Reduce Your Mental Burden

Okay, so I’ve talked before on IO about the mental load that you carry from having a lot of material possessions, and that after downsizing, as painful as the process might be, everyone agrees that they feel freer and lighter.

It turns out, this principle applies to more ephemeral burdens too. We carry a lot of thoughts, beliefs, and responsibilities around that weigh us down, whether we realize it or not. And much of the time, we don’t need to carry them around.

For example, I also have talked quite a bit about productivity, and how good it is to have a to-do list when you’re preparing to become a full-time RVer. Writing down the steps you need to take and getting them out of your head reduces your mental load. You only need to remember that you have a list, you don’t need to remember everything that’s on that list. And that makes the process less overwhelming.

So lets take this one step further.

You’re going full-timing and you’ve told a relative of your plans. They react badly. You carry around their disappointment in your choice, and it reduces your happiness.

Here’s the thing, their disappointment is theirs, not yours. You are only responsible for you. Your plans, your wants, your reactions. You are not responsible for anyone else’s reactions. You know going RVing is the right choice for you. You have a solid plan in place to get it accomplished. Your job is done, let their opinion go and reduce your mental load.

And lastly, a lot of mental burdens are thoughts we have and then cling to as truth. Negative beliefs that we hold onto about ourselves that slowly erode our confidence.

You are not your thoughts. You have good thoughts or bad thoughts based on what happened on a given day, how much sleep you got, your mood, all sorts of different factors. Some of which are in your control, and some of which aren’t.

It’s human nature to focus on the bad, but we’re under no obligation to. When you have thoughts that lift you up, hold onto and encourage them. When you have thoughts that bring you down, send them packing.

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At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.


  1. Sherri Burris on March 13, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    As I keep working, my husband is retired. I have been after him to downsize his life so he can really enjoy retirement. Your blog has giving me the encouragement to keep on him to just do it. When the time comes for me to retire I want him to be ready to hit road and not look back. Thanks for your insight.

  2. Becky on February 10, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks for your comments everyone! Glad so many of you enjoyed and found this post helpful. You’re welcome, hope you’re having a good weekend.

  3. Mike and Gerri on February 10, 2018 at 6:23 am

    Great thoughts and great advice!! Yes, we sometimes forget these thoughts….so thanks!!!
    Mike and Gerri recently posted..Did I Say….My Profile

  4. Connie on February 9, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Becky, your post is so well composed. Lisa and I are retired ands fulltime RVers. The process of letting all possessions go was a difficult process. As you explained there are emotions and thoughts attached to a majority of stuff we accumulate and it actual owns you. Touching everything as I went through it all I was able to release that energy to each item. The freedom of Letting go of everything, including our house, was indescribable. Connie and Lisa

  5. Pamela Campbell on February 9, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Hi, Becky – Good advice. As soon as I notice I am having negative thoughts or reliving an embarrassing moment, I replace it with something positive. I try not to dwell on the negative. It is wasted energy. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Larry on February 9, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Great thoughts and ideas! There is a hurdle that holds me from taking the step to RVing, fate. Naturally occurring mis-haps that fill my head with chronic doubt! Im very impressed with your resolve!

  7. Kent on February 9, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Good stuff Becky.
    I’m laughing to/at myself though… Oh, if it could just be a “once and be done with it” dealeo; instead of needing a continual reminder.

  8. Rhonda on February 9, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Thanks, Becky! My usual mantra: “Stand guard at the door of your mind.” Do not allow negativity (especially when pouring forth from others) to seep into your joyous inner spirit. 🙂

  9. Michael on February 9, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Fantastic posting Becky! I need to be reminded of these concepts frequently. Thank you.

  10. Terri on February 9, 2018 at 6:45 am

    Very, very true! Becky, have you heard of Timber Hawkeye? He has a podcast called Buddhist Boot Camp, and all of his bits are quite short, but I think you might really like him. He has totally downsized – has one pair of jeans, has five gray shirts, shaves his head every week — these decisions that he has made eliminate others for him so he has much less to worry about and can avoid decision fatigue. I thought of one of his podcasts when I read your post. 🙂 He is also on youtube.
    Terri recently posted..All I want (Read: Inner Conflict)My Profile

    • Becky on February 10, 2018 at 2:26 pm

      Haven’t heard of him specifically, but I do follow a couple very minimalist people whom it sounds like live similarly! I will when I get a chance.

  11. Angie on February 9, 2018 at 4:57 am

    Thanks for sharing. Such great advice…Always love your sincere, honest posts. Have a great 2018!

  12. RGupnorth on February 8, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Another good article – looks like the feet got a burn going.

  13. JJ on February 8, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Sound advice. Period.
    JJ recently posted..Reduce Your Mental BurdenMy Profile

  14. Barbara (Nashville) on February 8, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Becky, wanted to let you know I ordered both of your books in Kindle a couple of weeks ago. Trying to catch up on blog reading.

    • Becky on February 10, 2018 at 2:24 pm

      Thanks Barbara! Enjoy them, and I wish you the best!

  15. Norm H. on February 8, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Wisdom. Undoubtedly gained the “old fashioned” way, through personal experience. Thanks for sharing with us.

  16. Rio on February 8, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Hi, just saw you on Bob’s video! You are an inspiration! We, (my Guy) & are looking into buying your book. We are getting ready to shed a bunch of stuff & do it too! Long time coming. The freedom of the road is calling us. Like you though, we are not of age to retire and were not born with silver spoon in hand. So, we are also checking out the workamper thing. I was happy to see you still on a blog.

    Take care,
    best to you.
    Rio & Brian.

    • Becky on February 10, 2018 at 2:23 pm

      Hey Rio and Brian. Welcome to IO, happy to have you here. Yes, work-camping is a good way for new RVers to make money without having/starting an online business. Best of luck to you two, and if you decide to buy my book I’m sure you’ll get a lot of use out of it.

  17. Barney Ward on February 8, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Yep. As usual you have said it very well.
    Barney Ward recently posted..We ForgotMy Profile

  18. Tina on February 8, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks Becky, needed to hear this today 🙂

  19. James on February 8, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Thank you forsharing this today. Its wasy to forget sometimes.

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