#JUNKFREEINJUNE Health & Wellness Over 50 & Thriving Series

Eliminate the Mental Junk from your Life

June 19, 2019
Eliminate the Mental Junk from your Life

#JunkFreeInJune has covered many areas of our life where we can remove the ‘junk’ and start living a healthier and happier lifestyle. My guest today in the Over 50 & Thriving Series is Shelley from Taming Frenzy. In order to Thrive we need to have clarity of mind and so I’ve asked Shelley to combine her thoughts on Thriving with my #JunkFreeInJune theme.

Shelley transitioned her blog a couple of years ago to concentrate on Taming the Frenzy that can take over our lives. In her description, Shelley explains that for years she had ‘a little critter on my shoulder for years. I’ve named her Frenzy because she delights in whispering negative things in my ear, creating messes in my house, and generally creating chaos in every area of my life’. I’m sure we can all relate to this so if you need tips, ideas and resources on how you can tame the frenzy in your life then be sure to connect with Shelley through the links to her website and social media at the end of her article.

Eliminate the Mental Junk from your Life

Anytime there’s the chance of going junk-free you can count me in!

Despite the popularity of downsizing, minimalism, the Konmari method, and Swedish Death Cleaning, most of us still have more possessions and junk than we really need…and we definitely have more than we can realistically use.

Fortunately, there are tons of books, TV shows, and blogs out there to help you clear the physical stuff from your life. You can walk down any bookstore aisle and find all the help you need to get your house in order. You can implement the ideas you find and with some time and effort, you can rid your home of much of the excess junk you’ve accumulated.

However, there’s still one kind of junk that can weigh you down, cause you distress, and decrease your happiness. It’s the mental junk that’s occupying space in your mind that you may not even realize is there. Even worse is the internal stress this mental junk creates for you.

Many of us are carrying around a lot of mental baggage without even realizing it.

The sad fact is that it’s been in our brains for so long, we just accept its presence and don’t even question its origins or value.

But perhaps it’s time we should.

How many of us are trapped in the past because we’ve accepted without question a statement made about us years ago?

See if any of these statements sound familiar:

  • “You’re too loud”
  • “Boys don’t like girls who are too smart”
  • “You’re too bossy and demanding”
  • “You’d be really pretty if you’d just lose a few pounds”
  • “It’s a good thing you’re pretty…” (implying that your intellect isn’t your best quality.

Statements like these, even when made by well-meaning relatives and other adults – seep into our psyche and shape our behavior and self-concept. And when we absorb negative messages from those who “mean well”, just imagine the damage done to us by those who are intentionally cruel!

There comes a point when it’s time to examine the beliefs we carry around in our head.  We need to look at the root causes of our self-defeating behaviors, our opinions of ourselves, and our limiting beliefs. We’ll find that most of the things that hold us back are because of lies we’ve been told that morphed into lies we continue to tell ourselves.

This is one type of mental junk that we’ve carried around for too long.

But there are other types of mental junk that clog up our brains as well.

Secretarial Junk

Another type of mental junk is what I call secretarial junk. This is a broad category of “stuff” that we try to keep in our heads when there’s a better way to recall and retrieve it.

Secretarial junk is the list of appointments, important dates, shopping lists, To Do tasks, and other important information that needs to be remembered. But why do we think that our brain is the best  place to store this information?

I’m a huge proponent of getting this mental junk out of your head and into an easily accessible retrieval system. With the wide array of planners, calendars, notebooks, and digital options out there, there’s no need to waste brain space trying to keep all of the secretarial stuff in your head. I’ve even got several daily planning pages in my resource library for email subscribers.

The key is to pick a system that works with your natural style.

Are you someone who prefers digital options so that you can access your information on the go? Or do you like putting pen to paper and tracking information the old-fashioned way (this happens to be my preferred method)?

Either system can allow you to record appointments, track projects and tasks that need to be done, remember special dates and events, and note important information. It’s simply a matter of choosing your tools and being consistent.


Finally, there’s one last type of mental junk that can slowly chip away at your mental health and well-being…and that’s stress.

While it’s impossible to totally avoid stress in our modern world, there are ways to deal with stress and reduce its negative effects.

If you’re at the point where stress and overwhelm are eating away at you then it’s past time to get intentional about creating joy into your life.

