Minimalism has become something of a buzzword over the last few years. It can conjure up images of spartan living spaces, bare except for the essentials. While this is one way to practice minimalism, there are no hard and fast rules! It might be taking only one backpack full of necessary items when traveling to remote destinations, it might be leaning not to impulse buy, it might be creating a capsule wardrobe instead of having a huge closet, or it might be holding onto only the possessions that you love and need the most.
The concept of lifestyle minimalism, of crafting a slow and quiet life with only the best and most fulfilling things and people in it, isn’t spoken about so much or in such obvious terms. Still, it is a concept that many people are leaning into. Let’s take a look at how you can escape the rat race and embrace living a more intentional and slow-paced life.
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Don’t Try to Keep Up.
There is a well-known saying that is as true today as it was when it was coined: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” If you try to keep up, compete or compare with those around you, all of the joy you could find in what is available to you and what is good in your life will be drained away. While it’s good to strive for things that you want to achieve, one must find contentment and practice acceptance in the now to open the door for more in the future. Find out what you truly want for yourself; filter out all of the things that you have been told you should have “by now” or the molds that people tried, however well-meaningly, to fit you into as a child that still hold you back today. Keep up with yourself and no one else; this means resting when you need rest and being productive when you feel energized.
Keep Your Friends Close…
…and keep the circle small. Put the time that you do have available into healthy relationships that nourish you as much as they nourish the other party. If you’re spread too thin, you’ll never feel peace and always feel that you’re struggling to catch up. Keep a small circle of friends who have a place in your heart and life. Too many people with unclear motivations speaking into or having influence in your life can be overwhelming and distracting. Keep the emotional noise to a minimum by being choosy about who you allow into your life and safe spaces, emotional or physical.
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Spend Time in Nature
The pace of nature reminds us of the pace that we all lived at a long time ago. Spending time in nature helps you to reset your internal metronome and dance to a slower beat. Time in nature also replenishes and restores your calm, an essential aspect of slow and mindful living. If it’s possible, live in a quieter, more nature-oriented area. If it’s not, make daily or weekly time to take a walk in the park or on a beach and reset your mind. You would be surprised at how energized you feel after a dip in the cold ocean or spending a few hours lying on the grass in the sun, just soaking up the sounds of the birds and the bees around you. Allow nature a place in your heart, and it will help you to remember what is really important in life.
Take A Social Media Break
Now we aren’t suggesting giving up social media altogether; it’s a massive part of modern life, and many people (even those who want to pursue a slow and intentional life) make their living by being on social media. It can become all-consuming, however, if you aren’t intentional with the time that you spend interacting with and on social media. Avoid scrolling just for the sake of scrolling and consume content that is fun, uplifting, and healthy instead of content that asks you to be someone you are not. Don’t spend time on social media right before bed (or on any electronic devices), as watching a monitor before bed keeps your brain moving fast instead of slowing it down for a good night’s sleep.
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These tips will help you start your journey of a quiet and intentional life. They’ll help you turn down the volume of distractions and form habits that will help you embrace a slower and more fulfilling lifestyle.