Minimalism is not just some sterile style aesthetic. It can actually be an approachable mindset for living a healthier lifestyle. I believe that most days, if we're honest, we would say that we are just SO busy or SO tired or SO anything other than rested or calm or inspired. To combat our culture and its high-speed overwhelming ways, I compiled a quick list (with help from the Bible and Pinterest) of PRACTICAL things you can do to help de-stress and de-clutter your life for a healthier, happier existence.
1. KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES. Make space for only the things that truly matter and have lasting (even eternal) value. Think of 3-6 things that add meaning to your life and betterment to those around you. Those things reserve the right the be the only things ever worth your time. (Philippians 3.13)
2. LEARN TO SAY NO. Also stated like this: only give your best yes (thank you Lysa TerKeurst). Stop over-commiting yourself. It impresses no one and leaves you completely drained. With an overwhelmed schedule, you are welcoming stress to take up residence in your life. Be wise. Use discernment to make the best decision in the midst of your "seemingly endless" demands. See No. 1. (Matthew 5.37)
3. GET RID OF CLUTTER. Hello! How many times do we have to say it? Looking at physical clutter everyday actually has a massive negative impact on your mental and spiritual stress level. Keep nothing in your house that you do not both know to be useful and believe to be beautiful. Form AND Function, people. Look only at the things you're inspired by and love. (Matthew 6.19)
4. LOWER PRODUCTIVITY EXPECTATIONS. You can't produce 100% awesomeness 24/7. Allow yourself time and space to rest, recharge, and be inspired. Sleep is spiritual. Dr. Duvall said so. (Matthew 11.28-30)
5. TAKE CARE OF YOUR INSIDES. Your mental and physical inner being requires just as much TLC as your outward things. Take time to read and pray and food prep for healthy meals. After all, you are what you eat, right? ;) Proverbs 4.23 says to diligently guard your heart because it is the wellspring of life. I believe it. (1 Corinthians 6.19)
6. BUY LESS. (At this point I'm just giving you a blank stare.) It is my JOB to help you choose WISELY so that you BUY LESS. Be ever mindful about what you allow into your home. You are the curator. Quit wasting money (and time spent shopping) on junk or impulse purchases so that you can spend your time and money on things that matter, like traveling to see friends and family to make memories that will last a lifetime. You won't remember or care about what shoes you were wearing, but you will never forget how that time made you feel! (Matthew 6.20-21)
7. UNSUBSCRIBE. We just posted about this very thing on Instagram a few weeks ago! Information overload causes your brain to burn precious calories needed to be spent processing more important thoughts. So you are literally wasting energy on thoughts that don't matter. Keep around your most inspiring and uplifting sources, and simply get rid of the rest. (Psalm 119.37)
8. TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS. That ding, and even the anticipation of the next ding, keeps your heart and mind in a constantly distracted state. I. HAVE. LIVED. THIS. You're allowing yourself to dwell within a false sense of urgency on things that are unimportant in the grand scheme of life. Turn it off, and set the device down. (Ephesians 5.6)
9. GRASP THE SINGLE-TASK. We live in a day and time where busy-ness and multi-tasking is grossly glorified. Learn to become single-minded. Pick one task that is of utmost importance and go after it with tenacity and excellence. When you spread yourself too thin, you become inefficient and dull. Take a task at a time with small breaks in between to keep up your stamina. (Even runners do this, y'all.) (Luke 16.10)
You matter. The way you handle yourself and your things matters. And I hope this has helped give you the boost you need to get going or keep going! Hang in there, friend. You are loved!