The truth of the matter is that life is too short to wait around for those big moments to bring joy into your life. You have to purposely and intentionally look for the joy in smaller moments…and then celebrate the joy of life’s small moments.

And isn’t this better anyway?

We don’t have control over when some big, momentous occasion will occur, but we can incorporate those things that make us happy into our everyday lives. Whether it’s enjoying time with loved ones, seeking the solitude to indulge in a good book, or just enjoying the scent of a favorite candle, small moments – when wrapped in gratitude – can bring us joy and increase our overall happiness.

So while you’re working to clear the physical junk out of your lives, don’t forget about the internal, mental junk. Granted, no one can see that it’s gone, the impact clearing this mental junk from your life goes a long way to helping you create the life you desire…and that you deserve.

Meet Shelley

Does your life often feel like one crisis after another? Do you ever feel like you’ve got a mischievous little critter that sits on your shoulder and whispers negative things in your ear? Or your little critter is running around your house creating one mess after another.

I have one of those little critters. I’ve named her Frenzy because of all the chaos she creates in my life – both inside my head and inside my house.

At Taming Frenzy you’ll find information to help you create your best life by taming that mischievous little critter. You’ll find articles on how to deal with the myriad of small details that make up daily life

On a more personal note, I’m married and have three young adult children (Bubba, Music Man, and Butterfly). A former school teacher and administrator, I’ve recently returned to my hometown after many years of living away. I’m a bit of a political junkie and I have issues I care passionately about. I’m a huge fan of disaster movies, trashy novels (my term for anything that’s not work related), jewelry, bath products, home decorating, and anything with bubbles or that sparkles. I believe that there’s more than one way to skin a cat, that people can tell you no but they can’t kill you, and that a little vanilla in your drink makes everything better.

Connect with Shelley






Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Miriam June 19, 2019 at 19:15

    Hi Shelley, what a fabulous post. So many ways we can get out of our heads. I know I used to be guilty of trying to remember it all but these days I’m a big fan of writing it out, creating lists and journaling. And I agree with you, life is definitely about finding joy in those small moments. Sue,, thanks for introducing us to Shelley. A great read.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 21, 2019 at 09:14

      I’m a list girl Miriam but struggle with keeping a journal. I’m hoping my July theme might help that….oops I might have given you a clue about the theme LOL:)

    • Reply shelley June 25, 2019 at 02:36

      Hi Miriam! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I wouldn’t even try to remember things without my lists – they’re lifesavers for me!

    • Reply Darcy Cahill August 8, 2019 at 00:38

      Hi Shelley, mountain biking is one of my favorite ways to get rid of my mental junk. To promote women over 50 to stay on their bikes and on single track I started a blog. http://www.womenover50whomountainbike.com
      It offers specific info about all kinds of practical issues, inspirational stories and mental/emotion health stories. Could you please share the address with your community? Mountain biking is exploding as a sport in the states, Europe and Australia. Would love to get all of us gals together. Much thanks if you are able to help me out. All my best, Darcy
      PS: I would also like to link with your blog. Love it.

      • Reply Sue Loncaric August 8, 2019 at 07:53

        Hi Darcy I will check out your website. Thanks for stopping by x

  • Reply Debbie Harris June 19, 2019 at 21:50

    Another fabulous guest Sue with ,lots of interesting points and experience. This post fits in perfectly with your June theme and it was great to meet Shelley! Thanks so much for another insightful post.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 21, 2019 at 09:07

      Thanks Deb! Shelley changed her niche for her website and it does fit very well with my theme for June. I’m fortunate to have some great guests each week and I learn so much from them. x

    • Reply shelley June 25, 2019 at 02:37

      Hi Debbie – it’s nice to meet you too. I love Sue’s site…she has so much good advice for us all.

  • Reply Samantha Smith June 19, 2019 at 23:35

    Hi Shelley, thank you for this post, all of it makes total sense. It’s amazing what we may carry, even after so many years, ‘something someone said, with a laugh, but it hurt and sticks’ I know it all too well. A fabulous guest Sue on your series.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 21, 2019 at 09:05

      Thanks Samantha, Shelley certainly raised some valid points to consider. Congratulations again on your win at the ABBA’s. xx

    • Reply shelley June 25, 2019 at 02:55

      Hi Samantha. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. This has been a great series Sue has had – I’ve enjoyed following it and am thrilled to be included.

