Minimalism: taking a more modest approach

Minimalist,luxuries,lives,living,social distancing,self isolation,excess,family

As we all find ourselves in these unprecedented times, with most of the world practising self-isolation and social distancing, we have learned to adapt our lives to more humble ways, to a more minimalist, and for many, survivalist way of living. This is a time to reflect on the volume in which we have been consuming, as a human species - the luxuries, the excess, the unnecessary. With much more time on our hands, the focus has turned to spending time with family, checking in on friends, clearing out our cupboards and focusing on the things we really need in our daily lives, bearing in mind the impact of these things – not just in a physical but in a mental capacity also, and how this clutter can bear unnecessary weight on our lives.

We are at a time of great uncertainty, yes, and many of us feel extremely anxious about the lack of control we have over the situation right now. We have to try and change our perspective, to maintain a semblance of normality in our daily lives, and a good way to manage this uncertainty is by focusing on the things that we can control, the things that can help ease this looming sense of anxiety. Much of this approach centres on the atmosphere and the energy in the room. I am not implying that a feng shui reshuffle will solve all of our problems, but a rebalance of energy could certainly help. So, this is a good time to tackle our hoarding issues, assess our accumulation of stuff by looking at its value - what does it even mean to us? 

Many of us are familiar with the KonMari method of organisation by Japanese organising consultant Marie Kondo, and it’s a great method to follow because it makes a lot of sense. This method of organising one’s things involves said person gathering all their belongings together at once to assess their value – and not in terms of monetary worth, we are looking at this from the perspective of joy. Yes, it’s really that simple – you only hold onto the things that 'spark joy' – from a scale of ecstasy, to not even a tingle, how good does it make you feel? This is about energy; it’s about holding on to the things that make your heart flutter, instead of treating everything as disposable and replaceable. But this isn’t just about things because clutter can manifest in many different ways, so we should be assessing the value of pretty much everything in our daily lives – from gadgets, to relationships, the apps on our phones, to the social engagements we say yes to (slightly different in a time of quarantine, but you get my drift). Decluttering need not focus solely on the aesthetic; we also want to minimise the life clutter. Both physical and mental clutter have this ability to create an overwhelming sense of anxiety, and it’s so much easier to throw out a bag of old magazines than it is to declutter our emotions - which brings us right back to the energy discussion.

Our digital worlds are saturated with content – from Tweets, to selfies, hashtags to news updates - more so now than ever, as we constantly check for updates on the pandemic situation. Our feeds are on overdrive and as a result, we lack a sense of focus, we have lost our natural rhythm. Add a family, a job and personal stresses to the equation and we are suddenly bombarded by so many different energy frequencies, buzzing simultaneously – some low, some high, creating a new uncontrollable wavelength that actually consumes more energy than it feeds us with, and that simply means the balance has been tipped, and not in our favour. So, we take a step back, we gather all these elements together and reassess their value and how they benefit us, or comfort us in our lives in this present moment. Sometimes it’s the simple things that we lose sight of, and that’s just because of all the surrounding clutter; you’ve simply got to find the right frequency in order to maintain the balance.

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