Minimalist Living: Is It for You?

By now, you've probably heard of minimalism. When you see the term, you might picture white walls and little to no decor, or perhaps you've fallen down the rabbit hole that is the minimalist aesthetic in tattoos, jewelry, and other mediums. Minimalism is certainly an aesthetic, but more than that, it is a lifestyle. While relinquishing all of your earthly goods in favor of bare walls and spartan interiors may seem extreme, there are principles you can use to start incorporating minimalism into your life. 

Although owning less is not necessarily the one and true tenet of minimalism, it certainly seems to have stolen the spotlight. The idea behind this lifestyle is rejecting materialism and that which is inherently unimportant and placing more value in experiences instead. In a world where we're constantly barraged with images of wealth and luxury on TV, movies, and (especially) social media, minimalism comes as an offset. Minimalism also extends into the social sphere. It invites people to get rid of toxic relationships, time commitments, and anything that does not add value to your life. Remember, kids, it's not the years in your life but the life in your years. *wink* *wink*

I've been doing a little research into it and exploring the idea of adopting a minimalist lifestyle, and the one thing I've found is that minimalism looks different for everybody. In other words, while some minimalists have little possessions, others don't worry so much about the number of things they have, but rather the value that they place on those things. There is no handbook to minimalism that says you must have a certain amount of belongings to be considered a minimalist. That is to say, that you can adapt minimalism in whatever way suits your needs. So, don't despair, minimalism may just be for you!  

For me, minimalism is a journey and a process, not a product. I'm still working through it and figuring out what is important for me to disregard the rest. I'm not saying I've completely embraced it, but I think it is an avenue worth checking out, especially if you suffer from anxiety, and going on social media only exacerbates that. I'm the first to admit to loving Pinterest, pretty things, and owning brand items, but I also think it's important to take a step back and reassess. If this sounds like something you may be interested in, here are some ways that you can incorporate minimalism into your lifestyle: 

  1. 1. Get rid of excess.

    As I said, minimalism is not just about owning less stuff, but it certainly helps to declutter your space. This will help you feel clean, fresh, and somehow lighter. You won’t feel so tied down. Also, clean out your emails! Trust me, it is liberating. 

  2. 2. Consider a capsule wardrobe.

    Maybe you’re not a fan of throwing away your stuff. With capsule wardrobes, you can focus on the clothes you actually wear and switch them out each season. There are many guides to creating a capsule wardrobe out there, each claiming to have the must-have pieces, staples or the ideal number of items. Look for an account that has a similar style to yours and get inspired!

  3. 3. Meditate.

    Eliminate undue stressors. Sometimes we get too caught up in living day to day that we forget what truly means something to us. We end up doing things for fear of not doing anything. Look inside and reevaluate your life and interactions.

  4. 4. Take time off social media.

    Social media is both the best and worst invention of our times. For many an anxious person like myself, taking time off social media can do wonders for our mental well-being. This extends to eliminating people from your contact list or blocking toxic people. Also, when looking at content, try to look at content that adds some value to your life other than wanting to be like others and having the things they do.

  5. 5. Recycle and repurpose

    This is not strictly minimalist, but it does help you feel good about your actions and choices. Take some of those clothes you’re getting rid of and make them into cleaning rags. Likewise, take things that you have no use for and try giving them a new purpose.

These are just some of the things I've been trying to adopt into my lifestyle, but there are many more that you can come up with to make the minimalist lifestyle suit you. Remember, there is no clear-cut way to be a minimalist. how you define minimalism is up to you!