say that 10 times fast.
So, minimalism is all the rage lately. Every wellness blogger has touched on the subject about how less is more and how we thrive when we have less. But-with everyone talking about it theres an unbelievable amount of articles we have to sort through to get to the root of what it is, why it works and how to apply it to your life! Cue me doing all of the research so you don’t have to and enabling you to live a minimalistic life now.
what is minimalism
Minimalism is exactly how it sounds. It’s the art of clearing the excess out of your life so that you can focus on what’s really important by freeing ourselves from distraction and things that don’t help us work towards our goals and values.
why it works
Minimalism works in so many ways. It helps you save money as what you want is less important than what you need and all you really require on a normal basis are essentials. It goes beyond creating physical space and creates mental/emotional space as you have to spend less time dealing with your things and more times with just you. It creates a greater feeling of belonging as people, experiences, and places become more important than things. It helps you define yourself beyond what you own. It gives you freedom and time… the list goes on. But this list really means nothing until you get to experience it yourself… and so…
how to apply it
- personal diet: eat only what tastes good and feels good. your body is your one permanent home in this life-honour it. just like you wouldn’t treat a home you buy badly by cleaning the floors with something that would damage them, breaking appliances/windows and destroying the plumbing – your body should be treated with the same respect. now-different people have different diets that produce better results based on your body’s biology. this can be determined through a variety of genetic and micro biome tests that companies like Habit and DNAfit conduct. minimalists take on a simple approach with food rules that work for them. IE yogurt with fresh fruit in the morning or avocado and eggs, salad for lunch with a legume and protein with vegetables at dinner time. if this is too limiting for you and you’re a foodie minimize your diet by realizing what you can and can’t eat. an example of this would be saying you cannot eat any refined sugar, processed food, dairy or meat. now that these rules are set you must realize adopting an 100% of the time mind set is much easier than a 99% of the time mindset as their isn’t room for them in your life whatsoever. the biggest thing I would push is that your body is a temple and there’s no room within the temple for anything that you don’t enjoy eating, or that will hurt you. you can accomplish this by only buying things in your house that fit these rules. make this really simple for yourself and clean out your pantry – donate food that doesn’t fit your new standards thats non perishable to food banks and start fresh!
- personal exercise: “i don’t have time to exercise”. this is the BIGGEST misconception in the world. exercise does not have to consume a large portion of your day. if you want to be a body builder, compete in cross fit competitions, dedicate your life to mastering a martial art/yoga or run ultra marathons then YES, you will probably spend a large portion of your life exercising. but if not-that’s okay too! exercise is not supposed to be a punishment or something that takes away from your life-but instead something that is a self love practice. the body’s natural state is to spend the majority of our days active and a very small portion sedentary which has been lost in modern practices of living. we ask that you can dedicate at least 15 minutes of your day to exercise-and we all have 15 minutes because we’re all able to wake up 15 minutes earlier. find what style works best for you and feels best. that might be yoga, high intensity interval training, swimming, running, lifting weights – whatever! just find it and start. start today. start right now and make it your goal to do it every single day for a month. you’ll find moving your body just feels good and the time you spend doing it will probably increase. but-in times where you are very time strapped don’t underestimate the power of a 15 minute workout being greater than no workout.
- sleep: we are literally surrounded by things that take away from our sleep. blue light from our various devices takes away from our sleep, clutter in our rooms disrupts us, caffeine past a certain point in the day keeps us up, certain foods don’t allow for a good sleep, alcohol disrupts our sleep… the list goes on. this is something we actually learned from most of our parents when we were young-but try creating a bed time routine and setting a bed time. for example-if you decide you’d like to start every day at 6 AM – as starting your day early is a wonderful way to fit some extra self care in – and you realize that you personally function best on 7 hours asleep…your bed time is now 11pm. next you must realize how long it typically takes you to fall asleep, some people take 10 minutes and some people take up to one hour. account for this in your bed time. so say your bedtime is now 10pm. as for how much sleep feels best for you or how sleep works i’d recommend an apple like pillow or sleep cycle that wakes you up before or at the time you need to be awake by based on when you’re in a place in your sleep cycle where it is easier to wake up. as for your bed time routine practice some self care that will ensure you wake up fresh. examples of what some successful people do before bed include writing down 3 things they were grateful for in their day, self reflection, planning for the next day, hydrating with lots of water/herbal tea, avoiding caffeine after the morning…etc. your night time self care routine is totally up to you and what feels good for you. the key to this is that consistency is the most important component.
- wardrobe: you don’t have any space for anything that you don’t like, doesn’t fit and isn’t going to last. simply because what you might wear once every two months, is something that someone else might love and cherish every day. donate. make someone else’s life better, and improve your own as well. step one, only keep colours you love and neutrals-neutrals go with everything and colours you love are a good way to stand out and claim your personal style. step two, stick to basics-timeless is always better than trendy. step three, only keep things that fit you well and are comfortable. step four, only keep things that make you feel good. if your items fit this criteria they are wardrobe gold! beyond that it’s important to buy quality in the future. quality not being designer brands but being local, sustainable, ethically sourced clothing that have a lesser impact on the environment and don’t bear the brunt of human labour.
- home: if you don’t need it-donate it, give it as a gift, sell it, recycle it – it must go. need and want are two things that seem more mixed up that ever lately. need means-can you consume it, use it-does it serve a purpose? do you notice it and appreciate it every day? no? okay… time to go. do this one room at a time. you don’t need 5 frying pans, you don’t need books that you’ve read that you will never read again, you don’t need things that just sit around because you don’t know what to do with them… everything must go. trust me – once you finish – you will thank yourself. not only will your head feel clear, but the energy in your house will be higher as you eliminate everything that simply made it harder to stay on top of mess/cleaning. check out this post on zen habits for a more in depth look on how to minimize your space.
- eat food you enjoy that your body will thank you for.
- create food rules and a meal template for what breakfast/lunch/dinner should look like.
- clean out your pantry-remove everything that doesn’t fit your food rules
- exercise for at least 15 minutes a day-do exercise that you enjoy and feels good for you
- choose a bed time and a wake up time.
- create a bed time routine.
- eliminate coffee and sugary foods leading up to your bed time.
- only keep clothes that are neutral colours with a few colours you love. keep classic items that are good quality, fit well, make you feel awesome about yourself. in the future only buy ethically sourced clothing.
- your house should only contain things that serve a purpose. remove anything that is just collecting dust. keep it simple.