.  But if you’re the kind of person who loves to change up your bag, consider investing in an “inner handbag”. These are great little organiser bags which can be lifted in and out of your handbag collection and your good to go! You can get these online with a quick search.

If you like lots of women are actually suffering from back and/shoulder pain from the weight of your bag, I asked Kerry Cox, soft tissue therapist & personal trainer at Female Fitness Matters, for some tips to help you.  This is what she said:

  • A decluttered, and therefore, lighter handbag is most definitely the first step, but also think about the type of bag that you use.
  • Ideally it’ll have wider (and hopefully padded) straps to better spread the load, with a correctly worn rucksack being the gold standard
  • If it’s one-shouldered switch the shoulder that you wear it on regularly or carry it diagonally across your body so that your core muscles can help carry the load 
  • Remember the further your bag sticks out from your body, the more it will shift your centre of gravity and likely cause strain, so think slim and small
  • Be mindful of your posture. Ideally your shoulders will be relaxed (so not hiked up to hold your bag on!), your torso upright with no leaning to either side and your head ramped up and back, not jutting forwards.
  • Stretch out and massage tight muscles regularly and strengthen the weaker muscles in your shoulders, neck and back to make carrying easier.  
  • And finally, see your GP if you have any concerns.

So if January overwhelm has kicked in for you, don’t think too hard about the top of the mountain. Focus on the next available steps and get your handbag in order!

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