  • Reply Joanne Tracey June 20, 2019 at 08:32

    Yet another great guest – where do you find them??? I’m a big one for the mental baggage. The secretarial stuff I’m good with – I write everything down & yes, I prefer pen and paper. I heard a great word that describes emotional baggage the other day – perseverance. The stuff that we carry without knowing we’re carrying it.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 21, 2019 at 09:01

      I have my sources Jo LOL:) There are so many wonderful women of Midlife out there and I’m honoured to have them as my guest. I think you might enjoy my July theme which will be revealed next week. xx

      • Reply shelley June 25, 2019 at 03:02

        Thank you both – I’m honored to be included in the series!

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl June 20, 2019 at 08:48

    Hi Shelley

    Thanks for starting this discussion and exploring it with themes I can relate to. I like writing it all down (and out) too.

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 21, 2019 at 09:00

      Hi SSG I love the term ‘Secretarial Junk’ and also I’m guilty of carrying around internal stress. Thank goodness I run – it keeps me sane! x

    • Reply shelley June 25, 2019 at 03:03

      Without pen and paper…and my planner…I’d be in a world of hurt! Glad you enjoyed the post.

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au June 20, 2019 at 11:02

    Hi Shelley – lovely to see you on Sue’s blog today. You’re so right about mental junk – I’ve spent the last couple of years or so carrying a bucket of mental stress + all the usual negative childhood stuff, and it weighs you down! Now that I’ve let a chunk of it go I definitely feel lighter and happier – de-cluttering our heads and hearts is vital if we want to stay on top of things and happy in ourselves.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 21, 2019 at 08:55

      Hi Leanne, yes Shelley nailed it didn’t she and to me clearing the mental junk is the most important thing because with a clear mind we can achieve so much more. x

    • Reply shelley June 25, 2019 at 03:06

      Hi Leanne! I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had that bucket of mental stress too, but I guess none of us are immune. (I’ve still working on mine). I think getting rid of the mental stuff is even more important to our mental health than getting rid of the physical stuff, even though it can be harder to really let go.

  • Reply Min @ Write of the Middle June 20, 2019 at 11:40

    Very informative post thanks Shelley and Sue! I love the term ‘Secretarial junk’ very clever! I have loads of this mental junk but I’m aware of it and I do take steps to help shed as much of it as I can. Good reminder! Thank you! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 21, 2019 at 08:54

      Hi Min, I like the term ‘Secretarial Junk’ too. My mind does get overloaded and is really a constant battle to me to find clarity. That is one of the reasons I workout and run because afterwards I feel much more relaxed and my head feel clearer. x

    • Reply shelley June 25, 2019 at 03:08

      Hi Min – I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I’m still the main secretary at my house, but at least I’ve got a way to keep that stuff out of my head, which helps.

  • Reply Erica/Erika June 23, 2019 at 09:23

    Thank you Sue, for introducing Shelley to me. I can relate to this post on many levels, the physical stuff and the mental junk. An appropriate post for this month’s theme. I will think further on reevaluating my mental baggage. This will be a process, since I am likely not even aware how much useless stuff is stored in my brain. I especially like your phrase ” celebrate the joy of life’s small moments.” Often, we hear “notice” and “be grateful.” The word “celebrate” is a new take on this concept. Thank you for an informative post with doable suggestions I can incorporate into my life:) Erica

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 24, 2019 at 06:09

      Hi Erica, I didn’t realise when Shelley changed the niche of her blog just how much information there would be for Taming Frenzy. Our mental baggage can really drain us and most of it can be cleared if we just break it all down. Most of us carry useless stuff around in our minds – I know I do – I probably could win a Trivia Quiz any time LOL:) I’m so pleased you have found #JunkFreeInJune helpful and also found some take away points from Shelley’s post. Have a great week, Erica! xx

    • Reply shelley June 25, 2019 at 03:15

      Hi Erica – it’s nice to meet you. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I had to come to the realization a few years ago that there just aren’t enough of the “big moments” in life and that if I wanted for them to be happy that I’d spend too much time waiting. So small moments became my focus – probably because I could control them. But I’ve discovered that I’m happier and enjoy life more now that I do celebrate the little things. I hope the idea is helpful for you too.

    I love hearing from you and your comments are important to me

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.