The Weekly Brain Dump — Why It’s an Important Part of Self-Care and How to Do It

When we think of self-care, we tend to think of things like hot baths and pedicures and a good book. But what if I told you there was a lot more to self-care than bubbles and books?

What is a brain dump?

A brain dump is essentially the act of taking all of the thoughts in our head and transferring them from our brains onto some kind of archivable system. This system could be a sheet of paper or a notebook or a note-taking app on your phone.

When you brain dump, you basically spew word vomit onto a page. It doesn't have to make sense. It just needs to get out. It could be your to-do list, comprised of everything you've ever set out to accomplish. It could be your schedule for the upcoming year. It could be a list of wishes. Or it could be all of these things and more.

There is no right way to brain dump. Just make sure you're in a place where you can focus and just get it all out. Once it's out, you can then organize it in a planner if you'd like, or leave it the way it is. The whole point in this exercise is to just give your mind a break, and if it helps further organize your plans, tasks, goals, and wishes in a planner or journal, then do it.

How does it apply to self-care?

In order for self care to be fully effective, we need to be able to let our brains turn off and unplug for just a little bit. In order to do so, we need to take whatever bothersome thoughts we have stored up inside our heads and get them out. It all needs to get out of our brains (even if just for a few moments) and onto paper. In doing so, we allow our brains to focus more on processes rather than storage. It also allows us to more accurately organize our lives.

How often should I do a brain dump?

The choice is really up to you and how often you think you need it. For me, a weekly brain dump is very effective and helps me clear my head of a lot of unnecessary "stuff" that otherwise would come up repeatedly in my mind. 

Recommended brain dump materials

To brain dump, I use a $5 notebook I purchased in the sale bins at Target and my favorite pen. I then take the most important items from my dump and add them to my Passion Planner. I schedule them for the upcoming week, month, and maybe even the year if a goal is deemed long-term and very important.

Have you tried a brain dump before? How do you do it?

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