Working Toward a More Minimal Lifestyle

Lately I’ve been feeling cluttered in every aspect of my life. I’m feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally cluttered. I’m feeling overwhelmed by the things I can and cannot see and it’s making me anxious. There are a lot of things I haven’t made peace with, a lot of things I’m holding onto for one reason or another (none of which are good), and it’s just getting to be too much for me. I’m trapped in this constant cycle of anxiety and poor mental health and it is insanely toxic. So, for the sake of my overall health, I have decided that I need to start working toward a more minimal lifestyle for myself.

I already know I won’t be a minimalist in every aspect of my life (because books exist and I love books), but I can definitely cut down on other things. Like do I really need to buy a new pack of pens every time I buy a new notebook? No, I don’t. Do I need to buy backups of different products? No, probably not. Do I need to buy things just because they’re on sale/clearance? Unless it was was something I already planned on buying beforehand, then no I probably don’t need to buy the item.

I know a huge part of my problem is I attach sentimentality to things and hold onto them for way longer than I should. It took me a decade to get rid of the promise ring my first serious boyfriend gave me when I was fifteen even though that relationship had finally fallen apart for good five years earlier. All looking at the ring did was remind me of all the lies, broken promises, and bullshit he put me through, so why did I hold onto it? Because I’m too sentimental for my own good. I have a bad tendency to hold onto things even if there are bad memories attached to it and I need to stop doing that. I should only hold onto things that have good memories attached to them because if I’m going to fill my physical, emotional, and mental space with things, it should be things that make me happy, not sad.

Then when it comes to certain items (like pens and notebooks), I have an almost hoarder mentality. If I really like a pen, I’ll buy multiples of it so I never run out of it. If I buy a new planner, I buy new pens to go with it even if the old ones are still perfectly usable. With notebooks, I will buy a cheap or “crappy one” to use instead of my nice notebooks because I feel my ideas aren’t good enough for the nice notebook. Well starting today, I am going to work toward breaking that cycle of thinking.

The planner pens form 2021 are perfectly capable of being used for the 2022 planner!
My ideas are worthy of the nice notebook!
And I don’t need to buy new pens every time I buy a new notebook!

I have no doubt that this mentality is partially from being a writer, but also from my need for things to be organized and have a designated use. The planner pens are only for the planner, so we need different pens for the journal, book lists notebook, blogging notebook, etc… just listing the few things off made me feel exhausted! And if I got exhausted just from listing those few things off, imagine how exhausted I feel when I have to sift through a pile of pens to find the ones I want (I’m resisting the urge to buy a bigger pen case because I feel like that would encourage me to buy more pens).

I’m also this way with candles. If I find a candle scent I really love, I’ll buy as many of it as I can so I don’t run out of it. That’s how I ended up with about 8-10 Vampire Blood candles from Bath & Body Works! But in my defense, it’s a Halloween scent that is only out once a year, it’s my favorite scent, and I still have 2 left, which means by the time it comes out again, I’ll probably have run through one, if not both of the two remaining I have. Maybe that’s an excuse or maybe I’m being completely reasonable, I’m not sure! But I could probably cut back on how many candles I buy. Maybe this year I could only buy 4-6 Vampire Blood candles… we’ll see when the time comes!

These are just a few examples of where I could cut back on the physical clutter. The mental and emotional clutter is going to take a bit more work, but I know the main things I need to do for that is get my depression and anxiety under control and reduce the amount of stress I put myself under/accept from other people, situations, etc. The main thing I need to do is stop beating myself up for not being perfect and for not checking everything off my To Do list every single day. Some days we just need to relax either after work or on our day off. We don’t need to be busy 24/7. Overworking and over stressing ourselves does nothing but cause mental fatigue and burnout. I need to find a better balance between the things I want to do and the things I need to do… something I’ve been struggling with for a long time!

I’m going to be 30 in less than two weeks and I don’t want to keep carrying around baggage that I’ve had since my late teens-early to mid twenties. I don’t want to keep repeating the same toxic cycle for myself. I don’t want to keep filling my life with meaningless or unhappy things. I don’t want to keep stressing myself out by having too many things or trying to take on too much at once. Overall, I just want to be healthier and happier because I’m tired of feeling unhealthy and unhappy. I feel so tired and overwhelmed all the time that it makes doing the things I love (like writing and reading) feel like a chore instead of something I’m happy to do. I’ve been carrying around so much clutter for so long… and it’s time to let as much of it go as possible. It’s time to change my mindset and come out on the other side feeling lighter, brighter, and better.

What area of your life do you feel is most cluttered? And how have you worked toward decluttering that area of your life? I would love to know! I know I’m a little behind on blog posts again (I think it’s only one), so expect the normal Saturday blog post and then one on Sunday! Have a great weekend everyone!

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