There are quite a few buzz words out there to describe my current obsession. It’s all about trying to do more with less. It’s decluttering the closets you’ve packed to the brim and letting go of those things (and habits) you think are bringing you happiness. So far in 2017, I am feeling a greater sense of peace, less stress, and an overall positive mood. I have found some balance in the old mind-body-spirit complex. Let’s break this down:
MIND – I am experiencing more calm in my life by limiting my own exposure to social media. I check Facebook and Insta 2-3 times a day, usually morning, lunchtime, and after work. I have replaced that wasted time with reading more books, taking more walks, and writing more words. Sometimes you need to binge on Netflix, and I am right there with you, but limiting the negative noise, opinions, and comparisons to others have notably improved my state of mind and well-being.
Also improving my brain place is unsubscribing from emails and turning off phone alerts and notifications. I can choose when to solicit those companies or services instead of them bombarding my inbox or mailbox or seeing that little, red (1) alert bubble on my phone. The only alert I have is Text and Missed Call. The absence of weekly promotional ads for JCrew or whatever other store means I am spending less and am able to focus on more important things. Just being aware and more mindful of how I’m spending time and money has me mentally “woke.” I hope I’m using that hip word appropriately.
Here’s what has helped my mind lately:
Good Reads – be my friend!
a soft murmur – mix your own ambient sounds. I play this all day at work.
BODY – When January arrived, the holidays and wedding celebrations died down. Christmas and thank you cards were sent, and the last of the Christmas cookies eaten. I cracked open a book Mike had recommended to me several times called It Starts With Food.
For a while, I had been feeling pretty run down and this time exercise and limiting my calories just weren’t working to keep me in shape. I figured since I was officially in my 30s, this was that whole metabolism thing slowing down. Falsies! After reading about eating Paleo and Whole30 I became more mindful of what I was putting into my body. I was appalled that I let it get as bad as it did, but after eating with the care I felt insanely better, had more energy and consequently lost about 5 pounds. My skin feels healthier, and I just feel happier.
Although I’m not the primary cook, I’ve been more interested in cooking and trying to help my smart and talented husband and chef in the kitchen. Mostly, though, I’ve just been eating his tasty cooking.
Here’s what has helped my body:
It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig
Pet Rescue By Judy – adopting a puppy keeps you on the move! Buckley gets between 2-5 miles per day walking, plus weekend trips to the dog park with Molly.
SPIRIT – I spent a good part of 2016 decluttering my childhood home and helping my mom let go of many things. I did the same. But in 2017, I’ve outdone myself. I reduced my closet to about half the clothes I used to have, and I’m not replacing anything. I have fewer choices, which diminishes decision fatigue, and every item I own is my favorite!
I’ve donated tons of trinkets, recycled awards and documents, and reduced my mementos (including yearbooks and diplomas) to a large wicker basket.
Donating things is a great start, but I’ve upped my game a little by donating and supporting causes that are important to me, from local dog rescues to the ACLU.
Here’s what has kept my spirits up lately:
The Minimalists and Minimalist Documentary – a must-watch on Netflix!
Be More with Less – inspirational story, let me know what you think of Project 333.
My Tiny Wardrobe – maybe a little overboard but closet goals!
Maximum Fun – my favorite podcasts! Laughing is good for the spirit for sure. Judge John Hodgman is my favorite, but I’m also enjoying Shmanners and Rose Buddies.
I know life won’t always be as good as it is now. There are still changes to come, more complications, more expenses, more decisions, but I’m at the point right now where I can recognize it and be ready, with less. For now, I will just sip my coffee slowly and take it all in.