I haven’t written about minimalism in a hot minute. I guess because I’ve been focusing so much on trimming down my personal waste in some parts of my life that I’ve neglected writing about a part of me that is still very much present in my daily life.
I’ve written in the past about how to decide the true value of items and what it really means to be minimalist. However, I have never written about minimising my life rather than the number of things I own. I’ve always looked at minimalism as a way of reducing my belongings and I neglected to see it as a way for minimising other aspects of my life. I don’t want to ever feel restricted so how do you give up habits for a more minimal way of life?
Time and social media
I started by looking at my time. Time is my biggest fear as time is the only thing that I’m bound to run out of. The more I was thinking about, how I spend my time, the more I realised that social media was doing me no favours. So quit social media on April 15th and I didn’t really return to some of my social media platforms until June 8th. I learned a few things and I noticed a few things… Here’s an expert of my diary of going off the grid for 54 days.
Day 1: I’m missing a limb
I keep reaching for my phone and as I open my lock screen. I realise I’ve deleted all of my social media apps, so I just check the news and put my phone down. Out of habit, I repeat this little routine every half-hour or so.
Day 7: Holly shit, ya’ll are addicted to your screens
I’ve lost interest in my phone, my usage reports have come back as an all-time low. I’ve been more productive in the evenings. I notice people using their phones now more.
A friend is visiting me and staying over for a few days. My friend can’t take a single moment of not snapchatting or instagraming what we’re doing. It’s a constant take a photo, edit the photo, post it, check for the likes. Take another photo, post it, compare total likes to the other photo. Rinse and repeat.
Day 13: The little badge number of notifications doesn’t bother me
Had to use twitter for work today. I noticed a few notifications. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel the need to check those notifications. Who cares? If it was relevant or important, I would have been contacted directly and privately.
Day 15: WTF
My friend bought a car today and my first response was – you need to Instagram this. WTF. So it’s true, I measure my self-worth from social media. Can’t do anything without posting about it. If it ain’t on insta, it didn’t happen, right?
Day 30: Wait, it’s been a month?
I keep forgetting to write down my thoughts on not being on social media. I don’t notice it any more nor do I miss it. How the fuck was I spending so much time on something that a few weeks later I no longer feel missing out of my life. Huh?
Day 54: Berlin and getting sucked right back in
I’m in Berlin this weekend. I wanted to share photos of my trip so that my friends and family could see them. That’s what I told myself. In reality? I’m hungry for that attention, fam.
I think going off the grid was such a fantastic way to minimise my routine. It’s amazing what I can do in a day if I’m not checking Instagram every 5 minutes. The way I use Instagram now has changed, I check it far less and I simply care a bit less. To the point where I could leave again and not care one bit. Lack of care for socials has cleared my head a bit, basically, I’ve decluttered to what I choose to pay attention to. Yay, for implementing minimalism in other parts of my life!
Nom, nom, nom, nom
I can’t cook. I’m a terrible cook. Lately, I’ve been trying to minimise my cooking for multiple reasons. Besides my lack of skill, I am also extremely lazy and most of the time can’t be bothered to cook. That doesn’t work for me.
Something I’ve learned undergoing CBT for my disordered eating is how essential planning and prepping my meals ahead of time is for my mental wellbeing and health. If I don’t cook or at least plan my meals I spiral out and the longer it goes on, the harder it is for me to crawl back out of it. And so, enter minimalism.
I get bored of having the same food all the time, but I’ve managed to narrow down a few things that enjoy having very much (80% plant-based, 20% seafood). I’ve minimised my diet and daily meals to the bare minimum – it’s enjoyable, simple and helps me keep my sanity intact. It’s also made grocery shopping simpler and I’ve been saving money this way as well.
Besides all the other benefits mentioned above, it’s also helped me clear up my head. Anyone that has ever battled with an eating disorder of any kind will be able to asses to this – when food is your enemy, it is also the only thing you actually spend an agonisingly long time thinking about. So, having the opportunity to NOT have to think about food (besides the obsessive parts of my brain) is very refreshing. Thanks, minimalism. Minimising my diet has not taken away the obsessive thoughts, but I can be much calmer knowing what and when I’ll be eating. It’s taken away the need for impulse.
Please, bear in mind –
- this is a tool, not a solution;
- consult your doctor/therapist regards your recovery (this is something I’ve perfect over weeks and months with my therapist, but I still struggle most days).
Anyways, I’m about to hit 1000 words and that’s too long according to my blog analytics, hahah. So, if you’ve stuck with me because minimalism is your shtick too – welcome to family, sis! Oh, as per usual go spread some kindness.