Minimalism as a Self-Care Practice?

My closet is a friend of simplicity. I own one pair of each shoe type (gym shoes, flats, fall boots, winter boots, sandals, and heels that I rarely wear). The same goes for most of my clothing and the select pieces of furniture resting in my apartment. Without realizing it, I have a become a budding minimalist.

According to the “The Minimalists” website,

Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.

My rising intentionality about what I own is largely due to personality and somewhat due to circumstance. These factors influence my relationships with material possessions:

  • Clutter easily overwhelms me. As someone who is prone to feeling anxious, it is helpful for me to avoid a “mess of excess”. The more I procrastinate with washing dishes, folding clothes, or doing other home related tasks, the easier it is for me to feel stressed. Owning fewer items assists with minimizing the potential for clutter.
  • I want to remember two things: responsibility and gratitude. Do I regularly use and take care of all that I have? Am I depending on them in an unhealthy way? Have I thanked God lately for the items that I own? Every few months or so, I try to go through my possessions and let go of what I don’t even truly want.
  • Can I give? Can I live? Bills, bills, and more bills are real. To top it off, I’m far from reaching mastery at budgeting. However, I’m hoping to spend less on things and more on people, causes, and adventures. This goal means making sacrifices here and there. Although I’m a book-worm, for instance, I mostly borrow books from the library rather than purchasing them. This choice means that I don’t have a massive, impressive collection of books to my name. However, I can save a few bucks for other hopefully fulfilling purposes.
  • What rings authentic for me? Do I have what I have to solely impress others? At the end of the day, I want to love and know myself enough to own items reflective of my creativity, style, needs, and passions. Rather than comparing my possessions to others’, I want to remember that contentment is always attainable, regardless of material wealth.

I am clearly still processing what minimalism looks like for me. What excites me, though, is its potential to become a disciplined, creative part of my self-care journey.





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