Living with less means creating space for the important aspects of our lives that bring greater value. We are increasingly encouraged to consume more in a tech-saturated environment, where the rise of targeted advertising is driving growth in our spending. The emphasis on needing more things in our lives to feel a sense of satisfaction leaves many of us unfulfilled. Where we put our focus on is how we feel within our day-to-day lives, and if our focus is on materials, status and money, we lose a sense of ourselves. When we let go of the need to fit in, we can feel a greater sense of freedom. When we have gratitude for all that we have and spend time doing what we love, we can look around and realise that we don’t need a lot in life to be happy.
1) Spend time with those you cherish
Friendships are quality over quantity. A person’s worth is not determined by how many people they surround themselves with. Time is precious. Spending time with those that we love means investing in a deeper connection with others. We can cultivate deep connections that are genuine and close. Living with less isn’t contained only to our material possessions but also in the relationships that we have. It allows one to give who they love more of their time because they aren’t spending their time in unhealthy relationships. It means putting up healthy boundaries with people and spending one’s time and energy into the people they love the most.
2) Save money and time from spending less
How do you spend your time? Perhaps you like learning new things such as a new language or joining a sports team. The more we spend our attention on the hobbies we enjoy, the more we save time on the things we don’t. We can save money from unread magazine subscriptions or unfinished courses. By picking up a few interests to focus on, you can spend your money and time more wisely. It means that we don’t buy unnecessary materials that may take up more space in our homes or have a list of unnecessary tasks that fill up our schedule.
3) Practice Social Minimalism for your Mental Health
Digital Minimalism is a term popularised by computer scientist and author, Cal Newport, who doesn’t use social media. In essence, it describes the philosophy of technology use in which the time spent online is cut down to a small number of carefully selected activities that support things you value, and then you can happily miss out on the rest of the online world. By leaving behind unimportant acts of social media, we reclaim time and we are more mindful of being in the present. The rise of anxiety and depression amongst younger generations have been significant. Technology has caused more online noise and distractions, by taking away our attention from what is important.
4) Embrace your own Personal style
The fashion industry seems to move faster than we can keep up, with changing trends and seasons. Personal style, on the other hand, never goes out of style, as it’s a part of our identity. Are there certain styles or pieces of clothing that you always wear year after year? When we embrace our own personal style, we save time from browsing the never-ending rows of shops and save money from buying clothes that may only be worn a few times. When we shop with the intention of having something for the long-term, it can make a piece of material feel more thoughtful and special.
5) A Minimalist lifestyle can nourish an Introvert’s strengths
Susan Caine points out in her book, Quiet: The Power Of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking that introverts are generally less interested in status, wealth, and popularity than extroverts. The accumulation of stuff and the larger amount of people in our lives can create more added stress for many introverts. Minimalism gives you more space to live your life and be in charge of your space, schedule and mind. An introvert thrives on being able to be in a quiet sanctuary such as at home. When a home is decluttered, it creates balance in our mind and we can create space to do the very things that we love.
Living a more simple life means embracing the need for deep connections, purpose in one’s work, and spending time and energy on the people and activities that you love the most. However, it’s just as simple to immerse oneself into buying things or engaging in relationships that don’t add value into our lives. These might be from purchasing books or clothing we don’t end up using or being in friendships that aren’t rewarding or are one-sided. This cycle can drain our batteries. When we aren’t always chasing for the next thing, we can spend time placing value and gratitude on what we have.
What makes you truly happy in your life?
Art by Marialaura Fedi