Despite what social media and marketing may lead you to believe, minimalism is not about a specific aesthetic; it isn't about portraying a "minimalist image" or fashion trend. It's an idea; a belief; a movement; a lifestyle; a journey; and for me, it's the biggest form of self care.
Minimalism has been the biggest positive impact in my life thus far. It has given me clarity in so many aspect of my life whether it be through the physical objects I have or don't have, my relationships both past and present, my headspace, and just my overall well-being. Here are the five reasons why I consider it self care.
1. Minimalism helps me financially, allowing me to take care of myself both physically and mentally. I no longer waste my money and resources on things that I don't need or don't bring me any true joy or sense of purpose. It has released me from the holds of consumerism and I am now able to take control of what I allow and don't allow into my life, especially through properly budgeting and managing my bank account. Unless it is something that is authentically me, I don't purchase it unless it's a necessity, and most importantly, it has to be within my means. Otherwise, forget it.
2. Minimalism has helped reduce my anxiety. Prior to minimalism, despite feeling like my home was neat and clean, there was still a lot of hidden clutter, objects that I've wasted time and money on, objects that were controlling me instead of the other way around. All that time I didn't realize the true impact those physical objects were weighing on, not just my environment, but also my mind. Through this realization, I was able to declutter my life and get to a better place, a place where I'm able to think clearly and manage my anxiety more easily than before.
3. Back to basics. Minimalism has helped me find the joy and beauty in having less. Because I am now in better control of my spending and my owning, I appreciate what I have more than ever. I no longer feel the urge to purchase something simply because it's the newest shiny thing to catch my eye. As a result, I don't feel the constant need to have more than one of something unnecessarily. For instance, I used to love purchasing multiple skincare products when I had perfectly good ones sitting in my bathroom counter. I now have a much greater respect for the things I own. I appreciate the joy it brings to my life whether it's something as simple and unassuming as a clothes hanger or something more luxurious like quality lotion.
4. Minimalism has helped me put myself first. I now prioritize my self-care more than ever whether it be skipping late night outings to allow myself healthy rest or walking away from toxic people in my life. I no longer take the love I have for myself for granted.
5. Minimalism has helped me become a much more environmentally-conscious person. It has opened my eyes to the dangers of consumerism and the waste that it produces in our planet. I was able to discover the Zero Waste movement which I try to implement into my life as much as I could. One may think this isn't really related to self care, but I believe caring for our planet means caring for ourselves because whether we like it or not, it truly does affect our health and our future.
Bonus: Why I ultimately equate minimalism to self care? It brings me true happiness, and honestly, what can beat that?