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Minimalism is about so much more than just your possessions. How often do you commit to taking care of yourself? We can all be guilty of paying so much attention to everything else in our lives, that we entirely neglect ourselves. Cultivating a minimalist mindset is the first step in putting you at the forefront of your actions.
Finding the time to clear your mental clutter can often come last in a long list of things to do.
In reality, self-care is as important – if not more – than anything else. Taking time out of our days, every day, to reflect on how we feel is essential.
If you’re a particularly driven person and find yourself juggling idea after idea and reading blogs until the wee hours of the morning (I feel like I’m writing my biography here!), you’ll recognize the early stages of burnout.
Too much clutter isn’t good for anyone. We need to create space in which we can cultivate a minimalist mindset. In this article, we’ll talk about some ways to clear your mental clutter and create a peaceful mental environment in order to create a minimalist physical space, too.
Clearing out your home and creating space is one thing, but creating a minimalist mindset is a whole other ballgame.
So, how do you go about creating this minimalist mindset?
What works for you may not work for others, but here are a few ways to clear your mental clutter before tackling your physical environment.
Psst…! Ready for a serious clear out? While you’re here, be sure to grab your FREE download of my total home declutter checklist! To get instant access to this printable, simply click here and you’ll also be granted exclusive access to my Freebie Library.
How To Create A Minimalist Mindset:
1. Take A Moment
Wherever you are right now, close your eyes and take 3 deep, full breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.
The difference simply taking a moment to re-centre and just breathe can make is powerful. Did you feel it?
Creating a minimalist mindset is developing that ability to recognise when you need to take a moment for yourself at any point in the day – and actually giving yourself that space.
2. Learn How to meditate
Meditation can take many different forms. If sitting cross-legged in silence isn’t your jam, you can still get the benefits of meditation. Try a yoga routine, walking around the park or your local neighbourhood, or just trying a few minutes of silent reflection before you go to sleep.
Take a look at my guide to meditation & mindfulness for more ideas on how to start.
I strongly recommend the Yoga for Travellers: Sequences, Postures and Guidance for Every Journey book which is brilliant for easy-to-digest information about meditation and finding a quiet space even in hectic spaces (it’s definitely not just for travellers!).
I also recommend reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power Of Now. It will change your life.
3. Create a Routine
We all dream of a life without alarm clocks. When I first started working for myself, I revelled in the ability to lie in until the sun woke me up.
That joy was short-lived, though. A lack of routine made me unproductive, feeling lazy, and honestly kind of miserable.
You don’t have to be so strict with yourself as to wake up at the same time every day, but creating a routine in some shape can massively help with creating a more minimalist mindset. My morning routine definitely won’t work for everyone – but check it out if you need a little inspiration.
Try creating a plan for your day – especially if you’re not working a 9-5. Wake up, do some light stretches, have breakfast, start work etc.
Structure doesn’t have room for clutter.
3. Know Your Priorities
Goals guide us, give us direction, and are something to aim towards. Setting goals doesn’t mean you have to want to change everything about your life right now, but they do help you recognize what you would like to improve for a life with more of what makes you happy.
Clear your mental clutter by defining your priorities. Do you want to:
- Start saving for early retirement
- Change careers
- Be healthier, fitter, happier..?
- Take better care of yourself and reduce stress
- Save to buy a house (or van, or boat, or cabin..!)
- Become location independent
- Build your own business
You can, of course, have multiple goals – but prioritising will help your thought process when important decisions need to be made.
4. Act with Intention
Do you spend without first assessing why you’re buying something? Do you have a build-up of business ideas, plans, and dreams, but feel overwhelmed by it all? Most of us experience one of these things on a regular basis.
Clear your mental clutter by bringing awareness into your life and your intentions. Know why you are doing something – spending, saving, working on a project – and bring awareness into your everyday actions.
You’ll soon know what parts of your day are mindless, and which have meaning.
5. Work Out
This is one of my top tips for cultivating a minimalist mindset because it’s my number one self-care method for myself. I read a great post by Jennifer at Simply+Fiercely with 12 Self-Care Tips and the most important takeaway is that we all need to find our own way of looking after ourselves.
Working out is my meditation – the gym is my time to put some headphones on, get a great workout, and forget about anything else.
I always leave the gym feeling happier, lighter and ready to tackle any obstacles that come my way (okay, and exhausted, too!). Next time you’ve got a tonne of worries – financial or otherwise – stacked up on your plate, go out and get some exercise.
It doesn’t have to be running or lifting weights at the gym – whatever you enjoy. See if a good workout clears your mind and brings life back into perspective.
6. Make lists
If you’re guilty of juggling multiple ideas and getting overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information you’re taking in on a daily basis, getting it all out on paper can be a lifesaver.
Start creating lists for your life. From life goals to daily plans to journaling your thoughts – whatever you find most therapeutic. Clear out some space in your mind without forgetting your ideas – and allow yourself to take stock of what is a priority for you right now.
7. Take care of your environment
Of course, all the mental preparation can be meaningless if you’re surrounded by mess. Your physical environment is strongly connected to your mental state – if your home is cluttered and distracting, your mind will be distracted, too.
If you haven’t read it already, I highly recommend The Joy of Less. The author takes you through the steps needed to cultivate a minimalist habit, and is a must-read for anyone interested in simple living!
8. Write it Down
Sometimes, all it takes is putting your problem on paper for that worry to seem so much smaller.
Keep a notebook for jotting down your thoughts, plans, and goals. This could be in the form of a diary, or you could even get really organized a get a planner.
I got a great planner at the beginning of the year and it has helped me become so much more organized in tracking my goals, budget, plans and daily tasks.
As a blogger, I’d also recommend considering starting your own blog. Starting a blog was the best thing I could have done to focus my mind on what really matters in life.
9. Take Some Alone Time
Do you ever schedule in ‘alone time’ to your day, or do you just grab time wherever it’s spare throughout the day to focus on yourself?
I hadn’t really thought a lot about the difference in those two scenarios until I really needed to evaluate my life and how I was looking after myself. That’s when I realized that I was putting everyone, and everything, before myself. I felt guilty at taking a day, or even an hour, just to treat myself at any time of the week.
I’ve tried to change that a lot this year. Maybe you should, too? Try scheduling an evening where you just spend some time alone. That could mean taking a bath, doing a face mask and reading a book. It could mean going out for a walk. Whatever suits you and allows you to reflect, relax, and restore.
10. Take your time
The type of people who read self-care articles on the internet are the type of people who want answers now. I get it – I’m one of those people too!
The thing is, creating a minimalist mindset is a process. It’s a fundamental change in the way you think, in your attitude, and in your lifestyle habits.
Be patient with yourself. Take your time. You’ll get there.
I truly hope one of these routines resonates with how you make sure you’re practising self-care.
If not, there are many other ways to ensure you’re maintaining a minimalist mindset as well as a clean environment, so don’t give up! We’re all different, and we all find our groove in different areas of life.
If you like this post, also check out my articles on minimalism and getting started:
Whichever method works best for you, the point is always the same – remember to take time out of your day to care for yourself!
How do you clear your mental clutter and create more of a minimalist mindset?